Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion at ACA
Arlington Center for the Arts recognizes the importance and urgency of strengthening our commitment to social justice. The disproportionate human and economic toll of the pandemic are directly linked to centuries of systemic racial injustice we must confront and combat as individuals and as a community of learners. Recent developments in the fight for an equitable society reinforce our continued introspection and inform our practices moving forward.
We have drafted new language around accessibility to our facilities, obtaining accommodations and modifications to our curriculum, produced a new equity statement, overhauled our hiring practices with Arlington’s DEI coordinator, created identity and activism centered programming for all ages, increased children and teen programming, expanded our free offerings, hired our most diverse cohort of new teaching artists, initiated regular professional development to invest in our artists, and expanded our network to include collaborations with other community arts organizations in areas of need.
We remain immensely proud of how the ACA community has responded to the unprecedented disruptions we are all experiencing. From our administration
and teaching artists who work tirelessly to plan for a variety of contingencies, to our board, community, and others who have generously donated to our non-profit, to students and families who are trusting us to deliver on our mission of “transforming lives and building community through the arts,” you all have demonstrated your commitment to Arlington Center for the Arts’ future.
Below please find resources and references pertaining to ACA's commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.
Arlington Center for the Arts is pleased to be accepted as a member of the Mass Cultural Council's Universal Participation Innovative Learning Network 2022 Cohort. Part of the Universal Participation (UP) Initiative, the Innovation Learning Network (ILN) brings together 10-12 diverse organizations for peer learning sessions that include workshops focused on Universal Design and accessibility practices. The key objective of the ILN is to increase public participation in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences by activating a disability lens on institutional systems of community engagement, policy development, and inclusive design.
Solidarity with Our Asian Community
The surge of harassment and violence against Asian Americans in the United States is disturbing. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, racist language and misinformation used to describe the pandemic’s origin appear to be fueling the hate crime surge. We at Arlington Center for the Arts are angered by these hate crimes and denounce this racism and violence.
We must commit ourselves to taking care of one another and holding each other accountable. We must continue to educate ourselves in order to better combat violence against specific, marginalized communities. It is important for us to center our focus and amplify the voices of Asian Americans and the Asian diaspora.
Here are some accounts of individuals and organizations who helped supplement our knowledge and are amplifying voices of Asian Americans.
Education, occupational training and social services for Asian Americans
Massachusetts’s commission on Asian American affairs and betterment of Asian American communities
Empowering Asian and Pacific Islander Americans through education, leadership and active participation in civic and public affairs.
Town of Arlington’s Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee
Volunteer committee upholding the Equal Opportunity program to prevent discriminatory employment practices
Assisting Arlington’s community coordinator actively working towards a more equitable, inclusive Arlington
National membership organization dedicated to expanding and mobilizing philanthropic and community resources for underserved AAPI communities to build a more just and equitable society
Helping Japanese immigrants and their families, who currently reside in New England, and address problems they encounter in their lives
Arlington-based organization established for the purpose of “performing education, culture, welfare, charity, and other activities and encouraging mutual friendship” for Japanese people in the area.
Empowering Indian Americans in Greater Boston
A grassroots community organization working for full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community in Greater Boston and beyond.
Please share these resources and let us know of any other Asian American organizations, organizers, and resources working towards social justice. Arlington Center for the Arts does not and will not tolerate or engage with any xenophobia, racism, or ant-Asian ignorance.
Arlington Center for the Arts would like to acknowledge and honor the stolen ancestral land of the Massachusett and Pawtucket Tribes on which our organization is located. We understand the longstanding history that brought us to inhabit this space today. Like countless other Indigenous peoples affected by colonization, the Massachusett and Pawtucket people were and continue to be displaced by settlers on this land. We recognize the violent history of genocide and forced removal of Indigenous peoples across these lands. Simultaneously, we understand how these events directly perpetuate today’s systemic and cultural injustices. Today, Indigenous Peoples throughout Massachusetts continue to celebrate their heritage, empower generations of Native Americans, generously share their artistry and culture with the broader community, and advance public knowledge and awareness of their history, traditions, and current social issues.
We understand that this land acknowledgement is a small step towards building a stronger community of awareness, respect, and accountability, but does not sufficiently account for the injustices and violence inflicted on our Indigenous community members. We commit to a lifetime of learning, honoring and reconciling the legacies and experiences of Indigenous Peoples and their communities.
As a community, we would like to encourage our supporters to practice land acknowledgment and to honor the land and celebrate the strength of Indigenous peoples. Furthermore, we advise our community members to:
Learn about Indigenous histories, contemporary cultural events and issues, people and organizations.
Support Indegenous organizations by donating time and/or money.
Support Indigenous-led, grassroots movements and campaigns advocating for change and land return.
Build authentic relationships with Indigenous Peoples
Accessing Our Facility: The Maple Street entrance is wheelchair accessible and has a round driveway for easy drop offs. There are two ADA accessible parking spaces along Maple Street if you need to park. When you enter the building, turn left and go down the hallway for the elevator to the 3rd floor. Our bathrooms on the 3rd floor have wheelchair accessible stalls. The elevator to our 4th floor is located inside our 3rd floor office suites. Please call a week in advance so we may best assist you in utilizing our 4th floor elevator.
Deaf/Hearing Impaired Resources: If you are considering taking an online class with us, we can provide closed captioning accommodations as
needed. Please email our Education and Programs Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need accommodations.
If you have any questions regarding accessibility of any of our programming and events, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or by phone at 781-684-6220.
Black Lives Matter
The Arlington Center for the Arts stands with the BIPOC community today and everyday. As we continue our mission to transform lives and build community through the arts, we must call attention to the injustices within that community and serve as a source of empowerment for all artists. Artists often call on society to think differently and to change the way we see ourselves and others and we are proud to provide a venue for that dialogue.
The ACA is committed to continue to amplify the voices of artists, including those most marginalized by societal inequalities. We also recognize there is more work to be done to ensure equitable access to our artistic programs, opportunities, and resources. Black lives matter and we encourage our community to stand with us in support of the BIPOC community.
Arlington Center for the Arts makes an intentional effort to center access, equity, and inclusivity as we expand our artistic, administrative, leadership, and instructional teams. We recognize this is an effort we needed to put into practice long ago. We are actively educating ourselves and strategizing to uphold more equitable practices from here on out. Historical and institutional barriers have a significant impact on who has had access to what opportunities. At the ACA, we believe these marginalized communities must be centered in our work. With this in mind, ACA strongly encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds including people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, intergenerational voices, people of varying abilities and other marginalized communities to apply to any opportunities that my interest them.