Photo of Americans for the Arts Staff

Learning Labs - The Learning Lab is a set of internal committees, working groups, and trainings led by a volunteer staff working group designed to further goals related to organizational change. So far, this work as generated 35 staff-designed and presented workshops and trainings on issues ranging from diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) vocabulary to privilege and bias, conflict management, professional advancement, leadership, design thinking, and more.

Cultural Assessment – Americans for the Arts conducted an initial internal cultural assessment survey in 2015, and followed up with a second assessment in 2018. The Cultural Assessment covers general thoughts about the organization’s commitment to equity, staff dynamics, conflict management, mutual respect, transparency, and equal treatment.

  • The assessment shows a 59 percent jump in staff agreeing that decision-making processes within the organization are clearly communicated, a 25 percent increase in staff who indicate they feel comfortable discussing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion with fellow colleagues, and other signs of progress.
  • We continue to need to improve in terms of trust in leadership, feelings of mutual respect and understanding, and common and transparent standards and policies.
  • For a template of the questions asked on the 2018 Cultural Assessment, please email [email protected].

Values and Behaviors – As part of our ongoing staff engagement, a committee drawn from across the organization developed “Values Leading to Behaviors,” a document that lays out five organizational values adopted by both board and staff, as well as the specific behaviors that embody them, and a “Staff Agreements” document, which outlines the shared agreements we have made with each other. These document have been translated into our annual review process and into our day-to-day work in meetings and interactions.