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tag: American Alliance of Museums

Research Report
November 16, 2022

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2022

With support from the Mellon Foundation and in partnership with AAM and AAMD, Ithaka S+R conducted a third cycle of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey. As museums have struggled with revenue losses due to the pandemic, many in the field expressed concern that museums would grow less diverse. This study shows that the opposite is true. Findings shed light on the trajectory of demographic changes and the impact of the pandemic on staffing.
Blog Post
October 27, 2022

Announcing the 2022 Art Museum Director Survey

The leaders of art museums are responsible for the collection, programming, and employment strategies that influence the health and vibrancy of our public culture. In the years following the start of the pandemic and calls for racial justice after the murder of George Floyd, art museum directors' strategies have shifted towards a dramatic increase in virtual and digital programming, as well more highly prioritizing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, according to findings from the 2022 Art Museum Director Survey.
Research Report
October 27, 2022

Art Museum Director Survey 2022

Documenting Change in Museum Strategy and Operations

In April 2022, with funding from the Kress Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, and in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Ithaka S+R launched the second iteration of the Art Museum Director Survey. One hundred and eighty-one art museum directors completed the attitudinal survey, sharing perspectives about the institution they represent, as well as the museum sector as a whole.
Blog Post
April 5, 2022

Launching the 2022 Art Museum Director Survey 

In early 2020, Ithaka S+R launched the inaugural art museum director survey. This survey gathered the attitudes of museum directors on topics including leadership and strategy, budget and staffing, visitors and the public, and collections. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of museums across the country, the museum director survey had been in the field only a few weeks. We closed the survey with a fifty percent response rate. The evidence gathered…
Blog Post
March 17, 2022

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey Cycle 3

Interim Updates

On Monday, February 7, 2022, Ithaka S+R opened Cycle 3 of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey—a survey funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and fielded in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Cycle 3 has now been open for approximately one month, and we would like to offer the following updates to support art museums still compiling…
Blog Post
February 11, 2022

Announcing the Next Cycle of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Ithaka S+R opened the third cycle of the survey on February 7

In 2014 and 2018, Ithaka S+R partnered with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), to conduct a quantitative study on diversity within art museums who are part of these associations. We are excited to announce the continued collaboration through a third cycle of the demographic survey examining diversity amongst art museum employees.  Previous Cycles…
Blog Post
November 12, 2021

Announcing a New Research Collaboration

Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums and Ithaka S+R Are Fielding the First Art Museum Trustee Survey this Fall

We are excited to announce the launch of Ithaka S+R’s collaboration with the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). BTA, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a membership organization working to increase the inclusion of Black perspectives and narratives in North American art museums to make these institutions more equitable and excellent spaces of cultural engagement. Using programming, research, and strategic communications, BTA is helping its members–Black trustees…
Blog Post
November 12, 2020

Findings from the Inaugural Art Museum Director Survey

Benchmarking Perspectives from Early 2020

Today, Jennifer Frederick and I published findings from the inaugural art museum director survey, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and conducted in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Alliance of Museums. The survey captures the perspectives of directors from a moment in time before the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures of museums in the US, and before the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked major protests against police brutality…
Research Report
November 12, 2020

Ithaka S+R Art Museum Director Survey 2020

Art museums serve a unique social role in that they operate between the public sphere, the academy, the art market, and the philanthropic sector. They are invaluable resources for scholars and also serve school children, adults, seniors while engaging broadly in the cultural life of their cities. Beyond these roles, they also have the responsibility to maintain and care for a collection of objects for future generations in perpetuity. The Ithaka S+R Art Museum Director Survey 2020 examines strategy and…
Blog Post
June 12, 2020

How Will Museums Live Up to their Solidarity Commitments?

Last week at the American Alliance of Museums Virtual meeting, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Secretary Lonnie Bunch, and Lori Fogarty discussed the protests that have erupted across the country and around the world, in order to start a dialogue about the museum’s role in confronting structural racism in America. Since the reignition of Black Lives Matter protests by George Floyd’s murder, many museums…
Blog Post
December 18, 2019

Gearing up for a National Survey of Art Museum Leaders

This winter, we will field our first national survey of art museum directors in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and with support from the Kress Foundation. This study builds on our previous work with art museums, including the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey, case studies with eight AAMD museums, and research into the organizational structure of art museums, as…
Blog Post
January 28, 2019

Museums Grow More Diverse, But Change is Uneven

Today we are pleased to announce the publication of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2018. In partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ithaka S+R has conducted a study of the demographics of the art museum field. This report builds on findings from the  Art Museum Demographic Survey we conducted in 2015, showing that, while some meaningful progress has been made towards…
Research Report
January 28, 2019

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2018

In order to gauge the extent to which progress has been made since 2015 towards increasing staff diversity in art museums, in 2018 we undertook a second iteration of the demographic survey. At a high level, the study has found some meaningful progress in the representation of people of color in a number of different museum functions, including the curatorial. We also found an increase in the number of women in museum leadership positions from 2015 to 2018. Nevertheless, the…
Blog Post
September 20, 2018

Improving Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Art Museums

New Report Synthesizes Findings from Eight Case Studies

Over the past year, Ithaka S+R and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have partnered in a major qualitative study of equity, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement in art museums. In this project, which was conducted through detailed case studies of eight art museums, we did not find a panacea. Our work, however, finds that these eight museums have followed an array of common strategies, and through ongoing hard work have made a meaningful…
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,…
Blog Post
August 23, 2018

Announcing the 2018 Demographic Survey of Art Museum Employees

In 2014, Ithaka S+R partnered with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to study the representational diversity within art museums through quantitative means. Today, four years after the first study, we are undertaking a second cycle of the demographic survey, to measure what we hope will be positive change in the field. The initial demographic survey arose from a growing concern that cultural organizations are struggling…
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
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…