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Tacoma Art Museum Statement on Black Lives Matter
Tacoma Art Museum Statement on Black Lives Matter

In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Tacoma Art Museum joins in solidarity with our Black community in the fight for justice.

We support Black Lives Matter and we are committed to championing policies and practices that value diversity, foster equity, and empower an accessible and inclusive culture as part of civic society.

Many museums, including TAM, benefit from systems of structural racism and have been complicit in the erasure of the experiences of people of color. We have not done enough as an institution to use our power to amplify these excluded voices and create opportunities to diversify the museum field. That needs to change. Museums should not pretend to be neutral. We can and must speak out.

“We recognize that many American art museums, including TAM, have prioritized art work by white male artists. We strongly believe that many other artists have an important place in our community’s art museum and must be made more accessible,” stated David F. Setford, TAM Executive Director. “TAM continues to learn, grow and expand upon activities and programs to promote justice and equity for all of the community. We thank the artists, community members, leaders, teachers and students who have engaged with us in this work.”

“We know we have not done enough, quickly enough to address the institutional racism within our own organization, and we apologize for the harm this has caused staff and community members. We are preparing a road map to help the institution to move forward as we tackle these internal and external challenges,” continued Setford.

TAM strives to be a welcoming place for all, where connecting through art can lead to personal explorations and greater understanding of the human condition.  TAM pledges to start with the following action steps:

  • We are hiring a racial equity consultant to work with staff and board to create and assist in the implementation of a multi-year equity plan.
  • We will hire a diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) Officer in 2021 as a permanent commitment to this important and ongoing work.
  • We will actively listen to, learn from, and work with our staff of color, including the staff affinity group Pop of Color (People of Color), and other internal and external community members and organizations.

TAM values and is committed to accountability and transparency to our community. We will update our community about our progress and ongoing work in six months.

We welcome community feedback. Please reach out to David F. Setford at dsetford@tacomaartmuseum.org.