Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development

For centuries, low-income and communities of color have employed arts and culture to navigate and survive systemic racism and oppression. These strategies are essential to the holding of collective memory, healing, and liberation of the promise in us all. PolicyLink utilizes arts and culture as both a strategy and core value for an equitable society.

Arts and culture can activate, centralize, and amplify the voice and reach of the 100 million people living in or near poverty to accelerate equity for themselves and the nation. PolicyLink lifts up and magnifies arts and culture as both a core component and approach to equitable development and movement-building.

We Advocate, Support, Learn, and Reflect Back

These efforts span the full breadth and depth of PolicyLink work, touching health, infrastructure, equitable economy, workforce development, and every issue in our portfolio. Read our framing paper to learn more about moving equitable development policy across multiple sectors — aided by the use of arts and culture practices. 

In addition, through three distinct bodies of work, we are working to advance, research, and support the growing national community of practice that is steering public resources to embed these values into the transformation of neighborhoods, cities, and regions: With generous support from The Kresge Foundation, the Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development (ACED) Initiative utilizes arts and culture methods to support equitable policy change in six places across the country; as the research and documentation partner for ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investments (CDI) initiative, we learn and reflect back to the field the processes of how non-arts organizations are integrating arts and culture to help achieve their community development goals; and in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), we are co-creating and assessing a creative placemaking technical assistance pilot for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town program and The Kresge Foundation's creative placemaking program.