Anti-Racism Virtual Town Hall

Anti-Racism Virtual Town Hall

As an organization, Calgary Arts Development has committed ourselves to bettering our systems regarding equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA). This summer Calgary Arts Development is hosting a series of virtual town halls to discuss issues around the deep-seated racism that exists within our communities and systems, and how we can further develop anti-racist policies and practices governing our work.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, our town hall focuses on vocabulary (words and their underlying concepts and examined experiences) as a response to suggestions and recommendations from the previous sessions. We’ll be using this to create starting points for a deeper collective discussion and actions to build EDIA in the arts sector and in Calgary moving forward.

We will be joined by Dr. Brea Heidelberg and Ruby Lopez Harper to build our understanding of race and anti-racist vocabulary with a focus towards how these concepts apply in the arts.

A photo of Brea M. Heidelberg Dr. Brea M. Heidelberg is an arts management educator, consultant, and researcher focusing on the intersection of the arts and other fields of study. She joined the Entertainment & Arts Management faculty of Drexel University in 2017 and currently serves as Program Director. Dr. Heidelberg is a contributor to the recently published Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Performing Arts Workforce and Diversity Resistance in Organizations, Vol. 2.

Her current research interests involve the professionalization of the field of arts management, the training and development of arts managers, and management issues unique to small and mid-sized nonprofit arts organizations. Dr. Heidelberg’s consulting work focuses on human resources issues in the nonprofit arts, particularly issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ruby Harper Lopez photoRuby Harper Lopez is the Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement for Americans for the Arts (AFTA). Mexican, mother, wife, dancer, photographer, poet, and social justice warrior. Her portfolio includes leading field education efforts centered in equitable practice, leadership development, local arts advancement, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and community building for the arts agency field, arts and culture administrators, and arts marketers.

She is the chief architect of the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, leads AFTA’s Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Network and the Leadership Forum program that produces affinity-based leadership development programs. She is a mentor for the Arts Administrators of Color Network. Her work has focused on equitable access, grantmaking, supporting individual artists, White Spacercommunity development, economic development, cultural tourism, marketing, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and public art.

Ask now! If there are specific words or concepts you have questions about and you would like the Calgary Arts Development team to think about ahead of time, please send them to There will also be an opportunity to ask questions during the event.

The July 29 virtual town hall takes place through Zoom from 3:00 to 4:30pm MDT and will be interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL) with a live transcription available. Register at to take part. 

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