Advancing Inclusion through the Arts
Travelers invests millions of dollars annually to support arts and cultural organizations that help keep our communities vibrant and culturally enriched. We believe that arts and cultural organizations help drive economic growth, enhance learning and build multicultural understanding – leading to more accepting and inclusive communities.
Launched in 2019, Art Speaks is an employee-focused program that leverages Travelers’ investment in arts and cultural organizations to spark meaningful and thought-provoking dialogue around diversity and inclusion. This initiative engages employees in discussions that help drive civil discourse, encourage deep multicultural exploration and promote unity.
Through Art Speaks, employees have opportunities to enjoy in-person or virtual artistic experiences, followed by discussions led and facilitated by diversity and inclusion professionals, drawing on themes related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Arts and cultural experiences vary; employees are exposed to different forms of artistic expression, such as theater, visual arts, dance, photography and music.
In 2022, Travelers hosted several Art Speaks events focused on social justice, diversity and inclusion, and culture:
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In celebration of Black History Month and its national theme “Black health and wellness,” we hosted a dance demonstration and discussion.
- Watercress. In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we broadcasted a webinar about Chinese heritage with award-winning illustrator Jason Chin.
- Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom. In recognition of Juneteenth, we hosted an event featuring The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, as well as African drumming and spoken word by Hartford-based artists.
- Moving Beyond Through Dance. In celebration of National Disability Awareness Month, we presented a dance demonstration and discussion featuring Infinite Flow Dance ensemble, a nonprofit and professional dance company that employs dancers with and without disabilities with a mission to use dance as a catalyst to dismantle biases and foster inclusion.
- Operation Song. In celebration of Veterans Day, we partnered with Operation Song, an organization that pairs service members and military spouses with professional songwriters to create songs based on their military experiences. Eight Travelers employees from military-connected communities shared their stories, which were turned into songs.
- Arts and cultural organizations benefit from Travelers’ sponsorship and gain visibility among Travelers employees.
- In partnership with Travelers, these nonprofit organizations are developing their diversity, equity and inclusion curricula and building capacity for engaging other audiences in similar discussions.
- Art Speaks supports Travelers’ ongoing efforts to build an inclusive culture through conversations and opportunities that bridge differences among employees with diverse life and career experiences.
- Surveys completed by participating employees show that 96% feel the arts and cultural programs provide an effective tool for communicating themes related to diversity and inclusion.