We took a thoughtful approach to commissioning this artwork. We didn't want to just throw something on the side of our building and say, "Here you go." We engaged members of the community in talking about their experiences and uncovering what their lived experience has been with Anton Art Center and arts generally in this area. What we heard from the community is that there's this great movement of public art here in Macomb County, but there's not a lot of representation of people of color.
MELINDA CLYNES | THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2023
Phil Gilchrist is the executive director of Anton Art Center, a community arts organization located in Mount Clemens.
What is the IDEA Council? When did it start and what does it stand for?
The IDEA Council was launched by Anton Art Center in the fall of 2020. IDEA stands for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access.
What sparked the creation of the council?
Anton Art Center is a longstanding, relatively small, arts organization in downtown Mount Clemens. We had a similar culture and atmosphere to many small arts organizations in that we were pretty insular. A smallish group of folks were involved, and it wasn't a very open organization.
In 2020, on the heels of the uprisings across the country, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, we thought it pertinent to investigate where we were as an organization when it comes to racial justice and being a welcoming and inclusive organization. How were we representing our community and including them at the table when we're talking about arts programming that's intended to benefit everyone? And so, we established our IDEA Council in response to those questions.