Ford, Walton Award $6 Million for Diversity in Art Museum Leadership

Ford, Walton Award $6 Million for Diversity in Art Museum Leadership

The Ford and Walton Family foundations have announced grants totaling $6 million in support of efforts to diversify curatorial and management staff at art museums across the United States.

Through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, the foundations will invest $3 million each over three years in innovative strategies and programs aimed at advancing diversity at twenty museums. Efforts to be funded include the hiring of more individuals from underrepresented populations and fellowships, mentorships, and other career development options for professionals from diverse backgrounds, with the goal of shaping curatorial, programmatic, and managerial decisions that lead to long-term benefits for individual museums and the field as a whole.

Institutions receiving support include the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, for a multi-tiered pipeline project that includes a youth outreach program, internships, and alumni and mentoring programs; Fisk University Galleries in Nashville, for a new two-year undergraduate museum leadership development certificate program; the National Museum of Mexican Art and DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, for joint curatorial fellowships, teen workshops, and a mentorship program; the Newark Museum of Art, in Newark, New Jersey, for an intensive three-year internship program for undergraduates; and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, for professional development opportunities focused on its junior staff, paid student internships, and a young artist development program.

"The arts play an essential role in our society by inspiring people of all ages to dream and to imagine new possibilities for themselves, their communities, and the world," said Ford Foundation president Darren Walker. "To ensure the future health and vibrancy of the arts in America, we need more arts leaders who understand and relate to the deeply varied perspectives and life experiences that weave the rich fabric of our nation."

"Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation Launch $6 Million Effort to Diversify Art Museum Leadership." Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation Press Release 11/28/2017.