To the ASLD Community,
We find it difficult this week to write to you as we normally would. Instead, we're reaching out to express our solidarity with the Black community and to affirm that Black Lives Matter, in our art community and beyond. We know we can do more—and better, but we still want to share what we already do with tremendous support from a large team of individuals, who are donors, members, staff, faculty, and volunteers in our leadership.
Art in Prison program
reaffirms the humanity of incarcerated people by providing them with tools for creativity and self-expression, and in doing so it mitigates the injustice of the US prison system.
Diversity in the Arts Internship program
that we co-organize creates leadership opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds and pays them while doing so — breaking patterns of labor exploitation against people of color, LGBTQ people, and others who are disenfranchised.
Art School program
in partnership with The Gathering Place reaches women and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty and homelessness, and includes technique-focused courses, including the business of art for those looking to earn a living wage.
Members of our staff committee for
(Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access) are receiving more training to become experts at responding to
, to make sure that we respond in real-time to the small comments and actions that can make our studios feel unsafe and unwelcoming.
We know that these programs are just the beginning; they should be improved and amplified. Our staff is dedicated to building the principles of J•E•D•I•A into all of our work. Our goal is to be a welcoming place for Black artists in every generation to share and create, and we believe that making ASLD a safe, diverse space makes it a better space.
If you would like to help us amplify these efforts, we want to hear from you. We could sometimes use a hand and we will continue to share our work in this area on a regular basis.
With great appreciation, reverence and respect,
The ASLD Team