A study conducted under the directive
of New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, showed that the cultural institutions in the
city lack racial diversity.
As a result, the mayor plans to cut
subsidies for museums with workforces that are deemed “too white” so that
people of color will no longer be under-represented.
De Blasio’s diversity decree aims to
change the workforce setup in nonprofit organizations that run the 33 museums,
theaters, concert halls, botanical gardens and zoos that comprise the city’s
“Cultural Institutions Group.” The list
includes Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
The study was conducted by Southern
Methodist University (Southern Methodist University) and funded by Deutsche
Bank. It revealed that white people are overrepresented in cultural
institutions of the city.
White women represent 65 percent of
employees and the disabled 8 percent while, only 11 percent of cultural workers
are Hispanic, 10 percent black, 6 percent are Asian, although they represent 29
percent, 22 percent and 14 percent of the total New York population,
The study also found that a
considerable share of the museum workforce – 15 percent – identify as gay,
lesbian, bisexual or queer.
“NYC residents represent an array of
cultures, histories, backgrounds, and experiences – and our cultural
organizations must reflect that extraordinary breadth. We’re really careful to
show that we do not encourage quotas, but rather practices that diversify the
workforce,” said Tom Finkelpearl, the commissioner of the New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs.
“This means we need to look at diversity
across a number of metrics, including age, disability status, and LGBTQ
identity as well as race and gender.
“This new DataArts survey
gives us a tool we can use to do that more effectively and over time.
“The data we gather will help us
design programs to support NYC’s arts and cultural institutions in their
ongoing efforts to create opportunities for all New Yorkers.”