Cultural Policy Learning Series & Action Lab

November 2, 2021 – New York. Grantmakers in the Arts is pleased to announce that they have engaged Jen Cole & Estrella Esquilin of the National Collaborative for Creative Work at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in collaboration with Randy Engstrom of Third Way Creative, to co-create a Learning Lab series focused on advancing racial justice through intersectional cultural policy to be debuted in Winter/Spring 2022. With an aim of transformational change in the public sector, this partnership will include codesign of content, a series of public presentations, and a cohort that will build a deeper community of practice.

The Cultural Policy Learning Series & Action Lab will be the first step toward realizing the recommendations in the GIA-commissioned report, Opportunities at the Intersections: Advancing Racial Equity via Arts and Culture in the Public Sector, written by Jen Cole and Rebecca Kinslow, which was first shared with the GIA community at our 2020 online convening and in the GIA President’s blog, Advancing Art @ The Intersection of Social Change.

GIA and its partners will identify a small design workgroup composed of seasoned public sector leaders who are currently working in trans-sector program development with an emphasis on public sector practice and policy. This group will co-design the curriculum for the Cultural Policy Learning Series & Action Lab.

The Cultural Policy Learning Series will be a publicly accessible series of classes on such issues as racial equity & transformational practice in the public sector, translating between sectors and planning toward action.

The Cultural Policy Action Lab will be an intentional space of learning, reflection, and peer power-building between the 10 leaders selected as part of a learning cohort that moves alongside the public Learning Series. After the completion of the Learning Series, the Action Lab will meet to plan and prototype implementation of a policy pilot project. Consultants will use these as coaching and action setting sessions to help move forward early-stage policy transformation amongst the cohort.

The development of core learning content, active exchange and peer support, and regional communities of practice reinforces findings in our report “Opportunities at the Intersections: Advancing Racial Equity via Arts and Culture in the Public Sector.”

To find out more, email