A special thanks to our colleagues at the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and Grantmakers in the Arts whose work informed some of the definitions in this glossary.
ALAANA (African, Latin American, Asian, Arab, Native-American): This is an acronym for Asian, Latina/o/x/e, African, Arab, and Native American intended to be inclusive of any individual, culture, community, or arts organization from these racial/ethnic identity groups. The term intentionally names these broad racial and ethnic identities rather than grouping them under the more generic term “people of color.” Source: Grantmakers in the Arts.
Arts and Culture organization: Not-for-profit based groups that provide as their primary mission regular cultural programs or services, which may include producing or presenting a series or regular program of performances, educational programming, exhibitions, media presentations, festivals, readings, or literary publications. Producing is a primary focus on direct creation, production, performance or exhibition of arts; presenting is a primary focus on organizing, selecting or curating and contracting a series, season or festival of performances or events created by other artists and producing groups.
Not-for-profit organizations that include arts and culture as a primary and major focus of a larger mission may apply, if their larger mission is centered in serving a specific cultural group.
BIPOC: An acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous and people of color. The term is meant to unite all people of color while acknowledging that Black and Indigenous people face different and often more severe forms of racial oppression and cultural erasure as consequences of systemic white supremacy and colonialism. Source: diversitystyleguide.com
BIPOC/ALAANA-centered organization: an organization with a mission and programming that is explicitly reflective of a community or communities of color, and where the board, staff, artists, and collaborators, include a significant representation of that community. A BIPOC/ALAANA-centered organization is defined by the following organizational characteristics:
- Primary mission, intentions, and practices are BY, FOR, and ABOUT art, heritages, histories, cultures and communities of colors.
- Executive Leader (Executive Director, Managing Director, Producing Artistic Director, CEO, President) identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA.
- Board is at least 60% BIPOC/ALAANA-identifying individuals, per the definition above.
- Staff is at least 60% BIPOC/ALAANA-identifying individuals, per the definition above.
Culturally specific organization: A culturally specific organization serves a particular cultural community and is founded, led by, and staffed with people who are members of that community.
These nonprofits and community-based organizations help people thrive by starting on a foundation of shared cultural identities, histories, languages, and experiences. Often beginning as grassroots efforts, these organizations remain embedded in the fabric of their communities as they grow. Source: Community Foundation of Southwest Washington.
Diverse: composed of distinct qualities and characteristics; age, color, ethnicity, ancestry, sex, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, citizenship status and other characteristics that make individuals unique.
Equity: The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
Fiscal Sponsorship: An organization that fits RISCA’s definition of a nonprofit organization that accepts a grant on behalf of the sponsored organization and is financially, administratively, and programmatically responsible for all conditions of the grant. The Fiscal Sponsor is also responsible for signing any grant documents and ensuring that the sponsored organization follows the rules of the grant program and submits its final report.
Geographic Community: the people who live in the place (neighborhood, town, or city) in which your organization in physically located, as well as the geography and character of the place. If your organization doesn't have a physical location, this would be the place in which you most frequently offer programming. Descriptions of the people in the community could include demographic and geographic makeup, including information about relevant socioeconomic factors, as well as diversity of age, ethnicity, race, gender, ability, education, etc. Descriptions of the geography and character could include discussion of relevant history, physical features that define the community (e.g., rivers, streets), community institutions and resources, and density (e.g., urban, rural).
Inclusion: The act of creating an environment in which every person feels welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming place embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people, where each person is able to share the full spectrum of their humanity and be seen and heard without fear.
Institutional Racism: Institutional racism, or systemic racism, describes societal patterns and structures that impose oppressive or otherwise negative conditions on identifiable groups on the basis of race or ethnicity (wikipedia.com). It is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues (thoughtco.com). In arts and culture funding, institutional racism has led to the historic exclusion and undervaluing of BIPOC/ALAANA communities and individuals, and an inequitable distribution of philanthropic dollars. To learn more, see the study Not Just Money: Where is the Money Going? by the Helicon Collaborative.
Nonprofit Organization: Is incorporated in and conducting business in the State of Rhode Island, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, registered with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, governed by a revolving board of directors, trustees or advisory board drawn from the community at large and shown to be actively involved in the governance of the organization.
Organizational Community: the people who comprise the audiences or communities your organization engages through their programming. This community should include audience members, artists, students, and other groups that are significant to the organization. Descriptions of the community could include demographic and geographic makeup, including information about relevant socioeconomic factors, as well as diversity of age, ethnicity, race, gender, ability, education, etc.
Underserved communities. The National Endowment for the Arts defines “underserved” communities as “ones in which individuals lack access to arts programs due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, or disability.” This definition may include BIPOC/ALAANA communities, people with disabilities, immigrant groups, rural populations, aging populations, people living in poverty, people experiencing houselessness, incarcerated populations, communities recovering from trauma or disaster, and military service members and veterans. Please note that in accordance with the NEA’s definition, age alone does not qualify a community as underserved.
Underserved Community-Centered Organization: an organization with a mission and programming that is explicitly reflective of a community defined as underserved by the NEA, and where the board, staff, artists, and collaborators, include a significant representation of that community. An Underserved Community-Centered organization is defined by the following organizational characteristics:
- Primary mission, intentions, and practices are BY, FOR, and ABOUT art, heritages, histories, and cultures of a particular underserved community.
- Executive Leader (Executive Director, Managing Director, Producing Artistic Director, CEO, President) identifies as a member of the underserved community who is the focus of the organization’s mission.
- Board is at least 60% individuals who identify as a member of the underserved community who is the focus of the organization’s mission.
- Staff is at least 60% individuals who identify as a member of the underserved community who is the focus of the organization’s mission.