From the Field

Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion

May 9, 2016

We are delighted to present Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion, a compendium of 51 submissions from AAMD’s membership exploring a wide range of ways that art museums are striving to become more diverse and inclusive places, both inside and out. Download Next Practices here!

This publication showcases concrete examples of how AAMD members are working to make their museums more diverse and inclusive, inside and out—from community programs serving Title I schools to fellowships seeking to diversify museum staff to offering gender-neutral restrooms.

New American teens in Joslyn Art Museum's Refugee Fashion Art Program preparing their looks for the Omaha Fashion Week runway.


Programs featured in Next Practices include:

  • Chrysler Museum of Art offered training for museum staff and volunteers aimed at creating a more hospitable environment for LGBT visitors
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of Art's Diversity Internship Program for High School Students is a residential internship program for high school students from demographics under-represented in the museum field
  • The Frick Film Project is a pilot collaboration between the Ghetto Film School, a Bronx-based independent film organization, and The Frick Collection that provides onsite arts education across two creative disciplines to honor students from The Cinema School.
  • Joslyn Art Museum's Refugee Fashion Arts Program gives teen refugees textile-based instruction that focuses on developing technical skills and exploring different ways to actualize creative ideas. 
  • Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art's Club de Arte para Mamás is a museum-based studio workshop that provides social engagement and a creative outlet for Latina mothers, who can enjoy the museum and create art while their children also enjoy a museum program.


For the purposes of this publication, we used the American Alliance of Museums’ definitions of diversity and inclusion. Our thanks to AAM for sharing these thoughtful definitions on their website.

  • Diversity: The quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. This includes age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socio-economic status; education; work and behavioral styles; the perspectives of each individual shaped by their nation, experiences and culture—and more. Even when people appear the same on the outside, they are different.
  • Inclusion: The act of including; a strategy to leverage diversity. Diversity always exists in social systems. Inclusion, on the other hand, must be created. In order to leverage diversity, an environment must be created where people feel supported, listened to and able to do their personal best.


Top image: Honor students from The Cinema School at The Frick Collection. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.

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Next Practices in Diversity