RK&A was honored to work with the Saint Louis Art Museum in 2019 to evaluate their longstanding Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship, which prepares outstanding museum professionals from historically underrepresented groups (particularly people of color) to become leaders in the field. The Bearden Fellowship was one of the first diversity-focused fellowships in the museum world—established long before the recent wave of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) in museums—and ours was the first formal evaluation of the fellowship since it began in 1991. Our evaluation focused on learning from Bearden fellows’ and SLAM staffs’ experiences to not only measure the impact of the Bearden Fellowship, but also to develop a case study with insights and considerations for other museums interested in starting and sustaining a diversity-focused fellowship program.
On May 6, the Saint Louis Art Museum is hosting a free Virtual Summit on Diversity that will convene emerging and established arts professionals from across the country (including many past Bearden Fellows) to discuss ways to diversify the pipeline of museum professionals. RK&A’s Director Stephanie Downey and SLAM’s Chief Diversity Officer and fellowship supervisor Renée Brummell Franklin will discuss the case study we developed with SLAM in the session “Change from Within: A Case Study of the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship.” Please register in advance if you would like to attend!
The case study—Advancing Change: A Case Study of the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship—will be available free for download immediately following the summit. We are proud to contribute to ongoing dialogue, learning, and action toward creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive museum workforce.
Stay tuned for a link to download Advancing Change: A Case Study of the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship as soon as it is available!