Dear Walters Art Museum Community,
In March 2021, the Walters Art Museum reaffirmed our commitment to be a force for transformation in the Baltimore region and to further diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) both within the museum and in our communities. We developed a rigorous set of goals to advance DEAI work in every single department of the museum, and we published these goals on our website in order to hold ourselves accountable to our multi-year goals and be clear about our progress.
Since we published our DEAI goals, our Walters team has made considerable progress particularly in inclusion and accessibility efforts, and we are proud of these accomplishments. We have detailed the concrete actions that we have undertaken in an updated and substantive report on our DEAI goals, which is now published on our website. Notably, we have:
- Established a board-level DEAI committee, a cross-departmental DEAI Staff Advisory Committee, and new full-time positions focused on community engagement, accessibility, and evaluating audience impact.
- Identified necessary improvements to address access needs in our building and on digital platforms through an external accessibility audit.
- Launched an impact investing program that leverages our endowment portfolio to fund tangible improvements in Baltimore communities.
- Engaged community advisors for upcoming exhibitions, installations, programs, and our land acknowledgment and cultural heritage statement in order to ensure that our decisions are informed by the knowledge and lived experience of our communities.
- Expanded and deepened research on the history of the museum’s founders and on objects for which we have questions about their provenance.
These actions are important steps in ensuring that DEAI work is ongoing, sustainable, and embedded at all levels of the institution. While this work can never be accomplished quickly enough, we have built a solid foundation. That said, we must and will continue to do more. In the months and years to come, the foundation we have laid will yield tangible change toward equity and anti-racism work in our internal and external communities. We remain committed to fostering this essential work individually, collectively, and in partnership with you.
Julia Marciari-Alexander, PhD
Andrea B. & John H. Laporte Director
James H. DeGraffenreidt, Jr.,
Chair, Board of Trustees
Former Chair, Board DEAI Committee (2021-2022)
Current Chair, Board DEAI Committee
Remarks to the Education, Workforce, and Youth Committee of the Baltimore City Council
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