Equity Framework


COMPAS delivers creative experiences that unleash the potential within all of us.


Minnesota thrives when all of us have access to creative opportunities that enrich lives and communities.


  • ARTS & HUMANITIES – The arts are essential and elemental

  • CREATIVITY – Creativity unlocks the potential in each of us so we can reach a better version of ourselves

  • PARTICIPATION – By actively creating, we not only survive in this world, but thrive

  • EQUITY – Minnesotans of all ages, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, and means deserve creative and artistic opportunities to express their thoughts, dreams, and experiences

  • INCLUSIVITY – Programs are accessible to all with priority given to under-resourced communities

  • ARTISTRY – Teaching artists are ideally equipped to share their art form and creative process with individuals in communities

  • COMMUNITY – Creative experiences forge connections and relationships among and between people

Equity Framework

  • COMPAS board, staff and teaching artists are deeply committed to using our assets to mitigate racial, ethnic and income disparities in our region.

  • Recognizing the adverse consequences of racial disparities, COMPAS takes a leadership role in delivering priority access to creative learning experiences for IBPOC communities. 

  • Uniquely qualified with more than half of our roster of teaching artists who are racially &/or ethnically diverse, COMPAS relentlessly pursues opportunities for students to learn from teaching artists who look like them.

  • All students benefit from racially and ethnically diverse teaching artist role models working in the classroom and other settings.

  • By creating experiences for students to access IBPOC creative role models, COMPAS delivers opportunities for all students to forge critical connections to non-dominant US cultures,  engage students in learning, and to close the opportunity gap. 

The Imperative

  • Indigenous peoples and communities of color in our state and region experience nearly the worst economic and social outcomes in our country.

  • African Americans and Indigenous people in particular, due to a long history of exclusionary and discriminatory policies have not had access to the same opportunities for growth as white students.

  • 37% of MN students are students of color or indigenous. Nationally, 8% of teachers are POCI.

  • Model strategic plans and racial equity policies prioritize creating equitable practices for students to access culturally responsive teaching and learning practices as well as curriculum.

  • Equity practices give priority to creating inclusive learning cultures where students are supported to show up as their full selves and thrive as individual learners in a global society.

  • It is well recognized that for school districts to create successful outcomes for Indigenous or students of color, they must actively utilize community resources to bring diversity into the classroom until there are a greater number of qualified POCI teachers available.

Americans For the Arts share a little science about arts in education.