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AFM Praises NEA and NEH Pledge to Appoint Chief Diversity Officers

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) applauds Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Shelly Lowe, chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities on their announcements that Chief Diversity Officers will be created at each agency. The new diversity officers will help guarantee the inclusion of qualified grant applicants from under-represented communities throughout the United States.

The announcement comes on the heels of intense lobbying by the AFM and other labor affiliates of the AFL-CIO and its Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries (AEMI) division.

AFM President Ray Hair states, “The inclusion of a senior staff level Diversity Officer at these agencies is in keeping with AFM’s values and goes a long way toward assuring equity and fairness in the federal arts grant-making process. By shining a spotlight on the need to resolve matters of inequity and unfairness in the federal grant landscape, the NEA and NEH are paving the way for generations of under-represented artists to thrive economically and soar socially and artistically.”

The AFM has long served to promote the inclusion of all artists by assuring that all musicians who participate in the arts and entertainment industries profession are fairly compensated, protected under strong, enforceable labor contracts, and entitled to the same pension and health and welfare benefits across the board. We commend Chairs Jackson and Lowe for moving quickly to create more inclusive arts, entertainment, and media industries through the work of their agencies.