Arts Council Apologizes For Funding ‘White, Western Eurocentric’ Opera And Symphony In North Carolina

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Gabrielle Temaat Contributor
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The Arts and Science Council in Charlotte, North Carolina has received backlash after apologizing for not supporting enough black artists and instead funding “white, western Eurocentric’ opera and symphony, according to The Charlotte Observer.

In a Cultural Equity report, the council stated that their financial decisions created inequitable support of minority cultural organizations in Charlotte.

“ASC has been complicit in upholding funding practices that elevate certain cultures, creative traditions, identities and art forms above others…It is important to apologize, acknowledge and accept accountability for the role ASC has played in creating and perpetuating systems and structures that have exacerbated inequities in our cultural community and beyond,” the report reads. (RELATED: Boston Fine Arts Museum Agrees To Spend $500,000 To Promote Diversity)

The council’s president, Krista Terrell, discussed the criticism the ASC received after issuing the apology, and said she received several critical messages from cultural leaders and art groups, The Charlotte Observer reported.

“While I knew the facts in the report were startling, I never thought I would experience so intimately the uncomfortableness, the defensiveness, and the scaredness of white people reacting to the unvarnished truth.” said Terrell in a post on the Americans for the Arts website.

She also stated that she wasn’t sure whether people were more upset that the report described legacy groups as “white, Western, Eurocentric” or about the graphic showing nine groups that received more funding than all minority groups combined, The Charlotte Observer reported.

“What I know for sure, based on their behavior and reactions, is they would have tried to whitewash the truth for their comfort,” Terrel wrote, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Terrell said that the council is planning community listening sessions regarding the equity report called “Beyond the Soundbites,” The Charlotte Observer reported.