Equity in the Panel Room

In 2017, MAP was honored to initiate Equity in the Panel Room (EiPR). With a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, this project engaged consultant Ama Codjoe to design a robust research and learning program that led a group of 12 grantmakers through a yearlong, deep-dive into racial equity in the panel process. The group included:

Jordan Baylon of Calgary Arts Development 

Pam Breaux of National Assembly of State Arts Agencies 

Francene J. Blythe of Native Arts and Cultures Foundation 

Moira Brennan of MAP Fund 

Emilya Cachapero of Theatre Communications Group 

Gargi Shindé of Chamber Music America 

Kathy Hsieh of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture 

Ken May, formerly of South Carolina Arts Commission 

Tariana Navas-Nieves of Denver Arts & Venues 

Jane Preston of New England Foundation for the Arts 

Eleanor Savage of the Jerome Foundation 

Dara Silver of Into the Arts 

Operating out of the premise that panel moderators and administrators have a responsibility and an opportunity to understand their own practices and habits through the lens of racial equity, the group looked beyond the language of mission statements and examined the nuts and bolts of how they actually operate programs: panelist selection, moderator training/lack thereof, panel room atmosphere, and more.

The group met as a steering committee for one year, remotely and in person, for conversations, racial justice trainings, and—at the heart of it—for support in operationalizing equity practices in their organizations. 

MAP is proud to share one result of the group’s work together: Re:Tool Racial Equity in the Panel Process, a handbook of experiences, tips and resources for grant administrators. 

The EiPR cohort extends their efforts by offering workshops at conferences across the country, including Grantmakers in the Arts (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019); Alliance of Artists Communities (2018); National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (2018, 2019); and Americans for the Arts (2019). 

MAP will continue to deepen field-wide understanding of racial equity in arts funding. We are in the planning stages of exciting new developments. Be sure to join our mailing list so we can keep you informed as we move forward.


Banner: MAP 2020 grantee Men of Rab’inal: A Mayan War-Dance Through Time by Lakin Valdez & David Molina. Photography by Robert Eliason.