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Join us to talk about how arts groups can better support women leaders of color

Vicki Meek
Nan Coulter
/
The Dallas Morning News
Vicki Meek managed the South Dallas Cultural Center for almost 20 years and was the board chair of the National Performance Network for two years.

The panel will be hosted by Arts Access, a partnership between KERA and The Dallas Morning News.

Explore more stories from Arts Access.

Last week, we published a story about how women leaders of color are leaving arts groups because of a lack of support. After speaking with six women of color who are leaders in the arts across the country, I came away with one common theme: retaining these leaders requires real systemic change.

We’ll discuss how arts groups can lead this change during a panel event Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Dallas Morning News Auditorium. I’ll be talking with three North Texas leaders of color in the arts: Kathleen Culebro with Amphibian Theatre, Caroline Kim with the Crow Museum and Vicki Meek, who ran the South Dallas Cultural Center for almost 20 years.

Our discussion will cover six solutions presented in the story about how arts groups can help women leaders of color both stay and thrive. They are:

  • Change starts with the board.
  • Welcome women leaders of color into the group.
  • Allow them to build their teams.
  • Let them lead inclusively.
  • Listen and embrace discomfort.
  • Prioritize the well-being of these leaders.

This isn’t the first time these solutions have been proposed. There’s been a lot of discussion on the topic, but not enough action, according to the women I spoke to for the story. It’s important to continue talking about possible solutions and reflect on what still needs to be done, these leaders say.
Yvette Loynaz, director of artistic administration at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, said it can feel like there’s a fading window of opportunity to talk about issues of inclusion and diversity in the arts.

But there are many people who are working to continue these conversations, she said. Loynaz has heard this moment being compared to holding open an elevator. “Like two doors that are wanting to close but there are several hands holding it open,” she said.

Many arts groups are trying to reach new communities and are diversifying programs and performers. To do so effectively, women leaders of color say, it’s essential for organizations to support new leaders from diverse communities.

We understand this conversation won’t solve these problems overnight. But we at Arts Access, a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and KERA, will continue covering efforts to diversify arts leadership.

Interested in coming to the panel discussion? You can RSVP here.

“How arts organizations can support leaders of color,” Jan. 18 at 6 p.m., The Dallas Morning News Auditorium, 1954 Commerce St. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments will also be served.

Arts Access is a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and KERA that expands local arts, music and culture coverage through the lens of access and equity.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.

Elizabeth Myong is KERA’s Arts Collaborative Reporter. She came to KERA from New York, where she worked as a CNBC fellow covering breaking news and politics. Before that, she freelanced as a features reporter for the Houston Chronicle and a modern arts reporter for Houstonia Magazine.