Age – Age refers to how long a person has been alive. In the United States, certain ages (and age groups) are associated with different roles, levels of power and influence, and rights. Significant ages include 18 (ability to vote, “adulthood”), 21 (ability to legally drink alcohol), and 62 (current age to receive Social Security, “retire”).
Bias – a conscious or unconscious preference that inhibits a person’s capacity for impartial judgment.
Citizenship Status – Citizenship status refers to whether one holds citizenship status, temporary or permanent residency, or legal or illegal non-citizenship in the United States. Citizenship and certain immigration statuses bring with them a host of protections and privileges.Local Arts Agencies (LAAs), of which there are 4,500 in the United States, promote, support, and develop the arts at the local level ensuring a vital presence for the arts throughout America’s communities. LAAs are diverse in their makeup—they have many different names and embrace a spectrum of artistic disciplines—but each works to sustain the health and vitality of the arts and artists locally and to make the arts accessible to all members of a community. Each LAA in America is unique to the community that it serves, and each evolves within its community.
Cultural Equity – Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically, and continue to be, underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources. While intersectionality is real and crucial to providing entry for people at various stages of readiness, we acknowledge that racial inequity is central to most societal issues, particularly when it comes to the distribution of resources.
Disability Status – Disability is a term used to define factors that limit significant life activities or experiences considered to be typical among individuals who do not experience a disability. Such restrictions may be physical or mental, and may be permanent or temporary. Some examples of disability: vision/hearing impairment, mobility impairment, mental disorder, autism, etc.
Diversity – Diversity is often referred to as the extent which an organization has people from diverse backgrounds represented throughout. It is recognition of individual differences. These differences can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical abilities, nationality, language, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic background and other areas of identity.
Education Attainment – Education attainment is the highest level of formal education a person has achieved. Some examples: high school, some college, college (Bachelor’s), Master’s, and Doctorate or terminal degree.
Equity – Equity refers to the existence of systems, protocols, practices, and policies that allow everyone to be treated fairly within an organization. Equity is closely tied to actions and results.
Gender Identity – Gender identity refers to socially-constructed roles, behavior, activities, and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women. Gender identity is also an individual’s self-conception, as distinguished from biological sex, which is based solely on physical characteristics. In addition to man/male, woman/female, and non-binary (among other options), there is also the potential qualifier of “transgender,” meaning one’s gender identity does not match one’s assigned biological sex, and “cisgender,” which means one’s gender identity does match one’s assigned biological sex. “Gender nonconforming” or “gender fluid” is another identifier, used to indicate that one doesn’t adhere to stereotypical understandings of gender expression or roles.
Household Income (HHI) / Class – Household income is the total annual revenue of everyone in one household unit. Class is a relative social ranking or category based on income, standing financial resources, education, status, and/or power. While household income is strictly about annual revenue, class categories are usually associated with levels of access to resources including money, contacts, and education. Some examples: $100,000+ HHI, middle class, upper class, $0-$18,000 HHI.
Inclusion – Inclusion on the other hand is seen as the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement of the diversity of an organization, organizational culture, production of art on stage (essentially all of the ways that an individual might connect and interact with the organization, systems, and community) in order to create equal access, well-being, and a sense of belonging for all members of the organization. Inclusion is closely tied to the culture of an organization.
Investment – Investment is the allocation of a resource (money, time, space) in the expectation that it will yield a future benefit. “Equitable investment” is the centering of cultural equity in investment strategies, in particular the recognition and restructuring of inequitable systems of consideration, allocation, distribution, and evaluation in terms of such investments.
Political Affiliation – Political affiliation is one’s association with a political party or faction, and that party or faction’s ideals. It can be qualified within the party/faction, as in “moderate Democrat,” or “left-leaning Republican.” Some examples: Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, with modifiers such as “conservative,” “liberal,” “moderate.”
Privilege – Privilege operates on a personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional level and gives advantages, access, favors, and benefits to members of dominant groups at the expense of members of marginalized groups. Privilege is almost never an earned state; it is commonly invisible to/taken for granted by those who have it and is conferred based on those whose characteristics match the dominant groups whether they want those privileges or not, and regardless of their stated intent.
Race/Ethnicity – a social and artificial construct with exceeding social, economic, and political significance. Race is often associated with physical characteristics like skin color, hair type, eye shape, eye color, lip shape, etc. Ethnicity refers to a group or people of the same nationality or land of origin who share a distinct and/or common culture. Some examples: white, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Arab, Native American.
Religious Affiliation – A religion is an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices related to the divine. Religious affiliation specifically refers to which system or institution one most aligns with and can include certain non/anti-religious answers including “atheist” (does not believe in the divine) and “agnostic” (does not have an opinion as to the nature of the divine). Some examples: Catholic, Protestant, Christian, Jewish, Muslim/Islamic, agnostic, atheist, Buddhist, spiritual.
Sexual Orientation – An individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to another individual. A person’s sexual orientation is separate from that person’s gender identity. Some examples: straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, queer, same-sex attracted.