Montclair Art Museum’s Commitment to DEAI Principles
[August 3, 2022, Montclair, NJ]–In 2022, the Montclair Art Museum (MAM), through its DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion) Committee, completed a two-year review and presented a final report on MAM’s progress in supporting best-practice DEAI principles in the arts, including: respecting all individuals; nurturing the broadest possible participation and access; assuring freedom of expression; and advancing social justice.
MAM is dedicated to reflecting these principles in all of its actions, including its administrative, curatorial, educational, and human capital policies, practices, and programming; the composition of its staff, leadership, Board of Trustees, instructors, and volunteer corps; and its advocacy and engagement with the community. MAM’s DEAI Report was then adopted by the Museum’s Board of Trustees with key goals for all areas of its operations. The Board and staff are committed to achieving the goals set out in the report.
MAM President Frank Walter thanked the 21 members of the DEAI Committee for their exemplary service and commended their “uncommon leadership in promoting civility, unencumbered opportunity, broad participation, and unbridled artistic expression.”
The initial findings of the DEAI Committee and implementation of the finalized report are not the last steps but a call for more and continued action from MAM and its staff. As a permanent committee of the MAM Board of Trustees, the DEAI Committee will continue to operate, monitoring and holding the Museum accountable to continue progress in this important area, and spur MAM to serve as a leader among museums and arts organizations as well as within the community. The Museum is committed to the continued action that must take place to achieve the goals of social justice and access for all members of our community through engagement with art.
Moving forward, the Montclair Art Museum will remain steadfast in maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue with the public about the progress toward its short and long-term goals. The Museum has released a dedicated page on its website (montclairartmuseum.org/commitment-deai) detailing its commitment to DEAI, including a video from the co-chairs of the DEAI Committee, the review process that took place, the goals and priorities across five broad categories of MAM’s operations: People, Programs, Partnerships, Promotion and Plant, and steps taken to implement its strategies in each of these key areas.
“The Montclair Art Museum is deeply committed to supporting and expanding the principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion, and social justice through all of programs, classes, and exhibitions as well as our internal policies. I am grateful to Michael Heningburg and Sharon Taylor, the co-chairs of MAM’s DEAI Committee, and all the members of our Board, staff, and the community that put in a significant amount of time to conduct a thorough review of the Museum’s DEAI efforts and commitment to these principles and lay out goals that we must work to achieve. While I am proud of the progress that the Museum has made in this area, there is much that remains to be done. Our times require us to redouble our efforts to be a leader for social justice in our community. We are making our work in this area central to the activities of the Museum,” says Ira Wagner, Executive Director of MAM.
As the DEAI Committee continues its reporting and evaluation of the Museum’s organization and infrastructure, MAM will evolve and take steps to advance those goals. With public transparency and internal assessment, MAM has pledged to remain vigilant, ensuring its actions further its commitment to the principles of diversity, equality, accessibility, inclusion, and social justice. It is an ongoing process and an essential one that MAM takes great honor in undertaking.
About the Montclair Art Museum (MAM)
The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) boasts a renowned collection of American and Native American art that uniquely highlights art-making in the United States over the last 300 years. Works in MAM's Native American art collection span the period of ca. 1200 C.E. to the present day. The Vance Wall Art Education Center encompasses the Museum’s educational efforts, including award-winning Yard School of Art studio classes, lectures and talks, family events, tours, and the mobile MAM Art Truck. MAM exhibitions and programs serve a wide public of all ages, from families and seniors to artists, educators, and scholars.
All MAM programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Carol and Terry Wall/The Vance Wall Foundation, Partners for Health Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.