Americans for the Arts’ offices will be closed this Friday in recognition of Juneteenth, a day which marks the liberation of the last slaves in the United States on June 19, 1865–two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Staff will be using this day to better inform ourselves of the historical significance of Juneteenth and to reflect on the systems of racial injustice that have been set in this country for centuries. We urge you and your organizations to also use this day to learn, reflect, and take action.
In addition, Americans for the Arts is supporting our staff by matching donations to Black Lives Matter and other anti-racism nonprofit organizations and is encouraging additional education by providing resources and books leading to a living library for the staff. In the coming weeks, our organization is convening our elected advisory groups and our board of directors to strengthen our efforts. As we grow as an anti-racist organization, we are committed to engaging and centering BIPOC leaders in our work.
We thank all of you for the transformative work you are doing in your communities at what is proving to be a watershed moment in our nation’s history. We look forward to updating you on our progress through this work.