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Racial Equity in Arts Leadership (REAL) Learning Cohort seeks to engage arts leaders in conversations about racial equity in the arts ecosystem. REAL is meant to cultivate a shared learning space for participants to learn and practice new language about race, and to think through larger issues of systematic and institutional racism. The ultimate goal of the REAL Learning Cohort is to foster change within one's own practice and institution that will ripple into the arts ecosystem and everything it touches.

Selected REAL cohort members will have the opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 to implement racial equity related projects within their institution or selected community during 2022. Full guidelines will be released by January 2022.

REAL participants are required to attend all sessions with full support from their organization. This includes appropriate time off to attend the weekly midday sessions held on Fridays. REAL is adopting a hybrid model with both virtual and in-person meetings. Please note that attendance may affect future awards. There is no cost for participation in the program unless participants would like to bring additional colleagues to the training facilitated by Crossroads.

We expect all members of the REAL Community to adhere to the following commitments of engagement

We Agree To:

1) Practice active & empathetic listening

2) Make this a safe place for honest & thoughtful dialogue

3) Challenge the idea, not the person

4) Be both teachers & learners

5) Take space & make space

6) Stories stay, lessons leave

7) Use “I” statements

8) Respect who has the floor

9) Be here now

We Will Challenge Ourselves To:

1) Practice kindness & tolerance

2) Have an open mind

3) Embrace discomfort

4) Trust intent & name impact

5) Be honest with ourselves & others

6) Acknowledge we all have blind spots

7) Acknowledge judgments & assumptions (including our own)

8) Accept that things may remain unresolved; we might not feel a sense of closure

9) Be present for each other

Workshop sessions will take place on Fridays from 10 AM to 12 PM. 12 PM to 1 PM is reserved for a networking lunch hour. The dates are not flexible, however weekly topics are subject to change. Most in-person meetings will be held at The Curb Center at Vanderbilt University (1801 Edgehill Avenue).ImageImage

FY 22 Racial Equity in Arts Leadership (REAL) Schedule


• 9/17/2021: “Art of Healing” Show Opening, Curb Center

• 9/24/2021 - Week 1: Welcome to REAL

• 10/1/2021 - Week 2: Beginning Together, Building Community, and Establishing a Dialogue

10/2/2021 - Mandatory Saturday Crossroads Training Part 1 (Virtual)

Racial Equity

• 10/8/2021 - Week 3: Bias

• 10/15/2021 - Week 4: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Art

• 10/22/2021 - Week 5: Intersectionality

• 10/29/2021 - Week 6: Representation and Storytelling

• 11/5/2021 - Week 7: Representation and Identity

• 11/12/2021 - Week 8: Healing and Trauma

Racial Equity and Arts Leadership

• 11/19/2021 - Week 9: Equity in the Arts: Arts Leadership

• 12/3/2021 - Week 10: Equity in the Arts: Artists

• 12/10/2021 - Creating a Culture for Diverse Leadership

Arts Leadership

• 1/7/2022 - Week 12 Navigating Challenges in Organizations

• 1/14/2022 - Week 13: Arts Entrepreneurship

• 1/21/2022- Week 14: Arts Policy

• 1/28/2022 - Week 15: Art Thinking

Putting into Practice to Enact Change

• 2/4/2022 - Week 16: Community Engagement and the Arts

• 2/11/2022 - Week 17: The Native Population in Nashville

• 2/18/2022 - Week 18: Literary Symposium: REAL Alumni Collective Presentation

• Spring TBD - Crossroads Training Part Two: Understanding and Analyzing Systemic Racism 2.5 Day Training

If selected for the cohort, each participant will receive reading materials in advance of each session.

Each cohort member must agree to participate in program evaluation, and if interested, will support future programs and sessions related to race, class, and gender inequity for other cultural organizations.

Please contact Program Coordinator Natalie Alfaro Frazier with any additional questions at Natalie.AlfaroFrazier@Nashville.gov.

Fill out the application and press submit by Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 5:00 PM. 

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.