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.

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