We’re excited to announce that the Partnerships & Professional Learning team will now be known as Partnerships & Learning. Though it seems like a small change on the surface, we’ve made the decision to remove the word “professional” with thought, reflection, intention, and a continued desire to welcome and invite arts partners in bringing their full selves and identities to our programs.

A professional is often defined as a person competent or skilled in a particular activity and is commonly associated with perceptions, beliefs, and assumptions around speech, behavior, dress, work style, and social interactions. 

Through engagement with select Board members, arts partners, and community members, we have come to better recognize the white, Western norms associated with professionalism and how they are antagonistic to our values of equity, access, and inclusion. These conversations are part of a larger set of DEI initiatives to evaluate our policies, practices, programs, and how we show up for one another both internally and with our partners. 

We are so lucky to be a part of this learning community, and we are excited to continue to adapt our programs and practices to best reflect the needs of Chicago’s arts sector.


What we’re reading:

Critical Reflections on the Rules of “Professionalism” by Renata D. Baptista

The Bias of “Professionalism” Standards by Aysa Gray

Ep 75: Decolonizing Professionalism and Work. That’s Not How That Works.

Professionalism: Interrogating the Idea and Ideals by Rhanda Khattar and Karyn Callaghan

Everything You Need To Know About Workplace Hair Discrimination

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