Addressing racial inequality

at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

For far too long, black communities and individuals of colour have fallen victim to the oppression and racism that is built into the very fabric of our society.

Over the years, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has worked with many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) artists and has utilized their work and their voices to challenge perceptions and generate meaningful dialogue. We are committed to continuing these initiatives but recognize that they are not enough.

As an institution, we know that not all Nova Scotians feel represented when visiting the Gallery. We have not properly served all communities in our province and have not adequately incorporated a Black narrative into our Permanent Collection and programmatic offering.

Art can be a powerful tool for change. It expresses the often contradictory tension between what we think and what we feel. Art belongs to all of us; it is not the purview of the chosen few, or a dominant culture, or a single school or movement.

We can no longer be frozen in time or bound by tradition. We must adapt to better serve communities and act as a catalyst for change and new movements. As a Gallery, we will listen and learn what it truly means to be a place for all people. We will hold ourselves accountable for change and equal representation.

The Gallery is committed to developing a series of actions that will address issues of systemic inequality within our operations. Our first action is to establish a longer-term mandate to acquire works by BIPOC artists. We will obligate all uncommitted portions of this year's acquisitions funding to this initiative. Along with this, if anyone is interested in contributing to this effort between now and August 31, 2020, please contact info.agns@novascotia.ca or 902-424-0073.

We look forward to continuing this conversation as this action plan evolves.