Protest Letter Cites "Unfair Practices" and Lack of Diversity Across New York Museums

Urging New York art institutions to rectify “egregious acts of white violence toward Black/Brown employees.”

By
Arts 
11,219 Hypes 20 Comments

Museums are currently under pressure to take actionable steps towards diversity, equality and hiring employees of color in the workplace amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the United States. Institutions have released public statements in the past few weeks, voicing their commitments to racial equality and detesting police brutality since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other violence against Black Americans by police officers. However, some have described these recent museum statements as “hollow” and called out the lack of diversity in their longstanding hiring practices, programming and permanent collections.

An open protest letter was recently issued by current and former employees of New York museums — such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art — urging these institutions to rectify in-house racial disparities, review “terminations both voluntary and involuntary” involving employees of color, adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy for “racially-charged” statements by staff members, and other demands.

The letter, signed by over 200 people, states: “We write to inform you that we will no longer tolerate your blatant disrespect and egregious acts of white violence toward black/brown employees that reflect the oppressive tactics to keep black/brown employees maintained and subordinated.” The letter also cites the seemingly obtuse and ubiquitous phrasing found across museum responses in regards to the protests: “The repeated response of ‘we have a lot of work to do’ coupled with the lack of any real change can no longer be considered a failure, but an insult. This insult is further compounded by the lackadaisical response to our growing frustration from institutions, which receive tax payer funds or sit on city/state-owned property.”

The signatories are also requesting these institutions hire new board members to reflect New York’s racially diverse population. Apart from The Met, Guggenheim and MoMA, the other institutions represented among the signatories include the Metropolitan Opera, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum, and many more. Read the full protest letter here.

In a recent report by The New York Times, a separate protest letter signed by “The Curatorial Department” at the Guggenheim was sent directly to the institution’s executive team this past Monday. The letter urged for change in the museum’s “inequitable work environment that enables racism, white supremacy, and other discriminatory practices.”

In other news, artists continue to release original artworks to stir up support with proceeds from their sales to benefit justice organizations including Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, and more.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Nick Cave Details Why He Doesn't Make Protest Songs
Music

Nick Cave Details Why He Doesn't Make Protest Songs

“Songs with political agendas inhabit a different space.”

(multee)project Launches Self-Cleaning Face Masks in Two Sizes
Fashion

(multee)project Launches Self-Cleaning Face Masks in Two Sizes

A portion of the proceeds will go towards #GetUsPPE.

New Balance Celebrates Kawhi Leonard's California Homecoming with OMN1S "First Light"
Footwear

New Balance Celebrates Kawhi Leonard's California Homecoming with OMN1S "First Light"

The two-tone style is inspired by California’s sunny weather and summertime hoops culture.


Valentino Sues Landlord of Flagship Fifth Avenue Store
Fashion 

Valentino Sues Landlord of Flagship Fifth Avenue Store

The Italian brand wants out of its lease on the New York City shop.

Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze Revisit Their Early Years on Rick Rubin's Podcast
Music

Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze Revisit Their Early Years on Rick Rubin's Podcast

The frequent collaborators reminisce on their historic run.

Young Thug Joins Diplo for 'Fortnite's Next "Party Royale" Concert
Gaming

Young Thug Joins Diplo for 'Fortnite's Next "Party Royale" Concert

Officially titled “Diplo Presents: Thomas Wesley With Special Guests Noah Cyrus and Young Thug.”

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.

Help Support Us

We need ads to keep the lights on and to continue providing free news to our readers. We’d appreciate your support by whitelisting HYPEBEAST on your ad blocker. That way you can keep reading all the great stories for free.

If you have already whitelisted us, simply refresh this page. To find out how to whitelist us, click the button below.

Back

Add Us to Whitelist

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads. Most ad blockers have similar whitelisting steps and settings. If you need assistance, please contact us.

Adblock Plus

  1. Click on the red ABP icon in the upper right corner of your browser.
  2. Click “Enabled on this site” to disable ad blocking for the current site. In Firefox click “disable on HYPEBEAST”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Adblock

  1. Click the AdBlock hand icon.
  2. Click “Don’t run on pages on this domain”.
  3. A new “Don’t run AdBlock on…” dialog may be displayed in the middle of the screen.
  4. Move the “Site” slider to the right. After that, click “Exclude”.
  5. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

uBlock

  1. Click the uBlock icon.
  2. Click the large blue “power” button in the menu that appears to whitelist the current website.
  3. Reload the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Firefox Browser

Firefox Tracking Protection may activate our whitelist notice, which can be disabled temporarily for a browsing session by clicking the shield icon in the URL bar and following the instructions.

Disconnect

  1. Click the Disconnect icon.
  2. Click “Whitelist site”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.