Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development (ACED) Initiative

PolicyLink works to expand the equity policy impact in 5 cities and one county utilizing arts and culture strategies to win structural change for their communities. The Arts, Culture and Equitable Development Initiative focuses on equitable development and equity policy change with the following organizations: 

  • Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia. Working to anchor 100 families, with 100 homes & 100 jobs for 100 years in a disinvested community threatened by gentrification.
  • Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh. Providing a platform for artists and cultural production in an African American corridor facing tech expansion.
  • Galeria de la Raza & Mission Economic Development Agency in San Francisco. Acquiring 2000 properties to keep Latino culture bearers and spaces rooted.
  • Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition in Oakland. Advocating for cultural plan, cultural spaces, greater investment in communities of color, cultural commission that can guide continuity for creative communities.
  • Art 180 & Performing Statistics in Richmond, VA. Working to end police in schools, reduce police-youth interactions, end school to prison pipeline.
  • Letcher County Culture Hub in Kentucky. Working to restore a vibrant economy based on cultural assets rather than extractive industries.

These 3-year policy change pilots demonstrate how to address displacement, intergenerational poverty, health disparities, successful immigrant integration, criminal justice reform, and equitable economies, helping make better places for communities of color, making stronger policy actors in these communities, and teaching PolicyLink how to align arts and culture for greater policy impact. 

In November of 2017, the cohort conducted a ‘Design Dash’ to plan for the restoration and health of the north Philadelphia community surrounding the Village of Arts and Humanities.  

This work is supported by a grant from the Kresge Foundation.