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Two Foundations Create $6 Million Initiative to Diversify Museum Leadership

The Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation have announced that they will each commit $3 million over the next three years in support of finding creative solutions to diversify curatorial and management staff in art museums across the United States.

The $6 million initiative was launched in response to recent studies that have shown that leadership of arts organizations do not adequately reflect the socioeconomic and racial demographics of the country’s population. A study released by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015 discovered that only 16 percent of leadership positions are held by people of color.

“For museums to be truly inviting public spaces, they must better reflect the communities they serve,” said Alice Walton, the founder and board chair of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. “Achieving diversity requires a deeper commitment: To hire and nurture leaders from all backgrounds. This initiative creates the opportunity for museums to build a more inclusive culture within their institutions.”

The Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative will fund twenty programs at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; the Hood Museum in Hanover, New Hampshire; the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. The monies will be used to create mentorship and career development programs and to provide more fellowship and internship opportunities.

The full list of museums receiving funding as part of the initiative is as follows:

Andy Warhol Museum
The Art Institute of Chicago
Clark Atlanta University Art Museum
Cleveland Museum of Art
DuSable Museum of African American History
Fisk University Galleries
Hood Museum of Art
Institute of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
National Museum of Mexican Art
Newark Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art
Oakland Museum of California
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Phoenix Art Museum
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
Saint Louis Art Museum
The Studio Museum in Harlem
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University