New Survey from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Shows Increases in African American Curators and Women in Leadership Roles

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Study from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Shows Increases in African American Curators and Women in Leadership Roles

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and Ithaka S+R announced the results of its second comprehensive survey of the ethnic and gender diversity of the staffs of art museums across the United States. The goal of this second survey, conducted in 2018, was to help measure the change in museum staff diversity since the 2015 baseline survey.

The survey documented that among repeat participants who are AAMD members, the percentage of curators who are African-American has doubled—from 2 percent in 2015 to 4 percent in 2018—an increase of 21 positions.

Overall, the findings indicate that museum staff have become more racially and ethnically diverse since 2015. Since the last survey, 73 percent of staff hired in intellectual leadership positions were white, compared with 84 percent in 2015. Approximately 430 people of color were hired, resulting in 20 percent of museum intellectual leadership positions being held by people of color. Most of the diverse hires have been in education and curatorial departments...

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