Equity & Inclusion

Pittsburgh Opera performing at a Boys and Girls Club in Penn Hills as part of the Restart the Arts campaign in 2021.
Pittsburgh Opera performing at a Boys and Girls Club in Penn Hills

Diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are core values of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the community we cultivate.

Arts and culture should be welcoming and accessible to all people regardless of economic, social, racial, or personal barriers and the inequities surrounding them. Challenging inequities is the collective responsibility of everyone in the arts.

We recognize that many of the current practices in our sector are built on institutionalized oppressive systems. We continue to work to break these systems and strive to be an anti-oppressive, anti-racist organization.

With the leadership of our board, the guidance of our Diversity Catalyst Cecile Shellman, and the dedication of our staff, the Arts Council remains committed to DEAI efforts and welcomes the accountability necessary to accomplish this work.

If you are interested in learning more about industry-wide efforts to improve conditions and de-systematize racism and inequalities, please visit our Resources section, filtered to these topics.

Our Tenets

  • Our long-term commitments to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are fundamental in all of our work including research, advocacy, communications, grantmaking, thought leadership, hiring, and board recruitment.
  • We support equitable grantmaking practices that, in particular, provide more resources for Black people and people of color.
  • We advocate for the arts on the local, state, and national levels with emphasis on changing legislation, funding, and policies that reinforce implicit bias and institutional racism.
  • We continue our DEAI work through the lens of professional development for arts administrators in Pittsburgh. This has included a monthly lunch-and-learn series, free DEAI training for arts organizations, and past leadership of the Network for Arts Administrators of Color Pittsburgh chapter.
  • We will provide objective and valuable data and research in regards to DEAI in the Pittsburgh arts community. Our "Racial Equity in Arts Funding in Greater Pittsburgh'' report confirmed "the overall picture is one of continuing disparities in funding by race" in our region. However, more actionable work is needed to make these data points valuable. Therefore, we continue to use this report as a foundation for on-the-ground work that facilitates opportunities to connect businesses, individuals, and funders with people of color in Greater Pittsburgh.
  • We will increase accessibility to the arts for people with disabilities in the region. This is a long term commitment that focuses on increasing arts access for audiences, employees, volunteers, and artists with disabilities. Examples of this work include our Access Microfund and free access to shared accessibility equipment.