Working at the Arts Council of Princeton is meaningful because we are dedicated to the mission of building community through the arts. This lofty goal drives us. It also challenges us because there are folks that don’t believe we are a place for them.
We realize that every action we take is a signal to those around us. Whether setting a budget or posting to Instagram or deciding whom to call on next in a classroom, we are making public expressions about what and whom we value. Some of these actions are deliberately taken and some may be motivated unconsciously.
We recognize that when we say our core values center on diversity, equity, and inclusion, we also understand that we work in an institution that has a past – and present – bounded by biases. Making progress against internal and external systems of bias requires dedication from every one of us, because the system is made up of all of us – and the decisions, big and small, we make every day.
Standing for our values means committing daily to being institutionally and personally self-critical, vulnerable, and uncomfortable – all in the name of fostering real change and tangible progress toward a culture of inclusivity. Our work must be led by a preference for close listening, humble learning, and bold adaptation.
This is not easy work. We won’t ever be done. And we will all make mistakes. But we should all strive daily to make this a place where building communities through art is possible.