Photo: Michael Cestaro

DEIA Resources Page


As we continue to strengthen the Summer Workshop Program, we acknowledge that our demographic data shows that, historically, a majority of our students and faculty have identified as white and affluent. Looking forward, we acknowledge that we have work to do so that our educational programs are truly welcoming and accessible for young people, people of color, people with low incomes, and people from other historically marginalized communities.


We are committed to increasing access to and diversity in our educational programs, and to creating and maintaining an environment that is as welcoming as possible for people from historically underserved communities. Our aim is to nurture a community in which we all hold ourselves and each other accountable, celebrate difference, and work to build the trust necessary to take risks, be vulnerable, and share creative endeavors.

What We Are Doing

We are working on a number of levels to make our educational programs more welcoming to people from historically marginalized communities.

1. Centering our DEIA Commitment. You can see our DEIA Statement on our website by clicking here.

2. Diversifying Faculty. Historically, our educational program faculty has consisted of between 15 and 20% people of color. In 2023, 50% of our Summer Workshop Program faculty identified as BIPOC, and the same will be true in 2024.

3. Diversifying the Student Body. In addition to increasing the diversity of our faculty, we are deploying a mix of approaches to increase the diversity of our education program student body. 

  • We have forged partnerships with organizations committed to equity and inclusion, such as Cave Canem, the Institute for American Indian Arts, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, Undocupoets, and others, in order to engage and serve new students from diverse communities.
  • We have dramatically ramped up our scholarship program, rooted in partnerships, to make our educational programs more accessible and welcoming to young people, people with low incomes, and people from other historically marginalized communities. Last year over 100 students attended without paying tuition (20% of our total student body), and over 60 of those were also provided free housing and a travel stipend. We will continue this work in 2024 and beyond.
  • Starting in 2024 we will offer a tiered tuition system (with a highly subsidized rate for teachers and students) designed to make our workshops more affordable to all.

4. Improving the Accessibility of our Facilities. We continue to invest in capital improvements in order to make our facilities more physically accessible, including the addition of an ADA compliant kitchen in our community lounge; centrally located public spaces with a navigable courtyard; ramps from the parking lot; updated HVAC for improved air quality; radio frequency listening assistive devices; acoustic treatment, and flexible seating in our presentation space.

5. Community Guidelines and Action Steps. We have created a set of guidelines (see below) that we expect everyone who participates in our educational programs to adhere to. They will set a campus-wide commitment to accountability, respect, and kindness designed to make our time together one of creative growth, trust, and fun. We also have created a set of Action Steps that can be taken when confronted by behavior not in alignment with these values. These Community Guidelines and Action Steps will be shared by staff at the opening orientation, in workshops by faculty, posted in studios, and included in student and faculty packets.

6. Workshop Environment. All faculty members will be expected to proactively create and maintain a tone and environment of trust, respect, and kindness in their workshops. This workshop-level commitment will help all participants feel included and able to take the risks needed to make creative leaps.

7. Support.

  • Culture and Belonging Specialist. Starting in 2023, we created a new summer staff position specifically to support students and faculty from structurally marginalized communities, and to ensure that any issues were responded to quickly and effectively.
  • All staff and faculty will be expected to respond in support of anyone who has been made to feel in any way unwelcome or disrespected.

8. Resources. We are providing a variety of resources online (see below) and on campus to develop a common way of understanding our responsibility for making our time together inclusive, connecting, and productive. We encourage all workshop participants to read and view these resources.

Community Guidelines

To ensure that every member of the FAWC community feels welcome, included, and able to participate to their fullest extent, we expect all members of the FAWC Summer Workshop Program communitywhether staff, trustee, instructor, student, or guestto treat one another with respect and kindness. FAWC staff commit to rooting our behavior and interactions in the following Community Guidelines, and ask that the rest of our community members do the same (adapted from Resource Media)

  • Be mindful of power dynamics. Power shows up in many different ways—be aware of the privilege and power you possess, as well as how you may be wielding your power unconsciously.
  • Be accountable. The things we say and do impact others, despite our intent. Be accountable for the impact of your actions and words, regardless of your intentions.
  • Be open. Receive feedback respectfully when your ideas or behavior are challenged by people from communities that have been marginalized. It is a gift when someone takes the time and risk to give feedback. Thank them for the learning opportunity and recognize you have work to do.
  • Embrace learning and growth. DEIA work is sometimes uncomfortable and uncertain. We will make mistakes along the way. Remember, we are all here to learn and grow, both individually and collectively.

We are committed to providing a welcoming space for all who come to FAWC. If anyone in the FAWC community does or says something that makes you or another member of the FAWC community feel unwelcome or disrespected, we ask that you use the following Action Steps as a guide to bringing the incident to our attention so that it can be resolved.

Action Steps

1. If you experience or witness any behavior or language in your workshop that makes you or anyone in your workshop feel unwelcome or disrespected, please bring it to the attention of your instructor. They will take the lead and ensure the incident is resolved.

2. If the incident is not resolved satisfactorily within the workshop itself, we encourage you to speak with your instructor privately. They will then remind the class about the Community Guidelines and/or address the person violating the Community Guidelines in private, and/or arrange for a staff member to do so.

In either of these scenarios, your instructor will inform staff about the incident and efforts made to resolve it, so that we can follow up to make sure it has been resolved.

3. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable speaking with your instructor about an incident, or if it is your instructor who is making you feel unwelcome or disrespected, or if something happens outside of your workshop, we encourage you to approach a Summer Workshop staff member for a private conversation about the incident. We will talk with you to determine appropriate next steps and ensure that the situation is resolved. Here is the contact information for our Summer Workshop staff:

· David Simpson, Programs Director, or (508) 487-9960 ext. 103
· Sara Siegel, Program Manager, or (508) 487-9960 ext. 104
· Naya Bricher, Administrative Director, or (508) 487-9960 ext. 101

4. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable speaking with Summer Workshop staff, or if it is staff that is making you feel unwelcome or unsafe, we encourage you to contact Naya Bricher, FAWC’s Administrative Director, who will work with you to determine appropriate next steps.
5. Someone will be on-call to respond to any incidents that occur after regular business hours. We will provide a phone number to call, and the person on-call will make sure you are safe and help determine appropriate next steps to ensure the incident is resolved.

Supporting Trans and Nonbinary Members of Our Community

FAWC is committed to fostering a welcoming, supportive space for trans and nonbinary people, including students, staff, and faculty. 

At FAWC, we do this work by: 

  • Honoring people’s self-determination;
  • Immediately addressing any incidents that cause distress or harm;
  • Apologizing for mistakes we make;
  • Continuing to educate ourselves and welcoming feedback.

We expect all members of the FAWC Summer Workshop community to adhere to these simple principles.

Harassment Guidelines

It is the goal of FAWC to promote a Summer Workshop environment that is free from harassment on the basis of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. If you witness or experience any form of harassment, please refer to the Action Steps (see above) for a guide to your next steps. FAWC staff will respond immediately to complaints of harassment and where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to stop the conduct, ensure that the person affected by the conduct feels safe, and that the person who perpetrates the conduct is held responsible for their behavior. This policy extends to everyone in the FAWC Summer Workshop community, including trustees, staff, faculty, students, onsite guests, and classroom models. (Please note, work produced in workshops may explore topics related to sex, sexuality, sexual harassment or assault. But as such, we do not consider artistic content itself to be a form of sexual harassment. Whenever possible, we will provide a content warning before such work is publicly presented.) 

Terms and Definitions

Here are some definitions of relevant terms and ideas. Below them you will find more resources to keep learning. Definitions are adapted from the National Association of Counties .

Diversity. The presence of different and multiple characteristics that make up individual and collective identities, including race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, language, and physical ability.

Equality. In the context of diversity, equality is typically defined as treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities. It means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.

Equity. The process of identifying and removing the barriers that create disparities in the access to resources and means, and the achievement of fair treatment and equal opportunities to thrive.

Justice.  The process of society moving from an unfair, unequal, or inequitable state to one that is fair, equal, or equitable. A transformative practice that relies on the entire community to acknowledge past and current harms to reform societal morals and subsequently the governing laws. Proactive enforcement of policies, practices, and attitudes that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment, and outcomes for all regardless of the various identities that one holds.

Inclusion is creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to participate fully.

Individual Racism. Individual or personal beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, and actions that perpetuate or support racism. Individual racism can occur at both a conscious and unconscious level and can be active or passive. Examples can include avoiding people of color, or accepting or approving of racist acts or jokes.

Institutional Racism. Unfair or biased institutional or organizational practices and policies that create different (or inequitable) outcomes for different racial groups. These policies may not specifically target any racial group but may create advantages for some groups and oppression or disadvantages for others. Examples can include policies within the criminal justice system that punish people of color more than their white counterparts, or within the workforce system in which hiring practices can significantly disadvantage workers of color.

Privilege grants advantages and benefits to members of a dominant group at the expense of members of target groups. While privilege does not mean that someone’s life is not difficult or that they did not work for what they have, it does mean that their life is not more difficult because of their membership in a dominant group, which includes white people, males, heterosexuals, and English speakers. Privilege tends to be invisible to people who have it, and people in this group often believe that they have earned the privileges that they enjoy or that everyone could have access to these privileges if only they worked to earn them.

Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions of a group of people often based on race, religion, or gender, in an unconscious manner.

Microaggressions are the kinds of remarks, questions, or actions that are painful because they have to do with a person’s membership in a group that’s discriminated against. A key part of what makes them so disconcerting is that they happen casually, frequently, and often without any harm intended. An example of this would be asking to touch the hair of someone who is a different race; commenting that someone “speaks English so well!” if they are a person of color; or continuing to misgender someone based on their appearance rather than their stated pronouns.

Intersectionality refers to the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Code-switching is the practice of alternating between one linguistic code to another depending on the social context or conversational setting. People of color often feel the need to code-switch in more situations than white people because the unwritten rules of many social situations are dictated by white experiences.

White fragility. The state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves in white people. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar.

Other Resources

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