Measuring Diversity in City Arts Organizations

Jennifer Smith, Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2015

A mecca for the arts, New York City has also become one of the most multicultural cities in the country, with no single dominant racial or ethnic group and residents who speak more than 200 languages, according to the Department of City Planning.

Whether its cultural institutions reflect those demographics is another issue.

To find out, the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs is embarking on its first effort to measure diversity at the city’s many museums and performing arts groups. The aim is to help cultural organizations connect with New York’s increasingly polyglot population.

“For the long-term vitality and relevancy of cultural institutions, it makes sense to have the staffs reflect that,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.

Museums and arts groups provide a range of value to the city, he said, from generating tourism revenue to building up social capital among residents. The impetus for the study, he said, is that all the people who live in New York should feel “comfortable that these are our places.”

The effort will collect data on diversity among cultural organizations’ staffs, boards and visitors. If national trends in the arts hold true here, New York City may come up short.

Whites make up nearly 80% of the workforce at U.S. museums, according to an analysis of 2009 census data by the American Alliance of Museums.


The intent is not to point fingers or have administrators replace their current workforce.

“It’s about finding ways going forward to talk about how it could be more inclusive,” said Mr. Finkelpearl, who as executive director of the Queens Museum oversaw a multiyear effort to boost diversity among the museum’s staff.

For example, at one point the museum had no staff other than security guards who spoke Spanish as a first language, he said. Over time that changed; the museum also added a second Mandarin speaker and staffers who were fluent in Hindi and Farsi.


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  • AmericanCitizen

    The only blacks I’ve seen at museums were mopping the floors.

    • pcmustgo

      Wrong, tons of middle class blacks turn out for the free first Saturday event at the Brooklyn Museum.

      • AmericanCitizen

        One more reason to avoid Brooklyn.

        • John Smith


      • John Smith

        Free fried chicken?

    • John Smith

      They don’t even go to our Underground Railroad museum – mostly white liberals. I was going to go once… for the special exhibit on lynching.

  • MekongDelta69

    “‘It’s about finding ways going forward to talk about how it could be more inclusive,’ said Mr. Finkelpearl, who as executive director of the Queens Museum oversaw a multiyear effort to boost diversity among the museum’s staff.”

    Blah, blah, blah
    Yadda, yadda, yadda
    Moving forward
    Blabbity, blabbity, blabbity
    Mumbledy, mumbledy, mumbledy
    Grovel, grovel, grovel

    Hire more black janitors…

    • LHathaway

      lol, that they may do. Last time I was at the VA, not one of the photos on the wall was the picture of a white man. There always seem to be photos of the civilian chain of command on the wall of VA hospitals. As I said, not one of the photos on the wall is that of a white man. I don’t believe there has been a photo of a white man included up there in the group of 10 pictures or so in the last several years, if longer. My three doctors have all been women. One, apparently born in Asia somewhere.

      • John Smith

        I’ve heard the same from others visiting the VA. Kinda explains why they’re so f–ked up, no?

        • WhiteVeinKratom

          Both points are very true.

        • LHathaway

          I don’t know, but I’m sure they are quite proud of their diversity and promising to do more. Even at job-sites where there are no whites they push for more idolation of diversity. Especially places where there are no whites.

  • walt

    Be careful what you wish for….

  • superlloyd

    High culture, Art and Music is a measure of civilisation and cannot be measured quantitively but qualitatively. On the latter basis, Africa and aboriginal Australia have nothing to offer. More lowering of standards in mind to incorporate the lowest IQ populations in the world that have never created civilisation and can’t maintain after it has been gifted them.

    • The abos I met Down Under at least had the distinction – when sober – of being nice people, even though dim-witted and grossly unattractive. One Aboriginal gal seemed a bit creepy, as if she was in too many places at once, but it turned out she had an identical twin sister who also worked there.

    • Irishgirl

      The most disturbing part of the article to me was the notion that the purpose of art is to make everyone feel “comfortable.” Which would exclude Faulkner, Picasso, Dickens, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and on and on. Goodbye, Western civilization.

    • LHathaway

      I guess the trick is to import them into Western society and then have them study these arts.

      • superlloyd

        Yeah, great idea. They’re already here and this article’s ream of proposals is the lame result.

  • David Ashton

    Dead White European Males must go = Diversity.

    • LHathaway

      White European Males must go dead, and we’re proud = Diversity.

      • David Ashton

        To Do is To Be – Nietzsche
        To Be is To Do – Kant
        Do Be Do Be Do – Sinatra
        Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh – Rihanna

  • pcmustgo

    Prolly full of a lot of rich white liberal trust fund kids on endless internship sprees— big problem in NYC, lowers wages for all in that business.

  • David Ashton

    Everything’s out there for kings like us
    The reason we like this jewelry and this diamonds and stuff
    They don’t understand is because we really from Africa
    And that’s where all this stuff come from
    And we originated from kings, you know what I’m saying….
    It’s in our genes, know what I’m saying…
    Look at me, I’m pure nigga…
    But we the Black mob, we gonna set it… &c
    –JAY-Z LYRICS (feat. Nick Ross).

    Get your sick bag and google the rest.

    • John Smith

      Kings of the Planet of the Apes.

  • Reynardine

    Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

    They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

    But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

    So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

    • David Ashton

      When was this exactly?

      • shmo123

        That’s not the point, but you knew that Mr. Ashton. What is it about the English and the apparent state religion of “agnosticism”? Old Blighty was a much better place when the people believed in something. I can’t say for sure, but there must be some correlation between the rejection of Christianity in Britain and the morass brought on by the unofficial state religion (or cudgel) of multiculturalism that is destroying that beautiful island.

        • David Ashton

          The subversive left welcomed multi-faith inward settlement because it would help to undermine the traditional Christian-based structures of England. The Muslims who reverence the Virgin Mary and the Hindus who regard Jesus as a miracle-born avatar generally have had no objection themselves to the original Christmas, for example, but the atheist agenda-workers (their self-definition) use their present to establish a “neutral” Winterval of Lights in the “public sphere”. I have given some details as to how it was all done in past posts, but you will have to wait for my book “The Murder of England” to get the detailed, step-by-step documentation. The Christian Monarchy is next.

  • TruthBeTold

    The intent is not to point fingers or have administrators replace their current workforce.

    Yes it is.

  • IstvanIN

    The great art by the European masters will probably be sold off to Japanese millionaires. At least they will be safe and appreciated.

    • John Smith

      The Chinese are starting to develop a taste too, but after reading that they buy fine vintage wines and use them to make punch, they’d probably just buy classic sculptures and paint them red and gold.

  • LeonNJ

    Try not to hire too many Muslims. They will be offended by the unclothed Greek statues and DEMAND they be removed or have a garment placed over the naughty areas. If not, they will cry islamophobia and have CAIR come down and talk about the importance of Muslim sensibilities.

    • model1911

      They might prefer a statue of a naked goat or camel or something.

  • Germanic Depressive

    Every job that goes to a nonwhite to achieve “diversity” represents a white person who otherwise would have been hired for that job but wasn’t.

    It is common for people to start planning to have kids when they’ve secured a good job that pays a decent wage.

    That means that every job lost by whites to non-whites represents yet another force among many others acting to depress white births.

    It also means that the non-white who just got that job instead is now able to afford to have more kids than if they hadn’t found work.

    For those who don’t yet have a mate, the consequence is that the young white man who wasn’t hired is now less able to afford to date, impress, and woo a young white woman he otherwise could have. The potential pathway to white babies that represented is nipped in the bud.

    The non-white who got the job is now better equipped to woo that same white girl in the unhired young white man’s place. Often, standards are lowered in order to get the desired diversity numbers in hires, and this means that nonwhites are enabled to project a status and intelligence they do not actually posess, and use that to woo white women and take them out of the white baby making pool, and have them produce non-white children instead. Nonwhite children who will often end up supplemented by that young white man’s tax dollars when the “father” walks out, if the young white man ended up finding some other lesser job.

    White men evolved in different conditions where fatherly devotion was selected for, as were a more even temper and cooperative nature with higher intelligence. By artificially inserting brown folk into jobs which are entirely the fruit of the white evolutionary trajectory, we allow them to pretend to have the attributes that make white males most appealing to females. On our dime, at our expense.

    We are the equivalent of the man taken out into the woods and forced to dig his own grave and lay down in it before being shot in the head, so that his killer expends the least possible effort. The worst thing is that 90% of us have been convinced we’re digging the whole to plant a tree instead.

    • LHathaway

      Well said. You made it sound quite abstract and theoretical. The number of white men not fathering children could be as high as 50%. The ‘white birth rate’ remains at 1.7. There is a huge difference between professional incomes and service industry incomes. Many of these foreign immigrants into the country, if they land a service industry job, they will likely make the equivalent of what they make back home. If they land a professional job here, they will be making more than all but the richest in their home countries. That’s just about the income required.

  • John Smith

    Think of the time and expense of catering to 200 different linguistic groups, almost none native, and tell me no one realizes the illogic of the proposition? It only points to the need of all citizens and permanent residents to be conversant in a single language, something we’re told is “racist.”

    • David Ashton

      You can hardly believe the stupidity and ignorance of some “liberals”. Teacher 1 once said to me,”A pity with all these [immigrant] languages, there isn’t one we could all share.” Teacher 2 said: “There’s no such thing as the English people – they were all driven into Wales.”

  • Mark Hillyard

    Seems to me that if money was not first on everyone’s mind the world would be a better place and instead of calling you me consumer’s and taxpayers they’d call us what we are and that is citizen or Free White Guy. Had to through something racist in there.
    Maybe it’s covetousness that is the problem. Just wondering.