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Arts Commission

Racial Equity in Arts Leadership

The Racial Equity in Arts Leadership (REAL) program is a direct result of Metro Arts’ five-year strategic plan that identifies the need to drive equity and inclusion in the arts sector. The recently adopted NashvilleNext General Plan includes goals to support cultural participation amidst Nashville’s rapidly changing demographics. REAL is a platform that engages artists, organizational leaders, and arts administrators in teaching and learning opportunities about race, equity practices, and ways in which to enact change within their personal practice and organizational structure. Arts leaders engage in seminars, lunch and learn sessions for self/peer critique, and organizational workshops. There is a series of lectures and discussions that are open to the public as well. REAL is done in partnership with the Scarritt Bennett Center and Curb Center for Arts, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University.

Last year, working with Metro Arts and the Curb Center, consultant Jyoti Gupta conducted interviews with numerous local arts organizations and developed a white paper, “Holding the Mirror Up,” that frames key observations and practices around Nashville’s cultural ecosystem. The results of Gupta’s findings have helped guide conversations and exploration for REAL learning cadre sessions.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Olusola Tribble at

Nashville and Metro Government is discussing race, equity and leadership at many levels. Learn more by visiting Mayor Barry’s REAL talk page.