Surveying the Landscape of Equity

American Asian Performing Arts Theatre © 2011 Gary Gao
American Asian Performing Arts Theatre © 2011 Gary Gao
American Asian Performing Arts Theatre © 2011 Gary Gao
American Asian Performing Arts Theatre © 2011 Gary Gao

King County is amazingly diverse—the south end of Seattle alone is home to at least 59 different spoken languages. At one point, the 98118 zip code was heralded as the most diverse in the entire country, though it later turned out (to the embarrassment of a few journalists) the Census Bureau doesn’t actually track things that way (there’s an excellent article about this at Grist.org).  But while we may not know the exact diversity of any particular zip code, it’s clear that people who blithely talk about the homogeneity of the Puget Sound region are people who don’t get out of their own neighborhoods.

King County Ordinance 16948, also known as the Equity and Social Justice Ordinance, seeks to “increase fairness and opportunity for all people, particularly people of color, low-income communities and people with limited English proficiency” (for more information, go to King County’s website here). 4Culture believes many arts and heritage organizations already strive to make their services accessible and relevant to these populations. To learn more about this, we’ve launched a survey that all of our Arts and Heritage Sustained Support recipients are required to fill out to help us learn more. If you are a Sustained Support group who still needs to fill out the survey, please contact Bret Fetzer.

4Culture’s Sustained Support program is meant to provide a base level of stability to arts and heritage organizations to help them sustain operations and broad access. We know that these organizations strive to welcome every patron who comes through their door and that many are already stepping outside of their own facilities and neighborhoods to connect with audiences around the county.  We want to know the details—the how and what and where—of the efforts arts and heritage organizations are already making towards the goal of equal access for all citizens (or as much detail as will fit into this brief survey!). We hope that this survey may also help raise awareness of ways that organizations can make their work more accessible and potentially reach new audiences.

We understand how busy our Sustained Support recipients are and we appreciate the time and thought of everyone who fills out the Equity and Social Justice survey. If you have any questions or feedback about the survey, please contact Bret Fetzer.