Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: inclusion

Jennifer Brown, respected friend and expert on Diversity and Inclusion, is offering a six week on-line course

To Friends, Colleagues and Followers,

You are probably already aware that there is a growing need for businesses and personnel to pay attention to diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion has real impact to the bottom line of your business.

Organizations that lead in diversity and inclusion have:
22% lower turnover rates

27% higher profitability

22% greater productivity

39% higher customer satisfaction

I’d like to introduce you to my friend and esteemed colleague, Jennifer Brown. Jennifer Brown is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, diversity and inclusion consultant, and author. She is the successful founder, president, and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting and bestselling author of Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace and The Will to Change and her new book, How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive.

Jennifer Brown Consulting has made it their mission to help companies create a culture of belonging in which everyone can thrive. This means having an acute attention to diversity and inclusion at all levels of every business. It requires us to be in the know. The time is now to expand this knowledge base.

DEI Foundations is a 6-week introductory course that aims to provide those who want to integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into their own professional roles with the tools to do so.

Upon completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe what it means to be a great DEI Practitioner
  • Build your DEI knowledge and acumen
  • Leverage the power of your unique DEI story – and we all have one!
  • Explain the value of building a culture of inclusion in your organization
  • Begin to develop skills to communicate the business case for building and supporting an effective DEI program

 

The first step is to click here to learn more about DEI Foundations. The next course session begins October 1, 2019.  Enter the Coupon code INCLUSION345 to get $100 off to the course when you enroll.  As an extra incentive, I am donating my compensation for each individual who signs up using my coupon number to STRONGER FOR LIFE, the documentary on Ilaria Montagnani, founder of Powerstrike, international athlete and breast cancer survivor.

I am a huge believer in the importance of DEI and feel it is important to expose you to this important global initiative. Whether you are a corporate manager, independent coach, or interested in beginning the journey to become a professional DEI practitioner, you can expect to come away with a robust set of tools that can be integrated into your duties and goals.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to join the October 1st cohort.

Best,

Leslie

P.S. Click here to watch Jennifer’s Ted Talk, Finding Your Voice in the Workplace, or click here for a 30 minute introductory course to Diversity and Inclusion.

 

Inclusion: working in the art world with Geri Thomas, founder of art.staffing.com

artstaffing.com newsletter

“No matter what your role, you have the power to drive change and influence organizations. Jennifer Brown’s new book, Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change, gives you the tools to do exactly that. Inclusion imparts critical knowledge, cutting-edge data and time-tested strategies that Jennifer and her team have implemented at Fortune 500 companies around the country.

Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will to Change
by Jennifer Brown

ON A MORE SPECIFIC PLAYING FIELD, THE ART WORLD, GERI THOMAS IS AN EXPERT. HAVING FOUNDED THOMAS & ASSOCIATES NEARLY TWENTY YEARS AGO, GERI HAS THE KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF HAVING WORKED IN MANY MAJOR MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, ORGANIZED TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS AND DEVELOPED NEW GALLERIES AND MUSEUM WINGS. SHE HAS PLACED HUNDREDS OF ARTS AND CULTURAL PROFESSIONALS IN POSITIONS WITH MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, AUCTION HOUSES AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS, PROFIT AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD.  THE ART WORLD IS VIEWED AS A LIBERAL LANDSCAPE BASED ON MERITOCRACY, WHETHER CREATIVELY OR FROM A BUSINESS POINT OF VIEW.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

THE LRFA BLOG LOOKS FORWARD TO SHARING GERI THOMAS’S THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ON WORKING IN THE ART WORLD.

GERI, WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START YOUR OWN COMPANY AND LEAVE  THE MUSEUM WORLD?

I worked at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; the New Museum of Contemporary Art; on a major Islamic exhibition that toured the country; as part of the initial project team for the new national museum in New Zealand, Te Papa; and at the Jewish Museum. 

 

Te Papa
Museum of New Zealand
Permanent collection

Quite frankly, I was burnt out and looking to increase my compensation.  I still consider myself to be a “museum person” and continue to work with museum and other arts clients on organizational and board development.  I felt I could service them and myself better by not being an employee. 

Kehinde Wiley, Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011.
The Jewish Museum, New York.

YOUR COMPANY FOCUSED ON AN AREA OF STAFFING THAT I FIND UNIQUE. ARE THERE OTHER FIRMS THAT SPECIALIZE IN STAFFING MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS? IT WOULD SEEM SO BENEFICIAL BOTH FOR THE POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE AND FOR THE MUSEUM OR NON-PROFIT.

When I started the business, there were few agencies focused specifically on arts & culture and hardly anyone but us who worked not only with museums but also with galleries, auction houses, private collectors and performing arts organizations.  We also wanted to engage in all levels of staffing – from administrative and technical staff to managers and directors. Now there are numerous agencies and recruiters, most with no background in the arts, working in the field.  In addition, the many online recruitment firms are trying to find ways to tap the growing arts and culture universe. After 18 remarkable years, I’m proud of our accomplishments and our experience and commitment to the field.  

Tomm El-Saieh, Walking Razor
“2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage” at New York’s New Museum.

THERE HAS BEEN AN EXPLOSION OF ACCUSATION AND WOMEN COMING FORTH IN THE WORK PLACE IN EVERY INDUSTRY TO REVEAL THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT THAT THEY WERE AFRAID TO ADMIT YEARS BEFORE. WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A RECRUITER AND IN THE ART WORLD BEEN IN THIS REGARD?

Arts and cultural organizations are not separate from politics and the current socio-economic environment; rather, we contribute, affect and are affected by the current climate.  Through the years, there have been many, mostly young women, in my office who seemed desperate to leave their jobs. Talking with them further revealed that they were being harassed or abused in other ways — denied taking breaks and lunch; under constant scrutiny; subject to abusive language; working for “screamers”, etc.  Like many of the women coming forward today, none of them then wanted to say or do anything and feared they would never work in the arts if they did. Hopefully, what is being revealed across all industries today will be instrumental in making a more equitable and positive workplace experience. The current climate again makes the case for organizations to engage in a developed and empathetic Human Resources function.  While HR has been about compliance and protecting the organization, we need also to have an enlightened approach to employee engagement, developing and nurturing talent, and protecting employees under the law. 

The New Museum

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, GERI WILL INFORM US OF HER NEW ACTIVITIES AND PLANS FOR HER FUTURE AND THAT OF THE MUSEUM WORLD.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Geri Thomas, an expert in staffing and consulting for arts and culture organizations

Geri Thomas

EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, GERI THOMAS FOUNDED THOMAS & ASSOCIATES, INC., AND ART STAFFING.COM, AN INNOVATIVE STAFFING AND CONSULTING FIRM FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS AND BUSINESSES FOLLOWING A LONG CAREER IN MUSEUM MANAGEMENT IN BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND ABROAD. SHE CLOSED THE BUSINESS IN SEPTEMBER 2017 TO BECOME A FINE ARTS APPRAISER AND AN ADVISOR TO INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS ON PROJECTS AND CAREERS.

THE LRFA BLOG HAS ASKED GERI TO REFLECT ON THE CHANGES IN THE ARTS INDUSTRY AND WHAT SHE SEE AS MAJOR TRENDS GOING FORWARD.

GERI, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REVISITING THE LRFA BLOG.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER THAT SHAPED YOUR PROFESSIONAL  HISTORY? YOU HAVE SO MUCH EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD. HOW HAS THAT LED TO WHAT YOU FOCUS ON NOW?

Harlem on my Mind

Without going too far back in ancient history, I was always intrigued with organizations and how they function and pursued a degree in Sociology. Although I always loved art and visited museums in Chicago where I grew up, it wasn’t until I took a class in Far Eastern Art that I knew I was “hooked” and changed my major to Art History. The late 70s and early 80s, when I and some of my colleagues from diverse economic backgrounds entered the field, were decades of great change in museums – they attempted to be more inclusive, realizing the need to reach out to a variety of audiences not only for survival but also to fulfill their educational mission. 

Tutankhamen
Metropolitan Museum of Art

We all know that exhibitions such as Harlem on My Mind, and Tutankhamen were pivotal in changing museum approaches to exhibitions and collections by making an effort to represent the cultures inherent in their holdings. In addition, “grass roots” arts organizations as they were known then, were already showcasing the work of women artists and people of color and were significant in influencing the more mainstream institutions. Significant exhibitions followed such as Randy Rosen’s Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream, 1970-85; and, the pivotal Black Male exhibition at the Whitney, curated by Thelma Golden. Now there are significant exhibitions and acquisitions focused on artists of all backgrounds worldwide.

Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream
Randy Rosen

THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL OF 2017 CERTAINLY CRYSTALLIZED THE NEW CHAPTER OF SO-CALLED POLITICAL ART. THE SHOW SELECTED 63 ARTISTS WORKING “AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE FORMAL AND THE SOCIAL. MANY OF THESE ARTISTS CONFRONT SUCH AMERICAN REALTIES AS INCOME INEQUALITY, HOMELESSNESS, IMMIGRATION, HATRED AND BIAS.”

DO YOU SEE THIS AS A NEW DIRECTION OR A CONTINUATION OF A RECURRENT FOCUS?

Black Male
Diptych
The Whitney Museum

“Inclusion” and “diversity” are once again in the rhetoric but have never really gone away.  Museums, perhaps because of relatively low salaries and because they often seem to lack institutional memory are once again trying to devise ways to be more inclusive – from efforts to diversify staffing and leadership roles to establishing better and more diverse boards. 

With the worldwide interest in art as an asset class coupled with foundation support for inclusion (such as the new Ford Foundation initiative to establish a “pipeline” of diverse arts leaders), another new call for change is underway. My company had a mantra – just hire qualified people from diverse backgrounds and increase compensation.  It is that simple!

Whitney Biennial 2017

IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, GERI WILL SPEAK ABOUT THE UNIQUE COMPANY SHE CREATED TO SERVICE OUR NON-PROFIT MUSEUM AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS.

PLEASE JOIN US!