World Arts West was founded to address historical racial inequities by creating a platform of visibility and empowerment for diverse cultural voices. Four decades later, we continue to examine the impact of race at World Arts West so that we may best fulfill our mission. This work requires that we focus on race as we confront inequities of the past, reveal inequities of the present and develop effective strategies to move us all towards an equitable future.
Our organization understands that in order to be more equitable and dismantle systemic racism, we must commit to actively listen and build trust with cultural artists and artist communities who, along with their cultural practices and traditions, have been historically marginalized and appropriated. This means we will acknowledge and identify bias in our policies and procedures that have resulted in oppressive practices and prevented diverse communities from fully participating in our programs and productions. By recognizing and acknowledging manifestations of entrenched racism and white supremacy within World Arts West, we can engage in a process of learning and healing. Such a process will elevate and empower our organization to better build a future in which diverse performing arts practices are universally recognized as essential to creating and maintaining a healthy, vibrant and equitable community.