In 2017, the city presented New York’s cultural organizations with an ultimatum: Diversify your ranks or risk losing a portion of public funding. Measuring the results of that initiative has been difficult, but some museums — under public pressure from workers — have accelerated the rate of progress within their walls.
But the goals of expanding the work force during a pandemic that has shrunken most museum budgets has not been easy.
Facing an estimated $150 million loss in revenue, the Met enacted a series of cuts over the summer. That included layoffs, 48 percent of which impacted people of color when 43 percent of the museum’s total staff identified as people of color.
Other cultural institutions have faced similar challenges. At the Guggenheim Museum, executives approved a two-year diversity plan to address accusations of racism against some members of its leadership. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has also pledged to create its own diversity initiative, which is to be released next month.
And the Met has released its own list of 13 commitments to confronting racial injustice, including more than $10 million set aside for diversifying its collection and exhibitions. The appointment of a chief diversity officer was part of that plan.
This content was originally published here.