Art & allyship : fostering LGBT inclusion at the Chrysler Museum of Art
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines an art museum’s efforts to foster greater inclusion for the LGBT community through a range of programming, outreach, and staff initiatives. Employing a mixed methods case study methodology, this research investigated the inclusive practices of the Chrysler Museum of Art, a mid-sized, encyclopedic museum in Norfolk, Virginia. Through direct observation, semi-structured interviews, survey questionnaires, and document review, this research uncovered meaningful insights surrounding the motivations, implementation, and impacts of the Chrysler’s efforts to welcome local LGBT community members into the museum. An analysis of the data exposed an institution-wide culture of inclusion built on prior efforts to engage diverse local communities and create a more accessible space for all audiences. This study demonstrates that targeted initiatives to welcome the LGBT community can establish the museum as a safe and inviting space for staff and visitors alike; connect LGBT individuals with a shared history and shed light on invisible narratives; educate front-line staff about gender and sexual difference and prepare them for positive interactions with LGBT visitors; and present opportunities for collaboration, community building, and critical dialogue to occur. These discoveries present valuable insights for art educators and museum practitioners interested in developing more inclusive practices within their own organizations and working toward a more just society for all.