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Publications

Research Report
September 20, 2018

Interrogating Institutional Practices in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Lessons and Recommendations from Case Studies in Eight Art Museums

In 2015, a demographic survey of the staff of North American art museums conducted by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and Ithaka S+R found that the staff composition of museums in the United States is not remotely representative of the country’s population....In 2015, a demographic survey of the staff of North American art museums conducted by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), American Alliance of…
Case Study
September 20, 2018

Free for All: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Upon its founding in 1948, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) was the first museum devoted to contemporary art in the region. Since its inception, this 16,000 square foot gallery, located between the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and Rice University, has responded to its rich environmental context. Houston has long been known for its remarkably diverse population, as well as its contributions to civil liberties, from Smith vs. Allwright in 1944, which ended the common practice of “white…
Case Study
September 20, 2018

Becoming a Public Square: Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts Facade, Courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts Located in midtown Detroit’s cultural center, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is one of the largest encyclopedic museums in the country, housing nearly 66,000 works of art. From the outside, described by many of its staff as looking like a castle on a hill, one would not guess at the museum’s turbulent history, stemming from a complex relationship with the city of Detroit. Today, DIA…
Case Study
June 7, 2018

Small but Mighty: Spelman College Museum

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is located on the serene campus of a prominent Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Atlanta, Georgia. A women’s institution located in the Atlanta University Center, which also includes Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College is ranked as the top HBCU in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.[1] The museum fits neatly within the scope of its host institution; its mission is…
Case Study
June 7, 2018

At Fifty, Remodeling for Equity

MCA Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Chicago) occupies a premier location in Chicago’s downtown. Situated in the city’s historic Gold Coast, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country, the museum is buffered by two public parks, which grant it a view of Lake Michigan.[1] It is the largest contemporary arts museum in the country, with around 140 full-time and 200 part-time staff, and almost 3,000 works in its permanent collection. In 2017, MCA Chicago celebrated…
Case Study
January 23, 2018

An Engine for Diversity

Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem is a contemporary, culturally specific, artist-centric museum located in New York City that has played a singular role in defining and promoting the art of African Americans and the African diaspora. The museum has contributed substantially in bringing this art into the canon and equally in providing opportunities for African Americans to gain access to the cultural sector, especially for artists and curators. Through its collections, program, and employees, the Studio Museum’s impact has come…
Case Study
January 23, 2018

“I Recommend Dancing”

Brooklyn Museum’s History of Inclusion and Moment of Transition

Brooklyn Museum Façade Photo by Brittney Najar The Brooklyn Museum has pursued a number of unconventional directions to address its community’s current and emerging needs. It practices a contemporary approach to its encyclopedic collection, allowing intersectional feminist theory and critical race theory, for instance, to inform and problematize ancient works. It has opted for accessibility rather than grandeur in its facade. Many Brooklyn residents are introduced to it through its crowded Saturday night parties, rather than its substantial collections of…
Case Study
January 23, 2018

Pipelines and Inroads

The Andy Warhol Museum

Front façade of The Andy Warhol Museum. Photo by Abby Warhola. The Andy Warhol Museum fits within a simple narrative at first glance—the largest single-artist museum in North America devoted to presenting and circulating globally the most complete collection of Warhol’s work. In fact, Andy Warhol’s legacy lends itself to the plurality of narratives and identities embodied in the museum. For many of the museum’s visitors, the seven-story prewar industrial building has become a place of pilgrimage, a destination…
Case Study
January 23, 2018

Reflecting Los Angeles, Decentralized and Global

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is distinguishable from other US encyclopedic museums in three aspects: it is the largest North American art museum west of the Mississippi; it is the youngest encyclopedic museum in the United States; and it is situated in one of the most ethnically diverse metropolises in the world. These characteristics interact in a number of meaningful ways under the museum’s current leadership, allowing its local and global ambitions to complement one another. LACMA is…
Research Report
August 30, 2017

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity: Members of the Association of Research Libraries

Employee Demographics and Director Perspectives

The library community considers diversity to be a core value.[1] But, the academic library sector has struggled with addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion. One key shortcoming has been in its efforts to ensure representative numbers of library employees of color.[2] In recent years, many academic librarians and observers of academic libraries have worked toward understanding this issue and the shortcomings of efforts to diversify, focusing on staffing, library education, and advocacy for diversity and social justice…
Research Report
May 2, 2016

Diversity and Inclusion in New York City’s Cultural Sector: BRIC

Efforts towards quantifying the diversity in various industries have gained a great deal of attention in the last few years. From the #OscarsSoWhite controversy,[1] to the initiatives towards transparency in Silicon Valley,[2] to the recent benchmark survey in publishing,[3] quantifying diversity has become a central component of highlighting areas in the workforce that are notably homogenous in order to approach diversity initiatives strategically. In the summer of 2015, Ithaka S+R administered a survey to…
Research Report
April 27, 2016

Diversity in the New York City Dance Community

Foreword by Leah Krauss, Senior Program Officer for Dance and Special Projects, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Lane Harwell, Executive Director, Dance/NYC Creating an inclusive and equitable workforce in dance and culture, as in any industry, requires baseline demographic data to guide action and measure progress over time. Commissioned by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, this report by Ithaka S+R furthers the movement to create equity in dance by shedding light on the gender and racial makeup of the dance workforce, both…
Research Report
January 28, 2016

Diversity in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Community

New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the United States at a city level, ranking fourth in the country based on 2010 census data.[1] There are over 1,000 cultural organizations in the five boroughs, each with specific ties to communities, each with vastly different organizational structures and sizes, and each integral to the diversity of culture that defines New York City. Over the summer of 2015 many of these organizations participated in a survey…