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Forthcoming Case Studies of Eight Art Museums

This month we are very excited to begin qualitative research on inclusion, diversity, and equity issues in eight American art museums. This research builds on a previous study we undertook on behalf of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in consultation with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), which found that art museum employees were more racially homogeneous than the U.S. population, especially in professional roles.  Our current research, through the same partnership, will focus on how some museums have achieved a degree of racial diversity in those professional roles. This effort will involve a holistic study of the…


Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Art Museums
Learning from the Community

How diverse are America’s art museums? In terms of one measure—employee demographics—not very. A 2014 study, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and undertaken by Ithaka S+R in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), showed that the field is much more homogenous with respect to race and ethnicity than the nation as a whole. While these findings have already had widespread impact, the study also raised questions about how art museums can do more to reflect and support the communities they serve. Now as a follow up the Mellon Foundation, AAMD, and Ithaka S+R are collaborating…


Dataset for DCLA Diversity Survey Available at the National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture

In 2015, Ithaka S+R partnered with New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs to conduct a survey to measure the demographics of the city’s cultural sector. The report of findings was published in January 2016, and is available on our website. Recently, the data used for this report has been made available in an anonymized form through a new national initiative toward archiving data in the arts. The survey of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs grantees yielded roughly 40,000 records representing the staff and board members of over 1000 cultural institutions in New York, nearly nine out of…


With Support of Third Parties, Aiming for Impact in Diversity Research

Over the past two years, Ithaka S+R has had the opportunity to conduct several projects that study issues of equity, inclusion, and especially representative diversity, in the cultural and academic sectors. A recent piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education raised troubling questions about the diversity efforts at one major university, which it described as stuck in a “perpetual loop: Form a committee in reaction to a crisis, pledge to diversify the faculty, and then fail to follow through with action and resources needed to sustain progress.” As we launch our latest project in this area, focusing on academic libraries,…


BRIC Gallery: An Inclusive Space for a Diverse Organization

Earlier this month, Ithaka S+R published a study on the Brooklyn-based arts and media organization, BRIC. We were excited to explore how some of BRIC’s community partnerships have influenced the atmosphere of its space, contributing to the organization’s presence as a leader on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in New York City’s cultural sector. BRIC’s gallery is a prominent feature of the organization’s new home, BRIC House. It doubles as both a performance space and a contemporary art gallery. With exhibitions rotating every six weeks, BRIC aims to blend cultural relevance with its aesthetic vision. The past exhibition, Whisper…