Like many others in our community and around the world, we have spent December and January reflecting on our impact and how we can best support the WNY arts community during this difficult time. In 2020, we dedicated our monthly features to highlighting organizations across our region that are making significant strides toward greater accessibility, equity, and inclusion in their work. As we mentioned in our December Accessibility in the Arts Recap blog post, we know there are many others doing great work who we did not have the opportunity to highlight, but we value your work and hope you will continue working with us toward becoming more accessible, equitable, and inclusive.
The fight against social injustice that rose onto the international stage in 2020 implored us to find a way to help amplify the voices of marginalized communities and artists who aren’t regularly featured in the mainstream media. That is why we are adjusting the focus of our 2021 monthly features to highlight arts and cultural organizations, collectives, and individual artists representing the following communities:
- February – Black and African American
- March – Women
- April – Mental Health and Veterans
- May – Refugees, Immigrants, and New Americans
- June – LGBTQIA+
- July – Rural Arts and Artists
- August – Youth and Seniors
- September – Hispanic Arts and Heritage
- October – Neurodiverse and Differently Abled
- November – Native Art and Culture
- December – Spiritual Arts
Features are written the month prior to release. If you would like to be interviewed for one of our features, complete this form stating which month’s feature you would like to be part of and why your work fits with the theme. We are happy to feature as many artists and arts organizations as we have time to process. However, our staff capacity is limited, so we cannot guarantee we will be able to feature everyone who is interested.
If you are an individual artist and you miss a feature or are not sure if you fit into these themes, you can still submit samples of your work to be included in our twice-weekly Show Us Your Art social media features. Our goal is to highlight as many different artists as possible to showcase the incredible work being done in our community, as well as help boost visibility and support for Western New York’s many talented artists.
As we move into 2021, we encourage organizations to continue working toward a more accessible, equitable, and inclusive community. It is incumbent upon us as leaders in our communities to seek new ways our spaces can be available to and serve everyone, especially those who are often left behind, unheard, or ignored. We look forward to continuing these conversations with arts leaders from across Western New York and working to improve our community for everyone who lives here.