2020 NASAA Leadership Awards: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual Award

Deonté Griffin-Quick

New Jersey State Council on the Arts

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has named Deonté Griffin-Quick a recipient of its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Individual Award. This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in addressing and raising awareness about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in their state or region.

Deonté, an actor and arts administrator from Linden, New Jersey, is committed to advancing professional American theatre while advocating for diversity and equity in the arts. In 2019, to connect, empower and cultivate other arts and cultural leaders of color, Deonté developed and spearheaded the New Jersey Arts and Culture Administrators of Color Network. Deonté serves as the manager of programs and services at New Jersey Theatre Alliance and also works with Unlock Creative, a social enterprise that nurtures, grows and sustains Black creative leadership in the arts and culture nonprofit and entertainment industry. He is also a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of ArtPride NJ.

As the 2018-2019 state coordinator of New Jersey Poetry Out Loud, a program of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Deonté helped recruit more than 2,000 new students, making it the second largest Poetry Out Loud program in the country. In 2019, he was honored by the Union County Urban League of Young Professionals with the Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award. An active arts leader throughout the Garden State, Deonté has also worked with Alternate ROOTS, a nationally recognized organization in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as a grant panelist and facilitated workshops focused on equity, diversity and anti-oppression.

Deonté holds a B.A. in theatre and communication from Kean University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in arts administration at Drexel University. www.deontegq.com

“NASAA applauds Deonté Griffin-Quick as a recipient of the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, our field’s highest honor for individuals who help their states or regions be more diverse, equitable and inclusive,” said NASAA President and CEO Pam Breaux. “Deonté’s accomplishments are truly impressive—he’s shown courage, commitment and service, and he’s made a lot happen in a short period of time. He is a wonderful role model and we can’t wait to see what he does next! NASAA is thrilled to recognize Deonté with this award, both his achievements and his potential.”

NASAA established the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards to recognize the policies, practices and programs of state arts agencies that embrace and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their states. NASAA celebrates the diversity that enriches and strengthens our nation, and through this award aims to support and elevate state arts agencies in their efforts to lead in this area. The award for individuals includes $1,000 to be used in support of the recipient’s diversity, equity and inclusion work.