The Akron Art Museum opposes racism, inequality and injustice in all its forms.
The violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery, and numerous other Black people, whose names we will never know, have been beyond tragic, unnecessary, and frankly disgraceful to who we are as a society and as a country.
These tragedies and the resulting rightful public unrest have unveiled opportunities for all of us as individuals, as a community, and specifically as an art museum to rise up and initiate permanent change. Although the solutions may not yet be apparent, the mandate for the work that we have to do is crystal clear. That work is beginning now.
During the past two weeks, our organization has opened lines of communication with numerous community leaders and specifically those within the Black community. We sought to listen to their concerns, to answer their questions, and discuss how we can be better community partners and leaders. These conversations have provided us tremendous insight leading us to set an objective to foster a culture of open communication, trust, respect for each other and collaboration.
- Improve leadership with increased and continued training focused on self-awareness and the elimination of bias.
- Create an internal Diversity Council focused on diversity/equity/and inclusion both within our institution and the art museum sector. This includes the establishment of a statement of diversity, inclusion, and equity that is woven into all areas of the museum including programming, exhibits and day to day operations.
- Create a Community Advisory Council to collaboratively connect organizations, artists, the City and neighborhoods, supporting the initiatives and needs of each other while increasing our community engagement.
- Increase our racial diversity with our collection, exhibitions, events, educational programming, members, board, and staff.
In the weeks ahead, we will continue to share updates on the progress of these initiatives. We can and will do more. The Akron Art Museum has been a cornerstone of the Akron community for close to 100 years. We stand in solidarity with all the victims of racism and will be relentless in our pursuit of local solutions to this national emergency. We will be a leader in this effort through our actions, not our words.
With respect and commitment,
Jon A. Fiume
Interim Executive Director
Akron Art Museum