What We Talk about When We Talk about Equity: Addressing Equity in Grant Applications

10:45–11:45 a.m.

Presenters: 
Olivia Littles, Ph.D., Grant Writer, Northwest African American Museum; Kathy Hsieh, Cultural Partnerships & Grants Manager, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture; Susan Balbas, Executive Director, Na'ah Illahee Fund

Moderator:
Alix Wilber, Grants & Communications Manager, University of Washington Meany Center for the Performing Arts

Description:
Funders have always been interested to one degree or another in the diversity of the communities reached by the nonprofits they fund. Recently, however, many funders are going beyond diversity to ask about equity. What’s the difference? And how do we, as grantwriters, answer that question? In this seminar, our panel will share their strategies for talking the talk with funders – and walking the walk, both within their own organizations and in the communities they serve.

Presenter Bios: 
Olivia Littles, Ph.D., Grant Writer, Northwest African American Museum: Olivia Littles began working at the Northwest African American Museum in 2007 as a collections volunteer before transitioning into the role of Grant Writer in 2009. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington where she studied the history and role of African American museums.

Alix Wilber, Grants & Communications Manager, University of Washington Meany Center for the Performing Arts: Alix Wilber is the Grants and Communications Manager at the University of Washingtons presenting arts organization, Meany Center for the Performing Arts. Previous grantwriting positions include grants &corporate relations officer at the Seattle Aquarium, and grants manager at Richard Hugo House, a literary center on Capitol Hill for three years before becoming its program director from 2006 to 2011.

Kathy Hsieh, Cultural Partnerships & Grants Manager, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture: Kathy is the Cultural Partnerships and Grants Manager, overseeing the community-building, funding, and racial equity programs of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. A change agent in transforming the City's arts funding program through a racial equity lens, she helped the agency earn the Seattle Management Association's first Race & Social Justice Management Award. A leader with the City's nationally recognized Race & Social Justice Initiative, she has presented on numerous national panels, and is an adjunct professor on Asian American Theatre for the University of Washington. Kathy also has over 20 years of experience as a grant writer for non-profit arts organizations such as Living Voices, Northwest Asian American Theatre and SIS Productions. She has been honored by the National Association of Asian American Professionals in Seattle as their Artist of the Year in 2003, received Verizon's Asian Pacific American Bash's Innovator Award in 2012, and is the 2015 International Examiner Community Voice Awardee in the Arts.

Susan Balbas, Executive Director, Na’ah Illahee Fund: Susan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Teaching. She most recently was a training and technical assistance specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s tribal youth programs through Education Development Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Boston. Susan has been an independent consultant working with tribes, artists and nonprofit organizations, the Chief Development Officer at United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle, Development and Donor Education Coordinator at Changemakers Foundation in San Francisco, Executive Director at the NAYA Youth and Family Center in Portland, and Outreach Director at the Western Water Alliance in Seattle where she was the primary researcher on water and related environmental issues.