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Statement from ARTS on Recent Events regarding Black Lives

To our arts and cultural community,

We are committed to centering racial justice in our everyday practices, and we believe art is a powerful agent for change in our culture.

As a city department whose values of anti-racism and transformation guide us, we work with many of you in community and share a common belief that art is a powerful agent for change in our culture.

In this moment, we as an arts and cultural community cannot afford to operate at a surface level. We cannot be silent.  A social media post is not enough.  A racial equity training is not enough.  We are living under two crises right now: first the pandemic and most recently, the continuation of racial warfare that has climaxed after 400+ years of hate inflicted on our Black community.  We must act now. 

There is so much work to be done to break down systems of oppression that are built specifically targeting the Black community. What is your commitment towards dismantling these structures? For non-Black and BIPOC orgs, what is your organization doing to support BIPOC staff during this time and beyond? What is your action plan for moving forward and staying accountable? How can we support you in your commitment, and what do you need from our agency to move this work forward?”

Our office is committed to continuing to address these questions through our daily practices, which are through a racial equity lens. We invite the entire arts and cultural community to think strategically and ethically about how they might do the same. Stand with our Office in solidarity for all Black lives, not only in the greater Seattle community, but nationally as we continue to fight for justice.

In solidarity,

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture