Bold, brave & essential : investigating the intersections of DEAI and educational programing at the Baltimore Museum of Art

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2022-05-05

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Fejeran, Zoë Renée

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This research presents the Baltimore Museum of Art as a timely case study during the years 2020 and 2021. Applying the framework of critical theory, this study investigates one museum’s mission to successfully embed diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion into the many facets of their museum operations. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the museum has made a public commitment to be a leader in museum relevancy and community engagement. As such, educational programming and resources created by the museum are explored as an integral mechanism for this successful integration: prioritizing multi-vocal narratives and honoring lived experiences of their diverse community. Research conducted throughout this study revealed, across all considered data, three overarching themes as a result of the unique relationship between the challenges and opportunities that the Baltimore Museum of Art faced in 2020-2021, their DEAI initiatives, and the museum’s education department. The emergent themes expressed: an integral relationship between the BMA’s education department and the success of their DEAI initiatives, and increase in online resources, and substantial improvements of the diversity of objects and histories represented within the BMA’s exhibitions, programming and resources. While this case study highlights a singular arts institution, the discoveries therein offer a platform for further research into lasting, and necessary efforts to ensure museums remain meaningful, relevant and culturally inclusive institutions.

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