Organizations of Color Cohort

ArtsGreensboro Welcomes Inaugural Class in Arts Organizations of Color Cohort

GREENSBORO, NC— ArtsGreensboro launched its inaugural class for the Arts Organizations of Color Cohort (OOCC) in January 2023. Members of the cohort include Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet, Gant School of Music and Jazz, Piedmont Blues Preservation Society and TAB Arts Center. These organizations will participate in professional development and capacity-building, led by Dr. Pamela Palmer of Pamela Palmer and Associates. The OOCC is funded in part by the Mary Lynn Richardson Fund, Wells Fargo and the North Carolina Arts Council.

ArtsGreensboro began conversations about a professional development learning model in early 2020. The grants team restructured the Grassroots Multicultural grant program in the fall of 2019 and started brainstorming better ways to serve arts organizations of color in Guilford County. After researching similar program models in larger cities, ArtsGreensboro agreed on a model that best fits the needs of the Guilford County community. Chaunte Rankin, the Director of Finance, Operations and Shared Services at ArtsGreensboro, led the initial discussions. After seeing the need for financial resources and mentoring, OOCC was established as a branch of Shared Services.

“Currently, we are seeing more advocates for building capacity for DEI initiatives among nonprofits,” says Dr. Palmer. “This cohort aligns with what’s going on in the sector and specifically meets the needs of organizations of color with an emphasis on the arts.

ArtsGreensboro has been advocating for, identifying and providing resources to these organizations with limited support for years. The fact that ArtsGreensboro has been able to secure resources to assist BIPOC organizations in the arts is monumental. This program is a significant first step for our community regarding capacity building using the cohort model.” Dr. Palmer is the main facilitator of the cohort and uses her expertise in nonprofit leadership and management to mentor emerging and established BIPOC arts organizations.

Applications for the inaugural class were accepted during the fall of 2022. Each accepted organization completed a comprehensive assessment to establish a baseline of capacity and areas that needed directed focus. Members of the OOCC will send a representative to complete a variety of learning modules over three years. The goal is for organizations to exhibit growth in previously identified focus areas.

“Joining the Arts Greensboro cohort was not taken lightly,” says Princess Howell Johnson, founding director of Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet. “By joining this cohort, I hope to challenge ArtsGreensboro to take necessary risks to even the arts playing field for Black arts leaders, as well as push for more transparency from ArtsGreensboro as we continue to do the work to move Black-led organizations into fully funded and functioning arts leaders in our community.” Johnson is a professionally trained dancer and choreographer based in Greensboro. Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet was established in 2009.

ArtsGreensboro is dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant arts sector in Guilford County. Artists and other creatives drive outcomes and shape the culture of our neighborhoods and communities. An investment in the arts is an investment in Guilford County.

About ArtsGreensboro:
ArtsGreensboro invests in programs that provide access to the arts for all citizens, support arts integration in our schools, build capacity for our arts community, and unify the community through the power of the arts.

To donate to the ArtsFund and support ArtsGreensboro, click here.