CAM’s Mission: CAM is a free, non-collecting contemporary art museum that provides an environment for transformation through educational programs, cultural experiences, and bold, non-traditional exhibitions by living artists.
Thanks to all of the North Carolina artists and community members for the love and support and for holding CAM accountable as we work together to dismantle systemic racism and to build racial equity in arts organizations like CAM.
Our response to the public letter from artists and community members (Link to Public Letter) is outlined below. The letter raised valid points that CAM has been working to improve. CAM is committed to being a leader in racial equity and justice and we have a lot to learn about how to better leverage our financial resources, connections, and networks to support Black artists and Black people. We will share more here about the action steps and timelines in the coming weeks.
Hire and Pay Black Consultants to Identify and Address Institutional Racism
- CAM’s Vice Chair and staff will attend Racial Equity Institute training on Aug 28 & 29.
- All CAM staff have attended REI’s online Groundwater Training.
- CAM’s board will have completed the REI two day training before June 2021.
- CAM will continue to address the impacts of systemic racism in our organization and community at large through self-study and on-going formal trainings that will continue to guide organizational decision-making.
Include Marginalized Communities in Equity Efforts
- In 2018, CAM established yearly Exhibition Advisory Committees (EAC) to invite community perspectives into the exhibition and programming planning process; organizations like the LGBT Center of Raleigh, the Downtown Housing Improvement Corp (DHIC), Brentwood Boys and Girls Club, Communities in Schools Wake County, NC Harm Reduction and Arts Access participate and suggest additional community members to engage. The next committee convenes in August.
- Since 2015 CAM has fostered an informal network of individuals, families, and community allies to gain perspectives on and understanding of voices marginalized by sexuality, ethnicity, gender, disability, class-status, formal education, and immigration status.
- CAM is a founding member of a Learning Community (2015) dedicated to making the arts accessible to people living with disabilities. CAM staff continue to participate in annual training, attend an annual national conference supporting best practices, and meet regularly with the Learning Community to support ongoing efforts.
- Since 2018 wall text and labels for all exhibitions are presented in Spanish and English.
- Since 2018 staff have participated in weekly on-site, customized Spanish tutoring to increase Spanish language skills.
- Admission to CAM is free including all exhibitions and programs.
Materially Invest in Increasing Black Leadership and Inclusion
- CAM’s board currently includes one member who identifies as Black. CAM is committed to increasing Black representation and will elect new members in December 2020. We understand the structure around how CAM engages BIPOC leadership must also continue to evolve.
- Fifty percent of CAM’s gallery educator team of four identified as Black pre-COVID-19. When CAM re-opens, we are committed to hiring BIPOC staff as gallery educators. With all PT and FT new hires, we are committed to an equitable recruiting and hiring process.
- CAM will continue to produce exhibitions and programs that represent diverse artists and communities.
- CAM’s is preparing to be certified in the current fiscal year by Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), a national group that monitors equitable pay for artists.
- CAM views relationships with artists as partnerships where artists create new work or curate their own work based on their own diverse experiences. The partnership is funded by CAM and includes an honorarium, design, travel, materials, promotion, and events to introduce our community to the artist’s work.
- Fifty percent of CAM’s vendors and contractors are LGBTQ or women-owned companies. By 2022, 30% of our vendors will be BIPOC-owned companies.
- CAM currently offers unpaid internships. CAM works individually with each intern to create flexible opportunities seven days a week with no art experience required. Schedules are designed with each intern to allow for employment obligations, family commitments, and transportation. Paid summer internships at CAM for students who are aging out of foster care and are blind or low vision are funded by The Hope Center and NC Division of Services for the Blind (pre-COVID-19). CAM is seeking funding support to offer paid internships.
- CAM’s Middle School Docent Program, and Middle School and High School internship programs focus on strengthening confidence while engaging directly with artists and careers in the arts at a younger age.
Materially Invest in Black-led Arts Organizations through Allocation of Resources
- CAM invests in individual artists as small businesses by creating partnerships that include economic opportunity through direct payment to artists and sharing of CAM’s connections and networks to create future economic opportunities.
- CAM shares our space at no cost with emerging photographers, musicians, and dancers for shoots, practice, and portfolio building.
- CAM will reach out to local Black-led Arts Organizations to seek partnerships and collaborate on exhibitions, programs, events, and activitations.
Establish Transparent Practices with Artists and the Communities Directly Affected
- CAM works directly with artists throughout the exhibition planning process to achieve their vision and goals. Conversation with artists helps the process continue to evolve.
- CAM is creating an Artist Orientation to share the exhibition framework including budget and finances.
- CAM’s Executive Director is on site for all events, artists talks, First Fridays, etc. to visit with artists and community members to listen and learn.
- CAM will add and refine transparent practices by continuing to listen to our community.
Ties to the John William Pope Foundation
- CAM does not receive, has never received, and will not accept funding from the John William Pope Foundation.