March 19, 2021

Newfields Releases Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility Action Plan

Newfields Releases Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility Action Plan

Newfields unveiled a plan its leaders hope will make it more inclusive and representative of the community.

The arts institution -- which includes the Indianapolis Museum of Art -- faced complaints of racism last month after it posted a job description that sought a candidate who would maintain the museum’s "traditional, core, white art audience." The fallout led to the resignation of Newfields President Charles Venable, and Newfields' boards of trustees and governors publicly stating they were ashamed. They also promised an action plan within 30 days.

On Friday, the Newfields Board of Trustees released that plan, saying it represents “the first steps to take us in that new direction.” Highlights include:

  • Creation of a $20 million endowment for works of underrepresented and marginalized artists
  • A new community advisory committee
  • Increasing diversity on the board of trustees and continuing to focus on diversity on the board of governors
  • Hiring a senior-level diversity executive
  • Expanding free admission to area residents, along with complimentary memberships
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility training for all leadership, staff, docents and volunteers and an assessment of the institution led by outside DEIA experts

Newfields is collecting feedback on the plan, which is posted on its website.

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