Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion
The Nevada Museum of Art is dedicated to a future that embraces principles of Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion (DEAI), not only within the organization but also in our evolving communities across Nevada.
In June 2020, the Nevada Museum of Art established a Museum Diversity Team (MDT) that continues to meet two times per month to discuss issues related to social and racial equity, and to explore opportunities for improving DEAI at the Museum. As chair of the MDT, I have listened and learned from both staff and community members. While acknowledging the Museum’s longstanding commitment to working with artists and communities of color, the MDT clearly recognizes that more work can be done to ensure DEAI.
The MDT crafted a six-point strategic plan that will be updated, evaluated and implemented over the next several years. Much work has already begun. Our immediate actions are reflected in new hiring protocols, more diversity in our permanent collections and exhibitions, inclusive leadership training, and improved communications with our BIPOC communities and visitors.
1. EXHIBITIONS AND ACQUISITIONS: Acquire works by underrepresented artists to improve and diversify the permanent collection. Build new relationships with culturally specific museums to collaborate, learn, share collections, and develop best practices for outreach and engagement.
2. STAFFING: Evaluate all levels of staff and actively recruit nationally to attract more diverse, inclusive and equitable voices at all levels of the organization.
3. TRAINING & ACCOUNTABILITY: Develop a training plan for all staff and volunteers addressing Diversity, Access, Equity and Inclusion. The training is designed to foster and support our commitment to each diversity goal as we work throughout the State of Nevada.
4. ACCESSIBILITY: Expand access to all members of the community regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic difference, gender, sexuality, disability, age, or physical location. In collaboration with BIPOC leaders in the community, help make Nevada a more welcoming place for all people.
5. EDUCATION, PROGRAMMING AND CONTENT: Prioritize engagement with BIPOC artists, critics, curators, educators, scholars, authors, designers, etc. and identify funding to support these contributions in terms of creative labor, engagement, production and intellectual output.
6. COMMUNICATIONS: Improve language and media messaging and BIPOC audience development, including bilingual media. Identify new and effective ways to increase outreach to underrepresented communities.
The Nevada Museum of Art recently received an Art Museum Futures Fund grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Along with eleven other art museums in the United States, we were recognized for providing outstanding service to our community and for our history of engaging and amplifying a diversity of voices through our annual programming.
While we were honored, we know that this important work must continue. The Museum’s mission states, in part, “we serve as an educational resource for everyone.” By formalizing a DEAI plan, we remain committed to listening, learning, and responding to the needs of our growing community.
David B. Walker
Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Museum Diversity Team