Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE)

Leveraging a Network for Equity was a ten-year initiative beginning in 2016 that amplified the leadership of arts organizations of color and rural organizations to bolster a thriving and innovative field.

The effects of systemic racism and other oppressions on arts and philanthropy have left organizations of color and rural organizations under-resourced and undervalued for decades. Leveraging a Network for Equity was a roughly ten-year initiative by the National Performance Network to support arts organizations of color to thrive in ways that felt relevant to who they are, in relationship to an environment that is not supportive of their wellbeing. 

For two cohorts of six organizations, LANE gathered and resourced our cohort to provide them with the space and information to breathe, dream, and assert their brilliance. This included ongoing thought partnership with consultants and financial capital to support their stabilization and change, to ensure these organizations can thrive in ways that are consistent with their values.

Over that time, we amassed an enormous amount of learning. Cohort members were intimately engaged in synthesizing this knowledge to create the Mixed Metaphor Liberatory Infrastructure tools. Below are offerings we share with the field that encapsulate the lived experiences, learnings, and practices of these artists, arts administrators, culture workers, dreamers, organizational leaders, organizers, poets, strategists, and visionaries.

View a slideshow of images from LANE’s journey

Mixed Metaphor

A spiral-bound LANE workbook sits against a deep blue background with swirly and speckled light blue detailing. The cover of this workbook places the words “Mixed Metaphor: A Liberatory Infrastructure Toolkit for Arts and Culture Organizations” between an illustration of two dark and medium-brown skinned people holding hands with their eyes closed. The sun sets between their canyon-textured bodies. The colorful LANE tarot deck is splayed out to the workbook’s left, with the topmost card showing the word “Emergence” amidst a deep fuchsia background decorated with cyan accents as well as sparkling jellyfish, coral, and sea anemones. Above this deck float the same words from the workbook, large and titular. The LANE logo is stamped on the bottom left.

Mixed Metaphor: A Hybrid Approach Toward Liberatory Infrastructure for Arts & Culture Organizations

The Mixed Metaphor Liberatory Infrastructure tools are made for people who believe culture is the fulcrum of social change, and who care about co-creating equitable and liberated processes around leadership and organizations. It includes a workbook and a learning deck tool.

Explore LANE’s  Mixed Metaphor

LANE PodcastTactile

LANE Podcast: TACtile

A podcast sharing LANE’s knowledge and journey with the field

Produced by LANE Cohort members and cultural strategist Sage Crump, this podcast (2019–2020) discusses practical tools and concepts designed to transform the field of arts and culture towards equity and justice.

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

Black August

LANE Honors Black August

“One of the tasks of any revolutionary movement is to turn thinkers into fighters and fighters into thinkers.”

—General Bakers and the field

In social justice and Black liberation movements, the month of August is a time for reflection, training, and study. In solidarity with Black August everywhere, LANE is inviting you into a moment of collective study to grow the political analysis in our field and connect our work with the larger movement for racial justice.

Learn more about LANE’s Black August

The LANE Journey

LANE Prezi

This presentation shares LANE’s approach over our four-year journey together

It details the four cornerstones that guided our work and how those were operationalized through the four tiers of support cohort members received. It also speaks to the arts funding resource disparity the program sought to address with statistics from the time of its founding. 

View Prezi


LANE Conversation Series: “Bingo! How Lived Experience Informs Learning”

Photo of LANE cohort members Central District Forum of Arts and Ideas in Seattle, Washington and The Theater Offensive in Boston, Massachusetts interviewing each other at the 2019 National Performance Network Conference.

LANE presents cohort discussions filmed at the 2019 National Performance Network Conference.

LANE Cornerstone: Design Justice

Design Justice Network

Collection of zines from the Design Justice Network

LANE Cornerstone: Emergence

Emergent Strategy

Book recommendation: Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown

LANE Cornerstone: Popular Education

What is Popular Education?

Report explaining Popular Education

LANE Cornerstone: Racial Justice/Cultural Equity

GIA: Racial Equity

GIA report on Racial Equity in Arts Funding

LANE Prezi

LANE Prezi

This presentation shares LANE’s approach over our four-year journey together

LANE’s Theory of Change

LANE's Theory of Change

We see a path toward equity that can only be achieved through more resources and recognition for critical cultural work.

Multiple Ways of Knowing

Change Elemental's Multiple Ways of Knowing

Change Elemental’s blog post about the four ways of knowing

The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards

Illustration by Aurélia Durand

Stanford Social Innovation Review article by Aysa Gray

The Case for Reparations, story by Ta-Nehisi Coates

How we understand the wealth gap and intentional divestment of POC organizations

The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture

From Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun