What does justice in the arts and culture sector look like?
On Friday, August 30th, I will talk about examples of injustice and justice in the arts and culture sector in our region. The key source for this talk are based on a report released earlier this year by the Regional Arts Commission. While the data from the report is compelling, the numbers cannot convey why, only what. I believe the catalyst for inequity in the arts is based on sociological factors, which makes it seem intractable. If injustice is the uneven distribution of resources that benefit the privileged few, then justice, presumably, is finding a way to get resources in the hands of the many. I don’t think that is an adequate measure to achieve justice nor do I think it is that simple.
The arts are reflection of what we value in St. Louis. If we attempted to quantify what we value in the region, then the RAC report suggests that certain art forms are more valuable to St. Louisans than others. One could even argue that the level of support enjoyed by some indicates impact. My talk this Friday will critique those assertions and state that the levels of support indicate how invested St. Louisans are in the stratification of art forms based on the taste of the privileged. Furthermore, art forms that are categorized as high brow or low brow advantage some and disadvantage others. Lastly, the institutions that enjoy incredible financial support may need to consider if they are maintaining a safe space for problematice views of art and artists.
My talk should run about 30 minutes or so with a question and answer session to follow. Some video of the talk should be available in the days or weeks to follow. Get your free ticket at creativemornings.com/talk/mk-stallings.