Message to Our Community

Oasa DuVerney, Drawing for Protest Black Power Wave, 2017, graphite and neon ink on hand cut paper, yard sticks.

VisArts is passionate about our mission to transform individuals and communities through the visual arts, which begins with including, supporting, and partnering with our community. Since our founding in 1987, we’ve been committed to a vibrant, diverse, inclusive community that nurtures and embraces differences. We’re grateful to the artists, faculty, staff, board, Artist Advisory Council members, Center for Craft Studies Advisory Council members, volunteers, and visitors who believe unconditionally in the open exchange and expression of ideas.

Other the years, we’ve deepened our understanding of the complex web of inequities facing society and our organization and committed to building a new legacy of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility (DEIA). Our journey began several years ago with the creation of an Inclusion Committee, and we’re continually embedding DEIA principles into all aspects of VisArts work.

To help develop and implement a comprehensive DEIA plan, VisArts hired a consultant in 2021 to conduct an equity audit and provide DEIA training to staff and board. Through this initial work, we identified challenges and opportunities; increased efforts in recruitment and hiring practices to diversify faculty, staff, board, and council members; and began seeking partnerships with communities and organizations not historically connected to VisArts. This work continues today.

Ultimately, VisArts aims to:

  • Advance an internal culture that’s responsive to the needs and assets of diverse perspectives, and develop programs and policies to support our organization’s equity goals;
  • Improve opportunities for all community members to inform and access VisArts’ programs and services; and
  • Strengthen existing partnerships while building new, mutually beneficial connections with allies that have the resources, expertise, and perspectives to improve our programs, expand our reach, deepen our impact, and promote a more equitable community.