Alice L. Walton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Pilot House Philanthropy Announce Investments for More Diverse Leadership in Art Museums

Art institutions obtain around $11M to acquire new leadership and curatorial positions to boost racial equity in the sector

NEW YORK, NY – (May possibly 3, 2023) Right now, four national funding associates, Alice L. Walton Foundation, Ford Basis, Mellon Foundation, and Pilot House Philanthropy announced the Leadership in Artwork Museums (LAM) initiative. Above the next five years, the LAM funders will dedicate more than $11M in funding to museums to enhance racial equity in management roles these as curators, conservators, collections professionals, local community engagement team, educators and other senior leaders in a manner created to advance racial equity.

As platforms for civic engagement, museums are vital community spaces. Supposed to serve the communities close to them, they perform a crucial purpose in fostering dialogue, imaginative expression, and neighborhood engagement and fortifying democratic principles. Museum leaders—from curators to board members—play a essential job in deciding the art on display screen in these cultural institutions. A 2019 research discovered that only 1.2% of works in all significant U.S. museums had been made by Black artists, with 9% for Asian artists and only 2.8% for Hispanic and Latinx artists.

With an expanded team of funding associates, LAM will establish on earlier and current efforts to build extra racial fairness in leadership roles across the art museum industry. In addition to welcoming new partners—Pilot Household Philanthropy and the Mellon Foundation—LAM is bolstered by the learnings from and affect of modern critical initiatives these include things like the Diversifying Artwork Museum Leadership (DAMLI) undertaking, the not too long ago produced Black Trustee Alliance for Artwork Museums, and associated initiatives like the Mellon Foundation’s ongoing Artwork Museum Team Demographic Study to maximize range in museums. Mellon’s modern investigation and surveys uncovered considerable underrepresentation of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Arab, Asian, Pacific Islander, and other men and women of color in institutional leadership positions. For example: only 20% of museum leadership and 20% of conservation staff recognized as non-white. Even though hiring trends from 2021 and 2022 present sluggish and constant development, management museum roles are however overwhelmingly held by white employees.

“Ultimately, the future of museums is dependent on their ability to keep applicable and provide their communities,” mentioned Alice Walton, philanthropist and founder of Alice L. Walton Foundation. “The LAM museums represent a assortment of locations throughout the U.S., and help make sure that we’re escalating access to museum roles in a way which is inclusive of communities of coloration, no issue where the art establishment is dependent. With this devoted team of funding partners, we’re united in our determination to reach very long-lasting affect.”

“If we want the arts in this nation to stay vibrant, relocating, and transformational, it’s vital that these establishments provide in much more diverse views and lived ordeals,” mentioned Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “Leadership in Art Museum’s vision is to improve and devote in various leadership at U.S. artwork museums to make certain their excellence and relevance in the foreseeable future.”

A aggressive and complete variety procedure discovered 19 museums throughout the region for LAM grants to generate and maintain new management positions. The museums have pledged to make these lasting. In hiring for these positions, the museums also pledge to build a diverse pool of candidates in a method that is inclusive of communities of coloration, together with Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.

“Some of our proudest work recognizes and elevates the part of arts and society in Asian American, Indigenous Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities to mend, guard, and restore mental and actual physical health—not only at the personal level, but also at the group and techniques amount,” claimed Joël Barraquiel Tan, govt director at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum. “With this supplemental help, we can provide in much more staff members, acquire programming in a lively, holistic product, and deliver instruction for rising staff and interns that innovations our interior culture of overall health and wellbeing.”

“Our new Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole curator placement, named in honor of the Jacksonville indigenous and internationally regarded educator, scholar, and cultural leader, will assistance us know Ninah Cummer’s vision that the museum be a heart of splendor for all,” reported Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., director and CEO at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Florida. “With the LAM support, we are on training course to develop our audiences and invite a lot more people to examine and engage with our collections, gardens, and courses.”

The LAM recipients are various institutions with nearby and nationwide impact spanning geography, measurement, and cultural concentrate. As a shared objective, they are absolutely committed to producing and nurturing museums’ leadership roles that will display and develop a more inclusive artwork earth.

The 2023 LAM museums acquiring these awards are:

Arizona Condition University Artwork Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Cummer Museum of Artwork & Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida
The Institute of Present-day Artwork, Boston, Massachusetts
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts
McNay Artwork Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Mississippi Museum of Artwork, Jackson, Mississippi
Museum of the City of New York, New York, New York
Museum of Modern day Art Chicago, Illinois
Museum of Contemporary Artwork, Los Angeles
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Artwork, Kansas Metropolis, Missouri
The Newark Museum of Artwork, Newark, New Jersey
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
Perez Art Museum Miami, Florida
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, California
Saint Louis Artwork Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Encounter, Seattle, Washington


About the Alice L. Walton Foundation

Launched in 2017, the Alice L. Walton Foundation performs to boost the excellent of lifestyle for individuals by delivering entry to choices that improve perfectly-getting and generate assorted and inclusive communities. The basis focuses on philanthropist Alice Walton’s dedication to raising entry to the arts, strengthening training outcomes, maximizing wellness, and advancing financial chance for all. By way of this get the job done, the foundation strives to produce meaningful and lasting improve to persons and communities most in need to have. Master much more at

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s premier supporter of the arts and humanities. Considering the fact that 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its main belief that the humanities and arts are important to human being familiar with. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are exactly where we specific our intricate humanity, and that everyone warrants the elegance, transcendence, and independence that can be located there. By means of our grants, we search for to develop just communities enriched by which means and empowered by crucial thinking, wherever suggestions and creativity can thrive. Find out a lot more at

About Pilot Dwelling Philanthropy

Pilot Household Philanthropy is an entity of Barbara and Amos Hostetter’s Boston-based mostly loved ones business office, Pilot Household Associates, which invests in leaders and corporations that purpose to contribute to a kinder, far more equitable, imaginative and sustainable planet for recent and foreseeable future generations.

Push Contacts

Nicole Okai
Strategic Communications Officer
Ford Foundation
[email protected]

Diane Carroll
Chief Communications Officer
Alice L. Walton Foundation
[email protected]