The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City

The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City, JaNay Adgers in “Ain’t Misbehavin’” |  Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective, Shelter Project mural |  Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Collab Lab sensory inclusive classroom,
with Fiona Spence, member of artKIDTechs program, and Thomas Shaner with his “Pizza Dog” comic book about inclusion

Our Commitment to Cultural Equity

A core value of the Missouri Arts Council is to celebrate Missouri’s cultural richness and diversity. All Missourians benefit from public investments in the arts. To support a full creative life for all, the Missouri Arts Council commits to policies and practices of cultural equity that empower an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible state.

Missouri Arts Council board, December 2018, revised June 2020


At the Missouri Arts Council, we work to ensure the arts are accessible to all. We believe that all people benefit from the creativity, innovation, engagement, healing, and educational, civic, and economic impact of the arts. We commit to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in our people, policies, programs, and planning.

Seven areas inform our strategic approach to ensuring inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in Missouri’s arts and culture.

State and federal funds support our work, and 70% of our program budget is directed to funding 100% of the Senate districts. Those funds are matched locally, increasing the impact on the state. The application process is transparent, accountable, and fair, based on open criteria, and reviewed by an inclusive advisory panel with open meetings.

Public funds require public transparency. We are compliant with open meeting, financial disclosure, and federal Freedom of Information Act requirements. The process involves the public at several levels: our board governance, legislative oversight, gubernatorial accountability, state and federal standards, citizen advisory panels, and citizen task forces.

We commit to including Missouri’s diversity of voices in our staff, board members, panelists, and advisory positions.

We are developing programs to expand inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in the arts to all, especially under-resourced communities.

We are aligning policies to ensure equitable access for all organizations and communities.

We are conducting ongoing training as an important part of our strategy to engage our board, staff, and grantees in understanding how to create cultural equity in our programs and communities.

We will provide a model, training, and resources to help the organizations we support achieve diverse audiences, equitable programs, and deep community impact. Strengthening our grantees’ capacity for cultural equity completes the circle of an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible Missouri arts and culture sector.

Spine Bridge acrylic on canvas, by Leslie Norman Hubble

“Spine Bridge,” acrylic on canvas, by  Leslie Norman Hubble, Kansas City | from  Expressions Art Exhibition 2021, showcasing artists with disabilities, by  The Whole Person, Kansas City