Museums have said time and again that they want to diversify their programs. But for a long time, progress was only measured anecdotally—an exhibition here, a press release there. That’s why, in 2018, we decided to crunch the numbers ourselves to find out exactly how much progress museums have been making in building programs that tell the stories of their own communities as well as tracking data from the international art market.
We know our research has already helped create change; we believe it can have a much greater impact with the right expertise and support. Museums themselves do not have the capacity, expertise, or incentive to crunch these numbers consistently and consider what they mean. We are working to turn our project into an annual report and white paper, a searchable database, and an ongoing series of journalistic articles that can explore where museums are falling short in building programs that reflect their communities, where they are making progress, and what models exist for them to do better.