Addressing Anti-Black Racism in the Arts

CARFAC Ontario stands in solidarity with the Black community across Turtle Island in sharing grief and outrage at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and far too many other Black Americans and Canadians at the hands of the police. 

In the arts sector, CARFAC Ontario acknowledges the history of systemic and institutional racism and white supremacy that has, and continues to, disproportionately exclude Black artists. We recognize that many systems in place are not designed to engage or support Black artists, and perpetually fail the Black community. At the same time we acknowledge that CARFAC Ontario has participated in, and actively contributed to upholding, these systems.  

This new decade has brought with it new strategic directions for our organization. CARFAC Ontario is committed to working to change antiquated systems, and to work in collaboration with Black artists and the Black community to advance equity and increase representation of Black artists in the sector. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Prioritizing advocacy led by, in collaboration with, and intended to improve outcomes for Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of colour. This means focusing on improving cultural infrastructure and increasing equity through changes to public arts funding systems, gallery representation, and, in an arts context, addressing systemic issues like inequalities of income, housing, employment, education, amongst other domains;
  • Highlighting research pertaining to the representation of BIPOC artists within the sector;
  • Developing and expanding programs and initiatives such as high-access legal support, mentorship, resources and publications, and outreach for BIPOC artists and communities.

We know that the arts has the capacity, and indeed, the responsibility, to address systemic inequalities, and must be a leader in creating a more just society. CARFAC Ontario is positioned and prepared to contribute to this leadership.

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