Key Points

To foster a more welcoming, inclusive, and effective arts and culture community in the metropolitan Denver area, the Bonfils- Stanton Foundation seeks to promote promising practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among nonprofit arts organizations. The foundation partnered with a researcher to explore how local organizations are implementing such practices and to learn how it could best support these efforts.

This article summarizes the findings of a qualitative survey of leaders from 10 Denver arts and culture nonprofits and discusses them within the context of a review of literature on diversity efforts among other arts organizations in North America. Interviewees were asked to reflect on what their organizations understand DEI to mean, what they consider promising practices for building DEI efforts, how they define success, what challenges exist in addressing DEI, and what structures can support the work.

Drawing from these findings, this article recommends that arts grantmakers can most effectively support nonprofits in their DEI work through building the field, supporting a diverse workforce, and measuring progress.

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Open Access