Cultural & Equity Statement

Our Mission:


Cultivating community through accessible arts experiences for all.

Our Statement On Cultural Equity           


To support a full creative life for all, the ZACC commits to championing practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable community and society.


Our Definition Of Cultural Equity


Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts programming; the support of artists; the nurturing of an accessible, thriving venue for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.


Acknowledgements and Affirmations

  • The Missoula Valley, where the ZACC is based, is located near the center of Séliš (Salish) and Ql̓ispé (upper Kalispel or Pend d’Oreille) homelands. For thousands of years, it has always been, and remains today, a place of the highest importance to them, and to the many other indigenous peoples who traversed and visited the region, including the lower Kalispel, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai, Nez Perce, Blackfeet, and Shoshone.  

  • In Montana, and the United States broadly, there are systems of power that grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and that must be continuously addressed and changed.

  • Cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of the arts.

  • We must all hold ourselves accountable, because acknowledging and challenging our inequities and working in partnership is how we will make change happen.

  • Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant creative life, which is essential to a healthy and democratic society.

  • The arts are a useful tool for challenging inequities and presenting alternatives to unjust practices.


How We're Getting There

To pursue needed systemic change related to equity we strive to:

  • Build inclusive spaces for art and culture within our programs, gallery shows and work broadly;

  • Represent the diversity of the community where we live in our staff, board and volunteers, by committing time and resources;

  • Build cultural consciousness among our board, staff, participants and wider arts community through substantive learning and formal, transparent policies;

  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and report organization progress;and

  • Hold ourselves accountable to the process of being an inclusive organization.


(This statement is a modified version of a statement created by Americans for the Arts, who encourage others to use it. It was originally started by the ZACC’s External Committee, and a small work group with Jamie Herring (ZACC board treasurer, ZACC internal committee), Kate Morris (ZACC Development Director) and Josh Vanek (ZACC board vice chair, external committee) developed the vision further, made additions and changes, and presented it to the full board in June of 2018. In October 2018, Thompson Smith (Coordinator of Tribal History and Ethnogeography Projects for the Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes) provided language for our acknowledgments and affirmations section.

Americans for the Arts say: “please feel free to adopt or adapt this language as you would like, or to just use it for some amount of inspiration. All that we ask is that you email to tell us your story if and when you successfully create the Statement that is right for your organization!”