Making the Inclusive Museum



Over the past decade, many art museums in the United States have demonstrated their commitment to DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion) through initiatives such as the diversification of their staff and boards, programs for people with disabilities, and exhibitions featuring the work of minority artists. However, museums are just beginning to consider the spatial consequences of accessibility beyond code compliance by improving their facilities to better meet the needs of the diverse publics—people of different ages, genders, races, religions, and abilities—that they are hoping to attract.

Making the Inclusive Museum enriches the ongoing conversation by inviting members of JSA/MIXdesign to share the MIXmuseum Study, consisting of five years of research derived from collaborations with several museums. 

The program begins with a presentation from JSA/MIXdesign principal Joel Sanders that situates these contemporary challenges in a historical context: from the first purpose-built nineteenth-century civic museums to the advent of the twentieth-century “white cube,” reconciling the needs of the embodied spectator with practical considerations like security, conservation, and crowd control has been an ongoing dilemma. Following Sanders’ presentation, JSA/MIXdesign associate director Seb Choe shares key findings from the MIXmuseum Study generated through an engagement process that used surveys, interviews, and workshops to gather feedback from participating museum stakeholders and visitors.

The program closes with a panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Ignacio G. Galán with Keonna Hendrick, from the Brooklyn Museum, Maria Nicanor, from the Cooper Hewitt, Dyeemah Simmons, from the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Sally Tallant, from the Queens Museum, all institutions that participated in the study.

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