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Grantmakers in the Arts: Advancing Racial Equity


While there certainly had been conversations about diversity and inclusion for a number of years in the Twin Cities, and while we knew there was an ever-growing imbalance between arts and culture funding and the changing demographic and ethnic makeup of our country and specifically our state, for me the report by Holly Sidford, Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change published by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, was a wake-up call.1 The release of that report in the fall of 2011, the discussion of it at the San Francisco Grantmakers in the Arts conference, an event with Sidford here in the Twin Cities the following spring, and a series of conversations hosted by the Minnesota Council on Foundations galvanized the Twin Cities arts and culture funding community around the topic of equity.

In the fall of 2013, a number of us decided it was time (actually long overdue) to develop the Racial Equity Funders Collaborative (REFC). The collaborative was designed to offer a place for us to learn and share knowledge, to identify racial inequity in arts and culture grantmaking policies and practices, and to look for ways to advance racial equity in arts philanthropy in our community.


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