An online resource for employers and practitioners to explore diversity in the arts
This idea was inspired at NPAC/TCG Conference Denver 2008. I've been spit-balling with many colleagues, most of all, Kimiko Shimoda who runs our FAIR program. I'd love to get your feedback. Do we need something like this? How could this model be improved? What's missing? What's great about this model? Personal thought and observations are vital at this stage. Thanks for your help!!!
This is a direct response to conversations about issues of diversity for arts organizations including inclusion, recruitment and retention.
The National Diversity in the Arts Information Bank (NDAIB-horrible acronym!) is an online resource for organizations and individuals looking to improve their efforts in either hiring a more diverse work force or find organizations looking to hire a more diverse workforce. It is not a job placement site. It is a user generated site that connects people with tools and information that already exist in order to build a more diverse and sustainable field. The information is all opt-in. That means that individuals would only report as much information about themselves as they wished. The site would be key word searchable so people could look for others like themselves working in the business or organizations that were working in certain veins for example. It has 4 major components.
These are profiles created by arts organizations. They can include basic demographic data, a narrative of their diversity efforts, action plans, programs and strategic efforts that are already in place (ex. OSF FAIR or the OSF diversity council) as well as grants or other awards being used to work on diversity within the organization. This section provides organizations with working models to learn from, gives individuals seeking employment important information about places they might like to work, and promotes the good work organizations are already involved in.
These are profiles created by individuals who are already working in the field. They can include pictures, bios in narrative form, biographical information in list form, resumes, and even blogs. These would be opt-in format, the individuals would be able to report as much or as little information about themselves as they wished. There would be drop down menus so people could use language from the site to describe the areas of the arts they worked in (ex. Development, stage operations, acting, etc) as well as the areas of diversity they belong to (i.e. gender, differently-abled, ethnic information, geographical locations, etc). Instead of “other” categories” there would be places to write in your own descriptions if none of the words were accurate for the individual (ex. Instead of identifying as “black” a person might want to identify as “brown skinned” and there should be room for that. This section taps into social networks that are already in place, provides individuals with successful examples to emulate, and promotes the good work individuals are already doing.
This would include links to service organizations, funders, job banks, articles of interest, conferences, etc. There’s already incredible work being done in the area and this is the place to see all the places it can be accessed.
This would be place for people to connect and communicate. People could ask for advice, discuss issues, suggest links for the tool box section, or bring up other useful information.