New York institutions have made some headway in representing artwork made by women and people of color, but how much progress have they made in diversifying their staffs? Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs in Mayor De Blasio’s administration, has sent out a questionnaire about diversity statistics to all New York institutions. It’ll be interesting to see whether this information will be made public. The report in partial via New York Post below.
Nearly 1,000 organizations were asked to fill out a survey this summer detailing the race, gender and disability status of their employees and board members.
“As long as you complete the survey, you will be eligible to apply for funding from [the city] in fiscal year 2017,” institutions were told in a July 20 letter from Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Organizations had to fill out a “demographics spreadsheet” by combing through their personnel files for their workers’ information.
Groups that don’t keep such data were told to hand out voluntary surveys to employees, with the caveat in the instructions that “you cannot require a staff member or board member to self-report any element of their identity.”
In addition to providing the workforce information, the cultural groups had to answer a questionnaire with up to 48 questions — including “How does your organization engage with issues of diversity on a daily basis?” and “What forms of diversity do you think are important for strengthening the quality of work of your organization?”
The city plans to hire a “diversity consultant” to coordinate activities coming after the survey. That has led to some worries that particular groups would be punished for not being diverse enough.