Akron, – On July 28th, the Board of Directors of the Akron Art Museum approved the Museum’s Transformation Plan to address the areas of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) within the organization. The plan has the goal of the Museum becoming a stronger, healthier institution, absent of biases, that will serve as the example for museums nationwide and for other organizations locally. Plan implementation begins immediately for approximately the next 12 months.
In order to achieve the plan, the Museum has engaged with the consulting services of Andre Campbell from the United Way Summit Medina, and Janus Small of Janus Small & Associates.
The plan has seven major components.
1. DEAI Training to increase the staff and board’s knowledge of implicit bias and to increase awareness in the areas of DEAI. Training for both the staff and board will occur the week of August 10th.
2. Board Transformation Task Force to assess and determine opportunities to be a more highly effective board with consideration to the areas of board make-up, structure, board member orientation, committee structure, and others to be determined. The Board Transformation Task Force will consist of both board members and staff. The first meeting will commence in August and meet on a regular basis for approximately (4) months.
3. Internal DEAI Council to identify and address DEAI opportunities within the organization, establish a DEAI statement, and improve the overall culture. This internal council will be employee-led and not contain members from the board or executive leadership. The council will continue to meet as part of the organizational structure of the Museum. The council will begin meeting in August.
4. Community Advisory Board to increase communication and improve the overall relationship with all sectors of the community including other community leaders, members of the museum, and residents. Information will be shared in the areas of DEAI, current events, and or challenges that all are facing. This board will meet on an ongoing basis as part of the Museum’s structure. Besides the Interim Executive Director, a member of the staff and the board will serve on this valuable entity. The first meeting is to be held in September.
5. Vision, Mission, Values, Work Group to ensure alignment with the newly established practices coming from the workaround DEAI. Members will include the board and staff with the work beginning in early 2021.
6. Marketing and Communications Task Force to rebuild the community’s confidence in the Museum. Progress updates regarding the plan will be provided. Members will be made up of marketing and communications staff, advancement staff, board members, and an external communications firm representative. Meetings will begin as soon as August 5th with meetings as frequently as necessary.
7. Development of a 12–24-month Institutional Plan defining the objectives of the Museum for fiscal year 2022. Members to be determined with work to commence in Spring 2021.
Throughout the plan’s implementation, town halls will occur providing the opportunity to update, answer questions, and receive feedback. The first of these to occur Wednesday, August 19th. “This plan allows for complete transformation and systemic change with a focus on staff and a better connection with the community. Success will be predicated on every stakeholder of the organization working to make positive changes,” states Jon Fiume, Interim Executive Director.