NOMA is committed to being a welcoming, inclusive, anti-racist institution.
In July 2020, the NOMA Board of Trustees, leadership, and staff undertook an Agenda for Change to address our challenges and opportunities in an ongoing, long-term, committed process.
We invite you to follow our progress as we become the institution we aspire to be. We value your feedback.
- E.A. Michelson Philanthropy awarded NOMA and eight other American art museums grants as part of the Vitality Arts Project for Museums initiative. The funding will support programs specifically designed for older adults in an effort to actively address ageism. NOMA’s Art Thrives programs begin in September 2022.
- NOMA elevated the position of head of human resources at the museum to a senior management role and hired a new leader in this post. Among the responsibilities of the Director of Human Resources are overseeing the museum’s DEI efforts and NOMA’s internal staff equity committee to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of operations.
- As part of NOMA’s commitment to ensuring its collection represents the communities it serves and reflects the breadth of its research, NOMA has been continuously expanding its permanent collection to tell a more complete story of the history of art. Katherine Choy: Radical Potter in 1950s New Orleans, Picture Man: Portraits by Polo Silk, and the forthcoming Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers are all examples of exhibitions organized by NOMA that feature recent acquisitions to the museum’s permanent collection alongside exceptional works loaned from other institutions.
- NOMA launched an exhibition advisory group to incorporate collaboration and feedback from a range of community stakeholders into the exhibition and program planning process.
- The museum hired a consultant to assist with the establishment of a staff equity committee with a launch date of September 2022.
- NOMA announced the newest board members elected to join the Board of Trustees in 2022. The Board of Trustees works together to support NOMA’s mission of uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts. Read more about NOMA’s newest board members, or see a list of NOMA’s Board of Trustees.
- NOMA staff completed the second of two scheduled three-day anti-racism training sessions with an outside facilitation partner.
- In 2021, NOMA continued its commitment to acquiring works of art created by BIPOC and local artists. Over the course of the year, the museum purchased 28 significant works by underrepresented artists, including those who live and work in New Orleans. A number of these recent acquisitions are featured in installations through the museum, including in NEW at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art and throughout our decorative arts galleries.
- NOMA held the first of two scheduled three-day anti-racism training sessions with an outside facilitation partner. The second workshop will take place in December.
- NOMA’s contracted DEI partner held a staff workshop on managing change from a multicultural perspective. Focusing on transition, museum staff were welcomed to acknowledge where the institution had been and what is needed to propel their DEI work forward with the goal of creating a workplace, community space and cultural pillar of belonging for staff and the New Orleans community.
- NOMA’s employee relations partner held the second in a series of supervisor skills training sessions.
- Moderated by one of NOMA’s DEI consultants, the museum held an all-staff meeting with the goal of reflecting on the Agenda for Change and providing updates on how the museum’s DEI commitment has been incorporated into individual and team projects.
- NOMA began implementing components of a revised hiring strategy to recognize and eliminate unconscious bias and create more inclusive considerations when interviewing candidates.
- NOMA welcomed a new Human Resources Manager with more than two decades of experience in the field, often serving in cross-functional roles, with responsibility for human resources, training and serving as a liaison to staff and leadership in the creation of an equitable work environment. As part of the search process and in an effort to ensure an optimal fit with the museum, all staff members were invited to participate in the HR manager interviews.
- NOMA Director Susan Taylor issued a message to museum constituents, reflecting on the museum’s mission and values, and looking toward the future.
- NOMA’s Board of Trustees elected a slate of seven new members to join the board in January 2021. The Board of Trustees works together to support NOMA’s mission of uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts. Each new board member brings a set of experiences and expertise that will be of enormous assistance as we navigate 2021 and beyond, and help us continue our efforts outlined in the Agenda for Change. Read more about NOMA’s incoming members of the board.
- In the last 6 months, NOMA purchased 22 significant works, all by BIPOC artists, the vast majority of whom are local to New Orleans. These acquisitions are in fulfillment of our promise to devote available purchase funds to BIPOC artists in an effort to diversify the museum’s permanent collection. We will continue this commitment in 2021 and beyond.
- NOMA Director Susan Taylor issued a comprehensive review and summary of the actions the museum took in response to assertions along with key issues raised by board and staff members.
- NOMA contracted an independent, outside group to assist with Employee Relations matters 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 worked with NOMA to hold an all staff introductory session, as well as training for staff at NOMA who are in supervisory positions.
- NOMA staff 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 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 Q2 of 2021.
- NOMA 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.
- The first group training session for NOMA Board members was completed in August, with others scheduled in October and November.
- NOMA staff began small group discussions facilitated a local, nationally recognized organization.
- Staff began participating in workshops with expert outside facilitators on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion needs and practices throughout the organization.
- NOMA issued our commitment to an Agenda for Change on July 7, 2020.
- NOMA hired a local, nationally recognized organization to facilitate diversity and equity discussions and trainings with staff.
- NOMA solidified final dates with expert outside facilitators to conduct workshops with staff on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion needs and practices throughout the organization.
- NOMA launched digital and printed feedback mechanisms within the museum for visitors to provide us with feedback on our exhibitions and collections. This feedback is available to and reviewed by our entire staff and informs changes and additions to our programming and future exhibitions. Community members can provide feedback 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 began reaching out to individual community stakeholders and community partners for broader input on The Greenwood Parlor.
- NOMA created a process for all future projects that encourages staff and community input through the establishment of an external group of community advisors.