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In 2017 ArtsPool, a cooperative providing non-profit arts organizations with administration services, decided that they were ready to grow their team. In preparation for growth they began to interrogate some of their institutional habits and ways of work.

Primarily what we were proposing to change was the method by which administrative work got accomplished but as we got through the planning phase and into actual operations, we were kind of surprised and disappointed that we looked a lot like what we were seeing in the field more generally. Specifically that we ended up being—initially being a mostly white organization and we were kind of continuing some of the same institutional habits that we were actually trying to disrupt
— Sarah Maxfield, ArtsPool Team Member


ArtsPool wanted to grow their team in a way that challenged the racial inequity all to present in the New York arts administration field and they needed support to do it. Create Forward provided our two-day organizational development training on racial equity. In day one, the ArtsPool team got to develop a shared language and historical context for racial inequity in the U.S and specifically in the arts.


Two months later after some time to reflect and analyze their own practice we met for the second part of the training, where they got to look more practically at their own structures and habits of work to bring more transparency and collaboration.

It’s both been a connecting and bonding experience for our staff because we got to know each other as people in a very particular way. And also it’s created a lot of openness and transparency around something that might be a bit scary to talk about or something really vulnerable to talk about
— Sarah Maxfield, ArtsPool Team Member


ArtsPool continues to apply what they learned in our training to align their commitment to racial equity with their institutional policies and practices.