This was a great essay. I am a grant writer and I’m always conflicted when working with these organizations. Arts orgs simply don’t understand or connect need to the appropriate populations. They are indeed truly White spaces and I’ve even been told on more than one occasion that if programming changed to include more “diversity” in programming, staffing, and patronage some high value donors would stop giving. The Arts community’s hands are tied. Like you, I go out of my way to find community’s of color providing art that moves my spirit. I don’t mind paying for something I want to see, but the arts community as it often does not appeal to patrons of color. Diversity is more than just having tokens on boards. People don’t want to go where they aren’t wanted, respected, and can’t be heard. The arts community like the nonprofit sector has a White privilege problem. Children of color are often used as token charity cases to rake in dollars.

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