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Take a listen: addressing racial equity in our local arts ecosystem for change

Thomas Sage Pedersen dives in deep with Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s Executive Director, Jim Brown, and Deputy Director, Mireya Gomez-Contreras to talk about creating a more equitable arts ecosystem. Check out the full Season 4 Episode 3 of the Speak for Change Podcast below.

Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s leadership team sat down with Thomas Sage Pedersen of the Speak for Change podcast to explore how they work to create a more equitable local arts ecosystem. In this episode, entitled Transition + Transformation, Pedersen, Executive Director Jim Brown, and Deputy Director Mireya Gomez-Contreras explore how the Arts Council is transforming itself from the inside out to deliver on its commitment to racial equity.

“I was really impressed with the willingness to share stories of how equity has impacted these leaders on a personal and professional level. This episode is a good introduction to the leadership and vision at the Arts Council. I would also like to welcome Mireya Gomez-Contreras to her new leadership position as Deputy Director,” says Pedersen. “I am excited to see where this goes and hopeful for the future of creating a more equitable society at large.”

Arts Council Santa Cruz County is doing the work. There is a long and messy road ahead, but they are embarking on that path and hopefully can be an example for other organizations to really start changing the landscape in leadership and their communities.

— Thomas Sage Pedersen, Speak for Change Podcast

Pedersen, himself a social change agent and activist, believes the arts play a critical role in positive and lasting change. He’s a musician and owner of Everyone’s Music School. Pedersen is also the founder of The Black Kings of Santa Cruz, a Black Men’s Group for men living in Santa Cruz County that offers a confidential space for Black men to be real.

“Thomas is a masterful communicator, brilliant thought leader, and playful conversationalist. We love partnering with him! Look for a series of conversations between him and artists who live and work at Tannery Arts Center later this year,” says Sally Green, Arts Council’s Development Strategist.

Listen to Transition + Transformation on Speak for Change below!

Catch more of Thomas Sage Pedersen as a featured speaker at an SC Equity Collab event honoring Juneteenth this Sunday, June 20th. Learn more about Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s work in the community here.

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