A core value of KCYA is that every child, regardless of their race, ethnicity, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or zip code, deserves the transformational spark the arts ignite.
As an organization that brings arts education to students from all parts of the Kansas City community, we recognize that our work exists within systems that perpetuate inequities, biases, stereotypes, and racism. We strongly believe that the arts are powerful tools to remove barriers of inequality.
We know that the health, vitality, and ultimate success of KCYA is dependent upon the participation of people from a variety of ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds at all levels of the organization. We have made a long-term commitment to maintain and increase diversity in the student populations we serve, the membership of our board, our staff, our programs, and teaching artists, while fostering an inclusive organizational culture that places equal value on people. We recognize that efforts to advance these policies and practices must be an evolving and ongoing process to have a sustained and meaningful impact.
KCYA is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging (DEIAB) practices in all areas of our work.
Specific strategies we have initiated to advance these goals include:
- Monitoring the racial and ethnic mix of KCYA board, staff, teaching artist rosters, and student populations.
- Hiring an independent consultant to assess, provide training, and facilitate workshops focusing on strategies to understand, evaluate, and improve DEIAB practices across our work.
- Targeting diversity as a primary criterion in nominations to the KCYA board.
- Highlighting programs representing diverse cultures in KCYA materials.
With the understanding that our path ahead is a shared endeavor, KCYA is committed to ongoing and collaborative learning opportunities for board, staff, and teaching artists, to continually improve understanding, communication, program quality, and capacity. We are closely examining our own systems and biases to understanding how barriers to DEIAB show up both operationally and programmatically. There is much more to do to ground our organization in equity. Please join us.