Key Questions: What is the relationship between an organization, its mission achievement/impact, and its social and environmental context? How is that context, sometimes called ‘community,’ identified and bounded? How permeable or malleable is the boundary, and how do these understandings actively incorporate questions of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic/class status, citizenship, etc.? Why should arts organizations care about these topics? How do questions of transparency, accountability, and power relate to organizations’ openness, or lack thereof?

Reading Material

External Links


Adriana Griñó
Curatorial & Special Programs Manager
Jen Ontiveros
Development Coordinator, di Rosa; Network Coordinator, EAP

Proposed Project

We strive to form a supportive coalition network of mutual respect, cultural sensitivity, and accountability. Operating through a social justice lens, we have created an Open Systems Manifesto to leverage collaborative participation between institutions and organizations and together challenge structures of dominance and systems of oppression within the Bay Area arts sector.

Open Systems Manifesto outlines our beliefs and values for best practices between administrators and the artists and audiences they collaborate with and serve. The coalition network is formed by organizations who commit to the Open Systems Manifesto, and share our goal to create a healthier arts ecosystem that is more reflective of our civic society.


We believe diversity within our organizations and audiences is essential to being and remaining relevant as cultural institutions.

Our definitions of community are shaped by the artists we serve and the local communities and histories in which we exist.

We support, listen to, and are led by the voices, needs, and creative expressions of our community to inform our mission statements, visions, and programming.

We advocate for leadership structures and institutional programming that value and represent diverse socio-economic, racial, cultural, gender and LGBTQi communities.

We recognize the power of collaboration and shared decision making within organizations and across the arts sector to make a more transparent and healthy arts ecosystem.

We are critical of exploitative tactics of arts sector buzz words and seek to ground these terminologies in real actions and meaningful discussions.

We recognize that the lack of funding for non-traditional, non-western-centric institutions limits the public’s access to the representation of diverse communities.  We demand more equitable distribution of funding for small-sized organizations that support and showcase underrepresented communities within the Bay Area.

Open Systems Forum

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Past Programing