NAEA Exhibitor Guidelines on Preventing Cultural Appropriation

2023 NAEA National Convention

NAEA works with a diverse and creative community of educators across the country and the world. As we support our community in their growth and understanding of concepts around equity, diversity, and inclusion, we also consider how our partners and collaborators work to build understanding and awareness of the ways that previous practices have not always been cognizant of their impact on oppressed and underrepresented populations.

Artwork, whether created in classrooms or on exhibit in museums, has power and meaning that impacts individuals, communities, and cultures. Understanding the complexity of images is foundational in the development of students as artists, designers, and citizens. This includes the informed study of cultures and the significance of their use of specific images, words, and objects. When informed, visual arts educators are then able to better understand and challenge the implications surrounding the use of images in order to avoid cultural appropriation, misinformation, and the perpetuation of stereotypes.

NAEA strongly encourages all potential exhibitors to consider how the activities and resources they provide for educators may engage in cultural appropriation. We ask that our partners reflect on the ways that some projects and materials, which may have been considered fun and creative in the past, could actually be harmful to or disrespectful of other cultures. The complex historical and contemporary narratives that have been in place must be reexamined and reconsidered in order to promote increased awareness, understanding, and advocacy for all people. We are committed to working with our partners in the hopes of building projects and resources that best support a more robust and thoughtful understanding of the art and culture of all people and the ways it enriches our lives as learners and educators.

There are several resources on the NAEA website that address these concepts, including NAEA’s position statement on Cultural Appropriation and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission’s archived webinar on the topic, titled Cultural (Mis)appropriation.

If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact Ray Yang, NAEA Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) and Special Initiatives, at

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