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ArtsBuild affirms its commitment to recognizing, addressing and eradicating systemic racism and inequity. We are still learning as we focus our energy on engaging and collaborating with the local arts community in arts grant-making, arts programming and arts advocacy work. We will continue to use our work to reduce racial injustices both within the arts sector and the broader community. We know that the arts can heal as well as help us to understand and connect with each other.

We are united in the pursuit to end racial and ethnic bias as we endeavor to support more arts in more places for more people by:

  • Continuing to make our grant-making programs more equitable;
  • Using our “ArtsBuild in the Community” project to connect with communities that have been under-resourced when it comes to arts programming and grant-making;
  • Providing racial equity training to arts organizations and educating ourselves;
  • Using our mapping project to focus our programs and funding in under-served areas;
  • Engaging our grantees with assistance in building more representative boards and staff;
  • Empowering the “Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child” initiative to advocate for equitable arts education for all Hamilton County Schools students;
  • Listening and taking action when people and or communities tell us we can do more or better.

ArtsBuild's Report on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Racial Equity Grants for Individual Artists (REGIA)

The Racial Equity Grant for Individual Artists (REGIA) program renews grant-funded support for artists of color, building upon ArtsBuild’s Equity in the Arts grant program active in 2017 and 2018 and funded by Benwood Foundation. Equity in the Arts grants supported projects led by local Black and Latino artists.

The new REGIA grant program strives to support the work of diverse artists that are reflective of our community and is aimed at providing more racially equitable grant funding in our community. The program is for artists who identify as one or more identity groups: Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian, Black or African-American, Hispanic/Latino(a)(x), Indigenous (e.g., Native American, Pacific Islander). Each year a different group will be prioritized for grant funding. Award amounts will be up to $10,000.

Grant funding is made available in three funding categories: Artist Works, Equipment, and Professional Development. Funding for the new program is provided by individual donors, Lyndhurst Foundation, Benwood Foundation, and Footprint Foundation.

Visit our Grant Making page to learn more about the REGIA grantees.

Racial Equity Learning Group

In 2020, ArtsBuild and Arts Forward partnered to create a Learning Lab, a forum intended to share mixed media resources and host arts community panels, workshops, and community dialogues around various topics for the purpose of fostering an inclusive, diverse, successful, and sustainable arts community in Chattanooga. While future Learning Labs are not currently scheduled, you can access past Learning Lab Content on its webpage.

Racial Equity Training and Consulting

ArtsBuild has partnered with Donivan Brown to offer ongoing racial equity consulting to our mission support funded organizations. This consulting arrangement allows organizations to explore systemic and structural equity concerns in programming, policies, community engagement, recruitment, advancement, and governance.

Racial Equity Resources

ArtsBuild is committed to using our role as a funder, convener, and advocate to further racial justice. We commit to listening to the honest comments and critiques. We commit to using our resources (and finding new resources) to provide opportunities for training, reflection, and solutions for the artists and cultural partners we serve. We want a better, more inclusive Chattanooga and we know the arts play a leading role.

Information about how to report discrimination in Chattanooga and Tennessee:


Please review and share this list we compiled of Racial Equity Resources. Feel free to suggest additional resources by emailing us!

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Want to Know More About Racial Equity in the Arts?

Sign up for our e-newsletter and we will keep you informed.

Want to Know More About the Arts?

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