About COCA

Statement on Cultural Equity

The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) believes that all Tallahassee and Leon County residents should be able to participate in a creative life; and that the arts drive a vibrant and equitable community.

Cultural Equity embodies the values, beliefs, policies and practices that ensure that all Tallahassee and Leon County residents can fulfill their rights of cultural expression and belonging, participation, learning, and livelihood.

This includes specific commitment to people who have been historically underrepresented in mainstream arts funding, discourse, leadership and resource allocation; including, but not limited to, people of color, people of all ages, differently abled people, LGBTQ people, women, and the socio-economically disadvantaged.

COCA affirms that:

  • The ability to express, celebrate and champion cultural tradition and heritage is elemental to honest civic discourse and the well-being of our community.
  • Artists and cultural creators have a unique role in challenging inequity and imagining new and more just realities.
  • The health of the future cultural community in Tallahassee and Leon County is contingent on dynamic inclusionary practices that move towards cultural plurality.
  • Inequity is pervasive and historic. Disparities and discrimination are daily occurrences that are rooted in long-standing majority privilege and power inside and outside of the cultural arts.
  • Equity moves past inclusion and representation; accepting that power has created uneven starting points for some communities and individuals. Simple diverse representation does not dismantle the unequal nature of voice, resource allocation and visibility that exist in the arts and cultural ecosystem.

As a leader in the local arts community, COCA is committed to:

  • Facilitating on-going, organizational and community-wide honest conversations about race, class, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age and income status as these issues relate to our arts community.
  • Continually reviewing our grant and public art practices and policies to ensure that more under-invested and under-represented communities can compete equitably for artist commissions, grants and other financial investments.
  • Holding up examples and practices that facilitate equity and those artists and organizations in our community who are equity champions.

 

Cultural Equity Action Plan