Woman seeks to make Westbury Arts more inclusive to different cultures
A Westbury woman is doing her part to bring diversity and inclusion to Westbury Arts.
Jackie Beder is the board director and chair of Westbury Arts' Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Westbury Arts was founded in 2013 with a mission to connect, educate and inspire.
"We envision a community where art and culture is valued and people have a sense of pride," Beder says.
Every few weeks, exhibits will change to reflect the different cultures in the community. The idea is to offer a diverse group of artists the opportunity to exhibit their works and to attract a diverse audience to the center.
"The arts are not going to be able to survive without being inclusive," Beder says.
Dr. Nichelle Rivers is one of the artists featured in the gallery's celebration of Black History Month Art.
Rivers says the event gives her the chance to inspire the next generation of artists.
"Even though as Black artists it's sometimes difficult for us to get the access and opportunity to really get the exposure of our work," Rivers says. "Seeing someone that looks like them here I think gives them that hope."
Westbury Arts is planning to spread its message of inclusion with artwork highlighting women's history, Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage, Pride Month and Islamic faith.
"We want them to walk away and feel they belong, they're included," Beder says. "That what they're seeing represents what their interests are."