Agenda for Change

NOMA recognizes the legitimate issues in front of us and embraces the responsibility to address them. We apologize to our staff, the community-at-large and #DismantleNOMA for any hurt we have caused. We have directed our energies inward, seeking a better understanding of how we can create a more transparent and open work environment. Now, together, NOMA’s board, leadership and staff are undertaking an Agenda for Change, recognizing that this is a dedicated and ongoing process.

We also recognize that our internal practices have not been as welcoming or as inclusive as we would like them to be. We know there is work to do for NOMA, both internally and externally. We are committed to our BIPOC and LGBTQ community members and will show our commitment through our actions.

Meaningful change requires hard work, and can take time. We invite you to follow our progress in the weeks and months ahead as we become the institution we all aspire to be. Please revisit this page for updates.


Additional information may also be found at NOMA’s 90-Day Progress Report and a page of Frequently Asked Questions.


STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Our commitment: July 7, 2020

  • Instituting facilitated staff conversations to ensure that all voices are being heard and to ensure that we do the work to address each of our own failings while advocating for improved institutional systems.

  • Developing an Internal Task Force focused on increasing a culture of inclusivity in NOMA’s staff.

  • Improving our hiring practices.  When we are able to rehire, we are 100% committed to expanding the diversity of our staff, in every department, at all levels.

  • Making an independent, outside ombudsperson available for employee relations needs and having such a person in place as soon as is practical but no later than the end of the year

Update: September 30, 2020

  • NOMA has contracted an independent, outside group to assist with Employee Relations matter at the New Orleans Museum of Art, with the goal of strengthening employee relationships, identifying and resolving workplace issues and working to improve employee satisfaction. These partners have worked with NOMA to hold an all staff introductory session, as well as a training for staff at NOMA who are in supervisory positions.
  • NOMA staff have completed the first round of facilitated small group discussions with a local, nationally recognized organization. The small groups will be reconvened in October to continue relationship building, sharing challenges and successes, and building out tools to bring about equity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • As the first step in an ongoing series of trainings, all staff have completed introductory workshops with expert outside facilitators on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion needs and practices throughout the organization. Upcoming 2-day trainings are scheduled to take place in Q1 of 2021.
  • NOMA has contracted an outside consultant to provide strategic recommendations on developing a more diverse pipeline of candidates, and promoting open positions at NOMA to a more diverse audience, locally, regionally, and nationally. Through this partnership, NOMA also received recommendations on diversifying the museum’s media and marketing partnerships to add diversity to business relationships with vendors.

Update: August 18, 2020

  • NOMA staff have begun facilitated small group discussions with a local, nationally recognized organization.

  • Staff have begun participating in workshops with expert outside facilitators on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion needs and practices throughout the organization.

Update: July 27, 2020

  • A local, nationally recognized organization will facilitate diversity and equity discussions and trainings with staff beginning in early August.

  • Final dates are being solidified with expert outside facilitators to conduct several workshops with staff on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion needs and practices throughout the organization.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT

Our commitment: July 7, 2020

  • Increasing the representation of BIPOC in our board membership to 25% in each year over the next three years.

Update: September 30, 2020

  • The first group training session was completed in August, with others scheduled in October and November.

Update: August 18, 2020

  • Board members will begin Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion training over the next four months that will build awareness of historical, systemic and institutional racism. Future sessions will include an examination of unconscious bias and its impact on our communities. Session will begin in late August and will continue through 2021.

COLLECTION | ACQUISTIONS | EXHIBITIONS

Our commitment: July 7, 2020

  • NOMA is committing the rest of its 2020 art acquisition funds to acquire works by BIPOC artists, focusing particularly on those who are from, or work in, New Orleans. We recognize that the museum’s collection is not currently reflective of the community it serves, and consider this a first step towards a larger re-examination of NOMA’s collecting practices and a renewed commitment to diversifying the museum’s permanent collection.

  • NOMA has closed The Greenwood Parlor. NOMA recognizes that we failed to take into account community voices and perspectives with this installation and we are working on a procedure for incorporating those voices in a path forward.

Update: July 27, 2020

  • We have launched digital and printed feedback mechanisms within the museum for visitors to provide us with feedback on our exhibitions and collections. We encourage the public to provide their impressions and ideas.  This feedback will be reviewed by our entire staff and will inform changes and additions to our programming and future exhibitions.

  • We invite our public to share questions and feedback with us through our online feedback form, which can be accessed in one of the following ways:

    • Visit noma.org/feedback

    • Text FEEDBACK1 to 555888 for a link to our feedback form.

    • Use your phone camera to scan a QR code that can be found throughout the museum.

  • NOMA is currently engaged in reaching out to individual community stakeholders and community partners as we plan for broader input on The Greenwood Parlor.

  • In addition,  we are currently creating a process for all our projects moving forward that encourages staff and community input through the establishment of an external group of community advisors.

PROGRAMS AND COMMUNITY

Our commitment: July 7, 2020

  • Instituting facilitated community conversations to ensure that all voices are being heard and to ensure that we do the work to address each of our own failings while advocating for improved institutional systems.

Update: September 30, 2020

  • NOMA has contracted an outside consultant to provide strategic recommendations on developing a more diverse pipeline of candidates, and promoting open positions at NOMA to a more diverse audience, locally, regionally, and nationally. Through this partnership, NOMA also received recommendations on diversifying the museum’s media and marketing partnerships to add diversity to business relationships with vendors.

Update: July 27, 2020

  • We have launched digital and printed feedback mechanisms within the museum for visitors to provide us with feedback on our exhibitions and collections. We encourage the public to provide their impressions and ideas.  This feedback will be reviewed by our entire staff and will inform changes and additions to our programming and future exhibitions.

  • We invite our public to share questions and feedback with us through our online feedback form, which can be accessed in one of the following ways:

    • Visit noma.org/feedback

    • Text FEEDBACK1 to 555888 for a link to our feedback form.

    • Use your phone camera to scan a QR code that can be found throughout the museum.

  • We have asked a local, nationally recognized organization to facilitate diversity and equity listening sessions with community partners beginning in early August.

  • NOMA will make available training sessions for docents and volunteers over the next six to 12 months, as we are able to slowly and safely welcome those groups back to the museum.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Our commitment: July 7, 2020

  • Issuing regular progress reports to our communities, both internal and external, on our progress regarding these tasks before us. We acknowledge that we should communicate more transparently our actions, efforts and intentions. We promise that this agenda for change will keep us on a path to be all that we can be for our community.

Update: July 27, 2020

  • Updates shared with our community via website and e-newsletter.