Equity, Diversity, and the Arts


From 2000-2010, more than 75% of diverse, low-income, and highly disadvantaged neighborhoods with new arts organizations saw reductions in income disparity.

Three decades of research confirm that well-implemented immersion in heritage language and culture improves language acquisition, enhances test performance, increases school retention and graduation rates, college entry, and increases parent involvement and cultural pride.

Participation in arts activities increases tolerance. 12th graders who participate in the arts are 40% more likely to have friends from different racial groups and 29% less likely to feel that it is ok to make a racist remark.

Florida, R. (2016, February 11). The Connection Between the Arts and Neighborhood Diversity [Electronic version]. CityLab. Retrieved 28 January 2018 at…

McCarty, T. and T. Lee. "Critical Culturally Sustaining/Revitalizing Pedagogy and Indigenous Education Sovereignty." In Harvard Educational Review, Spring 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2018 from…

Catterall, J., Dumais, S., & Hampden-Thompson, G. (2012). The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies. (Research Report #55). National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 20 January 2018 from


Conflict Kitchen

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Conflict Kitchen serves cuisines from countries with which the United States is in conflict. It integrates food culture with programming that helps diners connect with the experiences of those often misrepresented and marginalized by the government

Guerilla Girls

New York, New York

Guerilla Girls is an anonymous group of radical feminist female artists devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world. It has used everything from posters, direct actions, convenings, and art installations to critique society’s oppressive

Art Change US

New York, New York

America is being culturally remapped by demographic change. ArtChangeUS asks, “What is the meaning, in cultural terms, of this shift? What exemplary models of arts practice and organizing can be learned from in order to produce greater relevance and

Metro Nashville Arts Commission

Nashville, Tennessee

Metro Arts recently developed the THRIVE program, which uses an obscure municipal regulation to award contracts of up to $4,000 to individual artists and small arts groups ineligible for the Commission’s larger general operating support grants. Two-


Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts promotes and advocates for full inclusion of artists of color and performers with disabilities at all levels of production in film, theater, television, and related media.

Alternate ROOTS

Alternate ROOTS is committed to social and economic justice and protection of the natural world. It supports artists who have a commitment to their communities and those whose cultural work strives for social justice.

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together to cultivate the arts and sciences.

The Arts & Social Impact Explorer was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

This fact sheet was developed as part
of the Arts + Social Impact Explorer