Everything about the arts is culturally based. You’ve probably heard me say this before but, art has the power to change the world. With this being said, the issue of accessibility should always be looked at and addressed. If something has the power to change the world but can’t reach the world, then what’s the point?
This last week I had the privilege to attend the Dallas Cultural Plan Steering Committee Meeting at the Latino Cultural Center. A strategic cultural plan has been designed to “create a more vibrant cultural community in Dallas.”
A three-phase process has been put in place. Phase one is Research and Engagement, so the residents of Dallas can be heard about arts and culture in their city. Phase two is Understand and Assess to see which neighborhoods need to be targeted. And phase three is Draft and Redefine in order to get the plan just right.
The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs is the leader of this endeavor. They have different sectors for all of the arts to represent the needs for this plan. They are collaborating to come up with the best ideas to ensure art and cultural is being shared to everyone.
In this meeting we discussed topics like artist housing, spaces to experience art, broadened definitions of ‘art’ and culture’, harnessing the value of neighborhoods while preserving the culture of the neighborhoods, and so much more. It was all so inspiring! I felt like I was caught in a whirlwind of a Dallas revolution. But, there was one thing missing…diversity in that very room.
As I sat in the meeting, I couldn’t help but notice that majority of the room looked the same. There were a few minorities here and there but everyone was at least 35 and up.
These amazing people have dedicated their careers and lives to the arts. Many of them have put in 20+ years to get to those seats. But still, a little more diversity could aid in those gaps. So many questions were tossed around and so many topics were not touched on because of a lack of diversity.
So, minorities and young people, stop waiting to climb the ladder and get involved. The arts need you more than ever. And to the people hiring, take a chance on someone who doesn’t look like you, it WILL pay off and will only make you MORE successful.
I believe that Dallas has the ability to reach these new heights. Not only in the plan but within their own committees too. It takes accountability on both parties before we start to see change. Be the one who transforms what we know as the norm. As always, I am hopeful.
To learn more about the Dallas Cultural Plan visit http://dallasculturalplan.com
Visit and get involved!