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Job Opportunity: Consultant for Grantmakers in the Arts

Grantmakers in the Arts Request for Proposals – Consultant

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) seeks a consulting partner with whom to strategize how to manage our organization more equitably.  

GIA’s ultimate goal is to be a great place to work – a place where we act equitably, interrogate the impacts of our decisions and engage each other in direct conversations about the ways we work together.

This consultancy would include:

  1. A review of our organization’s structure and processes and recommendations for how to integrate anti-oppression into both
  2. The consultancy would also include anti-oppression training for the leadership and staff, including ways to speak about anti-oppression and equity issues and ways to identify and hold conflict productively

GIA seeks to engage the consultant in strategizing and training on: 

  • The extent to which our organization’s management, operations and execution is intentional or not in being anti-oppressive and equitable and how to be intentional in all we do
  • Leadership as a collaborative activity
  • Leadership as an activity by different people at different times, regardless of title
  • Ways to cultivate and facilitate both approaches to leadership as well as all management and execution in ways that use differences (race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and others) as explicitly-identified assets 
  • Ways to hold conflict and use it as a generative force for professional and organizational growth and the creation of shared meaning 
  • Equip the GIA staff with tools, techniques, etc. to continue to advance our equitable engagement of one another into the future well beyond the engagement with the consultant.  
  • Ways to model anti-oppressive management, operations and execution for our members and other stakeholders

For our programmatic work, GIA prioritizes working with consultants who have knowledge of and a point of view on diversity, inclusion, equity, justice and liberation and focus on the differences among them.  These qualities and approaches are too often conflated and become excuses to stop at diversity. For our internal anti-oppression and equity work, we seek a consultant who is aware of these differences. We also seek a consultant whose work and experience focuses on shifting office culture and is committed to establishing an anti-oppressive work culture. We would like to work with a consultant with a holistic approach to this work, with the goal of increasing our capacity to continue this equity work into the future, so that the work is sustained and ongoing.  

Timeline: December 2019 – May 2020 

Success will look like: 

In the long-term: 

  • Every member of the GIA team feels that the organization is managed and operated in an equitable manner 
  • GIA uses our team members’ differences (race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and others) as explicitly-identified assets 
  • GIA’s team engages in leadership as a collaborative activity
  • GIA’s team members engage in leadership as an activity at different times, regardless of title
  • GIA’s team members hold conflict and use it as a generative force for professional and organizational growth and the creation of shared meaning 
  • GIA’s team members have tools, techniques, etc. to continue to advance our equitable engagement of one another into the future well beyond the engagement with the consultant.  
  • GIA has created accountability to the communities we seek to benefit (such as communities of color)

In the short-term: 

GIA has had a positive experience with the consultant in which we receive advice (in person and in writing) and trainings toward our long-term goals. 

Outputs 

  • Advice in person and in writing toward our long-term goals 
  • Trainings for the full GIA team, accompanied by written materials that outline, elucidate and complement the trainings 

Grantmakers in the Arts projects a 6-month timeline for this project with a budget of around $10,000, depending upon the consultant’s proposed approach, to pay the consultant for their hours and expenses. 

Please fill in this Request for Proposals (RFP) and email it to GIA President & CEO Eddie Torres at Eddie@GIArts.org no later than 5pm ET December 16, 2019. 


Name of Consultancy/Consultant: 

Name of Primary Investigator: 

Contact information: 

Please provide examples of past management consulting/equity training projects that may be relevant to this project (hyperlinks or attachments).  

Please articulate how the projects reflect your ability to add value to this project.  

Please articulate how the projects reflect on your working methods and on the values through which you approach your work.  

References from past projects (3):

What do you project you would do to:

  • Interrogate how oppression manifests in GIA’s management, operations and execution of our work. 
  • Train the organization in:
  • Leadership as a collaborative activity
  • Leadership as an activity by different people at different times, regardless of title
  • Ways to cultivate and facilitate both approaches to leadership as well as all management and execution in ways that use differences (race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and others) as explicitly-identified assets 
  • Ways to hold conflict and use it as a generative force for professional and organizational growth and the creation of shared meaning 
  • Equip the GIA staff with tools, techniques, etc. to continue to advance our equitable engagement of one another into the future well beyond the engagement with the consultant.  

Please include in your response:

  • Your methodologies
  • How would you communicate your recommendations to GIA? 
  • Your proposed methodologies for how your clients should embody new practices?  

About GIA’s work with our members:

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) provides leadership and service that advances the use of philanthropic and governmental resources to support the growth of arts and culture. GIA is the only national association of both public and private arts and culture funders in the US, including independent and family foundations, public agencies, community foundations, corporate philanthropies, nonprofit regrantors, and national service organizations across the US and into Canada. GIA provides valuable professional development for arts grantmakers through conferences, workshops, and webinars; publications including the GIA Reader; the only peer-reviewed journal of arts funding in the US research; policy work; and communication tools on our website.

In 2008, GIA began an intentional and member-facing approach to racial equity. In 2015, the GIA board adopted a Racial Equity Statement of Purpose identifying our values around inclusion and explicitly adopting a goal to increase arts funding for POC (people of color) or ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) artists, arts organizations, children, and adults. GIA continued to hone this statement, publishing an update in 2016 with additional definitions, recommendations for individual and collective action, and a stronger call for change. 

Since then, racial equity continues to be a core value of the organization, and the most popular programmatic offering for those in the arts and culture sector in our online, conference programming, workshops and other outputs. Specific themes and outputs of our racial equity programming include the analysis of how funding practices create structural challenges for organizations of color, as well as an exploration of the use of language to justify racial inequity (i.e. referring to white audiences as “general” or “mainstream,” while organizations of color are, “culturally specific”). We also share examples of interventions made by our members in their pursuit of greater racial equity in arts funding to influence funders to invest in POC/ALAANA organizations, artists, and communities.

As a professional association of funders, GIA exhibits leadership by working with our members to define better practice in the field of racial equity. In 2017, GIA completed design of a pilot workshop for funders to address racial equity in their practices and portfolios. We contracted Race Forward to co-design and co-facilitate these workshops, which bring together a cohort of funders to explore the history of racialization in the U.S., how racialized outcomes manifest in arts philanthropy and in public funding of the arts, and to develop strategies for funders to engage in equitable practices in arts grantmaking.  The subsequent survey of pilot workshop participants revealed a high level of satisfaction with the workshop, a high interest in continued engagement and the desire for a longer, more content-rich version of the workshop. In response, GIA updated and expanded the workshop.  

The workshop participants begin by watching the Grantmakers in the Arts webinar: “Real and Not Real: The history of racialization in the United States,” presented by Race Forward and GIA president Eddie Torres in August 2018.  The webinar had a record-breaking 200+ registrations and continues to be watched by grantmakers and cultural organizations, nearing 500 additional views by the end of 2018, our most watched webinar.  The participants then meet in person with GIA and Race Forward over one-and-a-half days to learn more about the history of racialization in the United States and how structural racism manifests in arts funding; how racial equity is different from diversity and inclusion; systems analyses; implicit bias; tools that can be employed to identify and remediate inequities; and to co-develop strategies to make their and the field’s arts grantmaking more equitable.  At a recent workshop for the Cleveland community, in response to the statement, “What I learned from the workshop will be useful to my work,” we had 100% agreement. 57% of the workshop participants strongly agreed and 43% agreed with the statement. None disagreed.  

In addition to programs and activities specific to supporting the increase racial equity in arts and culture funding, GIA prioritizes incorporating a racial equity lens to examine and design holistic programming for our other core focus areas of Arts Education, Capitalization and Nonprofit Financial Health, and Support for Individual Artists. 

Currently, a Racial Equity Committee of the GIA board (a body of 20 grantmakers representing a cross-section of our members), provides accountability systems for our programming, and our commitment to influencing the grantmaking community to embrace and adopt more equitable grantmaking practices. For example, as part of our annual conference session selection process, members of the committee review all equity focused sessions to address quality, depth, and breadth of content. The committee is also given the opportunity to review all approved sessions on any topic to make recommendations on how a racial equity lens might be integrated to the perspective of the session topic.

GIA has made a strategic decision to foreground racial equity in our work for several reasons:

  • The U.S.’s creation of race was established to keep oppressed peoples (including people of color, women, members of the lgbtqi community, people with disabilities) separate.  Unless we address race specifically while calling this strategy out, we inadvertently reinforce the separation strategy.  
  • Within other oppressed peoples’ communities, people of color still face the worst outcomes. 
  • GIA feels that others’ strategies of combining considerations of race with other considerations (gender, disability, etc) too often result in considerations of race being pushed into the background. 

About GIA’s internal equity work: 

As an organization, the embrace of racial equity programming began in 2008 under the leadership of GIA’s previous president Janet Brown. The GIA board of directors and staff have undertaken annual racial equity training since 2011, and focused on filling open staff positions with a diverse candidate. During Brown’s tenure, through cultivating board diversity, POC/ALAANA board members increased to 50% of board members, with a majority being women.

At the end of 2017, Eddie Torres became president of GIA, the first leader of color for the organization. Under Torres, GIA moved its office from Seattle to the South Bronx, to shine a light on under-represented and under-resourced communities of color. Tasked with filling positions for 6 roles, Torres was intentional in cultivating and interviewing a diverse slate of candidates, and ensured vetted job descriptions that would minimize any barriers in hiring practices, such as removing the education requirement and including a salary range. This effort to maximize reach resulted in filling 5 of those positions with women of color, with 1 in a senior management position. 

Organizationally, GIA also supports the professional development and ongoing learning of its staff by encouraging attendance and participation in conferences and convenings, and providing trainings in public speaking and the facilitation of racial justice workshops, dialogues, and discussions.

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