Overview

Mission

The mission of the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA) is to increase the inclusion of Black perspectives and narratives in North American art museums to make our institutions more equitable and excellent spaces of cultural engagement.

Photo: Juliette Contin, 2020.

Strategy

A museum’s board of trustees has a material role in shaping that institution’s direction, which is why BTA is helping Black trustees direct their institutions toward a more equitable and inclusive future.

BTA is focused on barriers to entry and advancement for Black staff and leadership; underrepresentation of Black narratives in exhibitions, collections, and programming; and limited patronage of minority-owned vendors, contractors, and service providers.

Our approach to helping trustees address these issues is threefold:

Our Story

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in the late summer of 2020, a group of Black trustees from New York-area art museums was convened by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; Elizabeth Alexander, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Thelma Golden, Director of The Studio Museum in Harlem, for the purpose of opening a dialogue about the state of diversity and conflict at participants’ respective institutions. The following month, a subset of the group—led by Gabrielle Sulzberger, Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Victoria Rogers, Trustee of the Brooklyn Museum, and seed-funded by the Ford Foundation—formed a Steering Committee to create a strategic plan for an organization that would help Black trustees more effectively diversify and govern their institutions. The Steering Committee represented a diverse range of museums that varied by city, scope, and collection type, and from their work the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums was born.

Black Trustee Alliance Founding Committee

Illustration: Anna Wanda Gogusey / Le Quotidien de l’Art, 2021.

Founding Committee (2020-2021)

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