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.
Please share your feedback by email at email@example.com.
We want to hear from you!
Give Us Your Feedback
Dr. Sean L. Huddleston
Dr. Sean L. Huddleston, chair of the new Newfields Community Advisory Committee (CAC), shared an update on his work to form the committee, and sought feedback from, all Newfields staff on May 7. The committee’s first meeting is planned for June. Members will come from a diverse range of community organizations and businesses, and also include artists and staff.
Free First Thursdays
With the launch of our new Action Plan in March, Newfields extended our monthly Free First Thursdays to year around and all-day free general admission. At April and May's Free First Thursday, nearly 2,000 guests visited Newfields for our first and second expanded free days. We encourage all guests to visit on the first Thursday of every month to enjoy free general admission to the Newfields campus.
Newfields Trustees and Governors hosted the first Listening Hours session on May 6, speaking with guests and listening to their feedback about the DEIA work underway. This firsthand feedback, including scheduling sessions outside of work hours to allow more people to attend, and providing more advance notice of when Listening Hours will occur, has been shared with Newfields leadership. Additionally, guests shared optimism about our DEIA plan, but also noted that the real measure of our success will be in the results. We are grateful for all of the feedback we received on May 6 and look forward to continuing these important conversations. The next Listening Hours session will be held on June 3 at Newfields, from 4 PM to 7 PM.
Art in Bloom
We enhanced and extended the new Art in Bloom exhibition and programming in late April celebrating the work of diverse and inspiring floral designers and artists from Indianapolis, Chicago and beyond. During the inaugural weekend-long event we partnered with 12 different community partners to distribute over 2,000 free tickets. The total attendance for Art in Bloom was more than 8,000 across four days. Newfields look forward to continuing this program in the years to come.
Over Easter weekend, we partnered with Ivy Tech Community College, The MLK Center, The Villages of Indiana, and IU School of Medicine to provide more than 1,000 free general admission tickets to Spring Blooms and also provided ticket holders with a complimentary picnic lunch.
Partner Ticket Distribution
Since late March, Newfields has distributed more than 7,000 free tickets to partner organizations for special events including Spring Blooms and Art in Bloom, as it works to reduce financial barriers and increase access.
Introducing Newfields' Board of Trustees new 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 incoming 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
- Establishing 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 Pass 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
Free First Thursday - September
11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Newfields offers free admission to all guests for the entire day on the first Thursday of each month throughout the year. Advance tickets are required.
Newfields Listening Hours - September
4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Listening Hours is a new initiative designed to give you the opportunity to meet and provide feedback directly to Newfields’ leadership about our new DEIA action plan.
To enrich lives through exceptional experiences with Art & Nature.
Stewardship • Inclusivity • Service • Excellence
Stewardship: We create a vibrant Newfields for current and future generations. We accomplish this with a sustainable financial model, a well-maintained campus, well stewarded collections, and environmentally-responsible business practices.
Inclusivity: We welcome diverse audiences and ideas. We provide thoughtful, inclusive programming that is accessible to the residents of our community, as well as opportunities for individuals and companies through our hiring and procurement practices.
Service: We believe the guest is our first priority. We treat each visitor, member, volunteer, employee, and donor as an individual, and personalize our guests’ experiences.
Excellence: We strive to offer the best of nature and the arts. We aim high and constantly innovate to exceed the expectations of our guests, employees, volunteers, and donors.
ACTION PLAN 3.19.21
NEWFIELDS’ STRATEGIC PLAN 2019-2029Newfields 138th Annual Meeting