This article chronicles the twenty-six-year history of the Saint Louis Art Museum Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship, which was created to increase the number of professional staff from underrepresented backgrounds working in museums. It provides an overview of early supporters/founders of the program and details the trajectory of a generation of Bearden Fellows, most of whom are now professionally engaged in museums and arts-related careers. This case study also examines the benefits of staff diversity to the inclusive culture sought by museums as they cultivate new audiences and search for innovative strategies to maintain their relevance and community relationships. It calls upon museums to view diversity as an evolutionary conversation by examining the motivations and objectives that constitute the contemporary “diversity and inclusion” discourse.
Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship Program—Outreach to Inreach—A Generation of Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders
Renee Franklin, Director of Audience Development at the Saint Louis Art Museum, leads the Museum’s efforts to initiate and cultivate sustainable relationships with diverse audiences to encourage participation in the Museum and beyond its walls. For nearly twenty years, in various Museum positions, she has developed many signature initiatives aimed at expanding Museum audiences and challenging institutional inequities, including managing the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship. Renee holds an MBA and a Master’s in Education from Webster University and BS in marketing and business administration from Towson University.
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Renee Brummell Franklin; Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship Program—Outreach to Inreach—A Generation of Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders. The Public Historian 1 August 2018; 40 (3): 193–210. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2018.40.3.193
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