Case Study: Diversity Office
“We just created a Diversity Office in our organization because we’ve noticed the demographics of our staff and our clients are changing. Where do we start?”
Situation: A municipal agency that provides grants for artists and arts groups embarks on a program to reach out to culturally diverse populations. They brought us in to guide an investigation into their grant and communications processes. This investigation aimed to ensure equitability-managed policies and practices were in place. As well, to identify if they were responsive to the needs of locally and culturally diverse populations.
What We Did: Our consulting team set up a consultation process that included culturally diverse community members already familiar with the agency to reflect on what was working and what needs improvement in the policies and practices. CFRAC’s consulting also provided a facilitated engagement with grassroots artists from ethno-cultural communities who have had trouble in the past accessing the organization’s programs or were simply unaware of the agency. The methodology was community-based and networked some of the agency’s leadership with community groups to have direct conversations on the arts, access to grants and the needs of emerging and non-mainstream practitioners. Our consulting services also reviewed policies and researched best practices for working with culturally diverse populations in community arts funding across Canada.
Benefits of the Process: At the end of the consultation, our team provided the agency with a comprehensive report detailing advice for changes and improvements in the outreach, communications and grants processes. We presented this report to a community advisory committee that took the recommendations to the agency’s leadership.
The recommendations influenced policy updates and new grant possibilities that addressed some gaps in working with local ethno-cultural communities. Perhaps most importantly, the agency developed stronger relationships with ethno-cultural artists and community groups by facilitating and brokering from our team. While the information provided via the investigation was valuable for harmonizing policy with current best practices, the stronger ties with the community accessing services were invaluable.