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Starting with the very earliest cave paintings, stories, rhythms, and coordinated movements, the visual and performing arts have been integral to humanity’s understanding and exploration of our place in the world. Artists have always been, at a fundamental level, story-tellers. Through visual art, music, theatre, and dance, art can shine a light to illuminate, dissect, discuss, question, and confront society’s issues. The stories we choose to tell can celebrate and reflect society or even garner the power to transform our culture. Great works of art, music, theatre, and dance have challenged our perception of events, revealed truth, and changed the course of history. The School of the Arts at NKU is proud to be a part of this continuum as we reflect upon and rededicate our mission to transform the lives of our students and our community through the power of an arts education.

In the wake of national protests and civil unrest throughout the summer of 2020 following more blatant instances of systemic injustice across our country, the School of the Arts at NKU will continue to be intentional about the stories we tell as artists and the range of viewpoints we present as educators. In our hiring practices, guest artist invitations, production season, gallery shows, and performances, we will continue to seek broad and inclusive representation. In our classrooms and all other creative instructional spaces, we will continue to foster a safe, open, and inclusive environment that is respectful of a broad range of viewpoints, identities, and artistic approaches. Finally, we will continue to actively support development opportunities of our faculty, staff, administrators, and students as we work toward NKU’s goal of ensuring that the principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded into all aspects of university life.

We understand that words alone are not sufficient to create lasting change, inclusivity for all, and safe spaces in which to create. A statement is only as good as the action that follows. Conversations have already shifted toward action and will continue in search of ways large and small that will support our vision of a safe, open, and inclusive School of the Arts.