Newfields announced its comprehensive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) action plan this past March. Developed with input from employees, docents and volunteers, and the community, it reflects our commitment to advancing DEIA values, policies, and practices institution-wide and across Newfields’ relationships with the community.
Building a stronger relationship with the people of Indianapolis is a priority. This begins with communicating regularly about the progress we make in implementing the plan and actively seeking your feedback.
With that in mind, here we share an update and summary of our activities to date. While we know there is still so much more to be accomplished, we are working every day with the shared mission of making Newfields a place where everyone feels welcome, and where all our guests, no matter who they are, feel a deeper connection to our institution and what they experience here.
For a more detailed report on these efforts, we invite you to review our six month status report which can be found HERE.
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Newfields' Board of Trustees Board Chair, Darrianne Christian
At Newfields' 138th Annual Meeting, the Board of Trustees elected Darrianne Christian as the new chair. Christian is the first Black woman to lead Newfields and among the first to lead a major art museum and culture institution in the United States. She has been the driving force behind Newfields’ work to transform itself into an empathetic, multicultural and anti-racist institution. Christian, a technology business owner, community volunteer and philanthropist, along with her husband was the visionary and lead benefactor for the creation of DePauw University’s Justin and Darrianne Christian Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which opened in 2017.
“I can see and feel the change beginning at Newfields. It’s coming from our community, our employees, and from leaders bringing in new perspectives. This is a wonderful institution, and I want every person, regardless of who they are or where they live, to not just feel welcome here, but to see themselves reflected in what Newfields offers. We can do better and I will work every day to make this the community anchor Indianapolis deserves,” said Board of Trustees Chair, Darrianne Christian.
Some of the initiatives and programs underway at Newfields to promote inclusivity:
- Creating a new $20-million endowment for the works of underrepresented and marginalized artists
- Established a new Community Advisory Committee
- Increasing diversity on the Board of Trustees and continuing a focus on diversity on the Board of Governors
- Hiring a senior-level diversity executive, reporting to the President and CEO, with authority to oversee DEIA efforts as well as bring more diverse vendors and suppliers to Newfields
- Creating a new Neighborhood Membership providing free admission to area residents
- Expanding our complimentary membership program to include more community partners, and expanding distribution of free tickets to programs and events
- Implementing DEIA training for every leader, staff, docent and volunteer
- Conducting a top-to-bottom review of the institution led by outside DEIA experts
- Improving our recruitment, retention and promotion of/for/by Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, Women, People with Disabilities, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized identities at all staff levels
- Continuing our efforts to implement Newfields’ $18 minimum wage to provide for a livable income for all full-time staff