April 21, 2021
This past January, the Guild released a statement standing in solidarity with the Arts Education Council at Americans for the Arts (AFTA). Since that time, board members of the Racial Equity Committee and Guild staff met with the Arts Education Council to discuss how the Guild may put action to our solidarity statement. One immediate action was to meet with AFTA’s leadership to share our position of solidarity. This meeting was finally granted in early April.
After meeting with AFTA’s board leadership, we do not believe AFTA has demonstrated progress in addressing the Arts Education Council’s concerns regarding long-standing racial inequities, lack of transparency, and a hostile work environment. We stand in solidarity with the Arts Education Council and commit to the follow actions:
- End all financial relationships with AFTA, including renewal of membership and contract to administer our Benchmarking Data Survey
- End attendance at AFTA conferences and convenings
- Cease any public support of AFTA’s outreach in the arts education field
- Actively encourage our membership, as well as other allied national organizations, to take action too
We will hold this position until we all see change at AFTA. We encourage other organizations to take these steps as they apply to you, in solidarity with the Arts Education Council and with people of color in our field and in our communities. We recognize the Guild is also complicit in holding harmful culture of white supremacy and practices that have violated the humanity of Black and Brown communities and people. We are actively working to reconcile our past, learn from those directly impacted by racial injustice, and shift our ways of being. We cannot support those unwilling to do the same.
—National Guild Staff and Board
Published: April 21, 2021