Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee: Year Three Update

The Division of the Arts’ Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee was formed to turn our commitment to embrace and serve all members of our diverse arts community into meaningful action. The Committee is open to all Division staff members to engage in voluntarily, has a rotating facilitator, and moves recommendations and action items forward. The Division views IDEA work as integral to everything we do, recognizing that addressing racism and dismantling systems of oppression is an ongoing process, both for individual staff members and the organization.

In addition to our continued outreach, the IDEA Committee turned much of our focus toward completing a Division-wide self-assessment utilizing the Badger Anti-Racist Coalition‘s pilot rubric. This pilot program facilitates organization around the questions: how are we perpetuating racism and oppression right here in our workplace, and what can we do to change that? We look forward to collectively reviewing the results, which will inform the next iteration of the Committee’s action plan.

Here are a few additional highlights from the year:

  • To improve campus-wide visibility, the Division transitioned the application process for the Artivism Student Action Program (ASAP) to the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH), the central platform at UW–Madison for campus scholarship opportunities managed by the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • We established a new partnership with the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement, resulting in the creation of an annual arts-related Campus and Community Forum at the campus Diversity Forum.
  • The Division implemented a new hiring process by removing direct and indirect barriers to improve the diversity of candidates in the hiring pool.
  • During five residencies, we engaged six BIPOC artists as residents and 19 BIPOC artists as residency guests through the Division’s Arts Residency Programs.
  • The Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Award was created for full-time undergraduate students enrolled in creative arts academic programs. The funding supports undergraduate students working across disciplines to create work and/or to conduct scholarly research. Five awards of $1,000 each will be available on an annual basis as part of the Creative Arts Awards.

We continue to concentrate on five areas to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and access initiatives in the Division: communications, outreach, workplace, programming, and student support. Below is a list of the additional initiatives we prioritized during the 2022-23 academic year.


  • Continued to prioritize IDEA in the Division’s core values, strategic goals, and strategic initiatives through the Strategic Planning process
  • Published regular updates on IDEA webpage on Division website
  • Continuously amplified BIPOC artists and heritage month celebrations on campus via Division e-newsletters and social media channels


  • Spent over $7,000 in advertising with diverse local media outlets focused on BIPOC and LGBTQ communities (including The Cap City Hues, Madison Vibra, La Comunidad News, Madison365, and Our Lives), including an Investor Level Membership with Madison365 valued at $5,000
  • Sponsored student multicultural initiatives and programming, totaling $5,000, including: The JVN Project: JVN’s Day 10th Anniversary (August 26); Trailblazer Talk: Angelica Ross (February 28); Black History Month Keynote: A Conversation with Tyler James Williams (March 22); and The Studio’s An Afternoon with Jos Charles: Trans Poetics and the Power of Time (April 23)
  • Deepened relationship with the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiative (OMAI) through co-presenting a series of four short-term Interdisciplinary Arts Residencies throughout the 2022-23 year
  • Maintained memberships in local organizations, including the Latino Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
  • Members of Division staff volunteered at 2022 Winter Study Jam hosted by the Multicultural Student Center, serving over 400 students


  • All staff met or exceeded required 12 hours of professional development in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Held a second staff retreat around the book Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown, facilitated by Ali Muldrow


  • During the October 2022 residency, Jay Adana and Zeniba Now presented The Loophole, a Black quantum retelling of the American Civil War, at the 2022 Passing the Mic Festival
  • During the November 2022 residency, Black poet and performance artist Jasmine Mans cast and directed a small group of UW–Madison scholars to debut a choreopoem performance at OMAI’s Just Bust! Open Mic
  • Presented International Visiting Artist Machiko Ito (Fall 2022), who creates sculptural artworks with crochet, woven and bundled glass fiber
  • During the February-March 2023 residency, Porsha Olayiwola was a featured performer at Moonshine and OMAI’s Just Bust! Open Mic
  • During the March-April 2023 residency, Dr. Eve L. Ewing was a feature and headline performer at the 2023 Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival
  • Presented five Arts Together events, gathering in community and showcasing diverse arts faculty research
  • Engaged with 12 visiting artists during The Studio Seminar, featuring artists with diverse racial, ethnic, and gender identities
  • Integrated seven student performances into the 2023 Creative Arts Awards ceremony, which featured graduates and undergraduates, majors and non-majors, showcasing a diversity of disciplines and identities

Student Support

  • Continued the Artivism Student Action Program (ASAP), a funding opportunity for student work that demonstrates strong intersections of art and activism, supporting 12 projects totaling $12,200
  • Increased financial support for undergraduate and graduate student arts research through the Creative Arts Awards, totaling $29,000
  • The Studio Learning Community launched a Peer Mentor program who provided artistic mentorship to residents on campus and beyond
  • Hired 10 graduate and undergraduate Division of the Arts student interns during the academic year, who supported a wide variety of programs and projects