At the Speed Art Museum, we invite everyone to celebrate art, forever. That is our mission, and this report – following a statement made by our Director on June 9, 2020 – represents a first step in publicly addressing and measuring our commitment to racial equity. While we have accelerated the pace of change since the renovated Speed reopened in 2016, we should have started doing so sooner, and now is a time to move even faster. As we wrote in June, “This IS our work; it is never done; we will make mistakes along the way; and we will be learning from others.”
This report presents data reflecting where we have been (in general, since 2016) and where we are now in seven areas critical to our mission and work. We have also identified new and consistent ways that we will gather information in the future, and ways that we will either measure our goals and commitment to this work or how we will establish those metrics. Based on valuable input from our colleagues and stakeholders, we have also identified some specific projects that we will undertake to help us achieve those goals; conversations and planning around those ideas will continue.
About 1/3 of Speed employees, together with many members of our Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, docents and other stakeholders provided input to this report, for which we are grateful. The next stage of this work will be to take the metrics and commitments in this report and turn it into a practice, gaining 100% support from our colleagues and Board members and with confidence that this work will live on, even surviving a complete turnover of our Board and staff leadership teams.
We are issuing this report later than promised because of time required to gather input from internal and external stakeholders and to review drafts during a season of summer vacations. We will update this report annually following the end of our fiscal year (September 30). You will notice that we use multiple terms for the same demographic group in different sections of this document: Black and African American, White and Caucasian, Native American and Indigenous. One reason is that some sources (like the US Census) use different terms than we do; another is that we ourselves have used different terminology and groupings in the way we have gathered and recorded this information in the past. Among other efforts identified below, we will explore ways to use more consistent terms while also making it easier to adapt them as usage changes.