An Update on Our Equity Work

Like many organizations around the world, much of the past year at Carolina Performing Arts has been rooted in reflection and assessment: looking deeply at who we are, how we operate, and what we must do to be more fully in alignment with our core principles.

In late 2020, we committed to sharing updates about our racial equity work with our community. Despite our collective desire for immediate action, we know that lasting change comes from an informed, strategic path, and CPA is committed to doing the work to make that vision a reality, while taking appropriate action in the near term. 

In the past several months, we convened a staff equity working group, which is tasked with applying an equity lens to the evaluation of all areas of our work, including programming, event operations, and our role as an arts organization on UNC’s campus. Additionally, CPA is now engaged with an anti-racism and equity consultant to lead the organization in an equity-based culture change process. This individual brings with them a deep understanding of North Carolina and the arts and academic communities, making them particularly well-suited to CPA and our goals for this work. In February 2021, this consultant met with the entire staff to kick off our work together, before convening small groups for listening sessions in March, where individuals could share thoughts and feedback, and begin discussions about what CPA can and must do in order to be an organization whose principles and activities are actively anti-racist.

To anchor this process and guide our decisions, the working group has identified key priority areas for the organization as CPA engages with a global culture through stakeholder relationships, employment practices, and administrative practices. As Carolina Performing Arts continues this work, please know that our staff and leadership are committed to asking hard questions, exploring new ways of leading, making difficult choices, being transparent with our patrons and community and—most importantly—working to advance equity, accessibility, and belonging for all people.

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