Values Statement from the Board of Directors
It is not sufficient to speak out only when systemic racism forces us to confront injustices against the Black community. We must consistently lend our voices, resources and support to the fight against racial injustice, 365 days a year. Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are only the latest victims in a long history of violence against Black Americans. To say that we firmly stand behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement is the very minimum that we can do – we can and should do more.
Organization-wide inclusion and equity is not a momentary commitment. While it can be inspired by one movement, we believe it is an ongoing journey of constant evaluation and redirection. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens recognizes past inaction and failures and wants to constantly be working towards positive change in ourselves and those around us. We can and will do better.
As an organization, we commit to the following actions and see them only as beginning steps in our evolution as an organization:
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will make a financial contribution of $5,000 to NAACP Empowerment Programs when our organization is back on financially-stable footing. As an organization, 94% of our operating budget comes from admissions to our space. Though our income has been severely impacted during the three months of closure due to COVID-19, this commitment remains a top priority for the PMG Board of Directors. Moving forward, we will continue to make financial contributions on an annual basis to organizations supporting people of color and Black communities.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will continue to focus our efforts on diversifying our Board of Directors. We commit that at least 30% of Board Members will be Black, and at least 50% of Board Members will be people of color, by 2021.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will recognize Juneteenth as an official, permanent holiday. We commit to public programming that will celebrate, reflect and uplift this important date in our country’s history. Part-time staff will be entitled to the same holiday pay that would be received for any current, federally-recognized holiday.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will ensure that exhibitions, residencies and programs include a concerted focus on contributions of people of color and Black communities. Specifically, at least 40% of our programming will feature Black artists. Additionally, at least 75% of our overall programming will feature people of color, women, or members of the queer community.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens commits to providing professionally-facilitated anti-racism and equity training for our Board of Directors and staff, to ensure that we treat every guest and artist with the same level of openness and respect, and that we fulfill our mission of inclusivity.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will form an Equity & Inclusion committee that will include a diverse group of representatives from across the organization, including board members, senior staff, and junior staff. This committee will help facilitate the disassembling of any areas of systemic, implicit racism or discrimination in our language and policies, as well as investigate any additional opportunities for action by the organization toward equity and inclusion.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will seek out and provide ongoing professional development opportunities for board and staff members, and will prioritize staff members who are people of color for these opportunities.
- Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will provide de-escalation training to support frontline staff, who work daily with a wide variety of visitors and a wide variety of opinions, many of which are different than our own.
Art and art environments are often a form of therapy for both the viewer and creator. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will focus deeper on highlighting and educating about the importance of mental health and the role it plays in our organization and within the art community.
We want to emphasize that the commitments above are not the end of this journey, and that we will continue to add to them as Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens strives to be a better ally and voice for those communities who need additional voices. To add your thoughts on how we can improve, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) inspires creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art. PMG preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic art environment and his public murals.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens:
- Champions originality and embraces the creative process unbound by conventional norms. This is exemplified by our thinking and actions, and the unique experience we provide our audience.
- Welcomes our visitors and staff with an open-mind. We believe in creating a safe space that embraces a diversity of culture, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, and physical or mental ability. Our policies and programming encourages connecting to others with respect and dignity.
- Values community. We unify individuals through shared experiences and build relationships with diverse Philadelphia residents, businesses and neighboring nonprofits.
- Believes in inspiring others. The artwork and programs provoke inspiration through curiosity, self-expression and awe.
- Approaches our daily operations, programming, and the interpretation of Isaiah Zagar’s art with a lighthearted, celebratory attitude. We believe in working hard while still maintaining levity and humor.