Anti-Racism Resources in the Art World
In support of Black Lives Matter, we’re bringing together resources that call for and support systemic change in the art industry.
In a 2016 study on the demographics of the commercial art world, it was estimated that just 5.9% of artists represented by New York City’s top galleries are Black artists, while nearly 25% of the city’s population identifies as Black or African American.
In 2019, another study addressed large-scale underrepresentation of Black artists in museum collections. After analyzing the permanent collections of 18 major museums in the United States, researchers found that only 1.2% of artists in those collections are Black. In comparison, 14.6% of the total U.S. population identifies as Black or African American, according to the 2018 U.S. census.
Statistics like these are no accident. The art world, like many industries, has a long history of excluding and suppressing voices of color. Systemic change in the art world is long overdue and requires fundamental shifts in all aspects of the industry, from hiring practices to museum collections.
Artsy stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all marginalized communities that have for too long faced injustice and inequity. While Artsy has made efforts to broaden and democratize the art world, our efforts have not been enough. We recognize we can no longer simply be “not racist” in our marketplace and our workplace, but must strive to be actively anti-racist. To best serve the community and the legacy of art, we must do more to actively support and represent more diverse and marginalized artists and business owners.
As a next step, Artsy will be committing our time and resources to the following priority initiatives:
Create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable team.
We are reconstructing our hiring processes and setting ambitious diversity goals for our recruiting practices across all roles and global offices, as well as reviewing our cultural and HR practices to ensure all our team members are supported and treated equitably in their Artsy experience. We will hold our team accountable to concrete measures of success in our company’s objectives and key results.
Champion an equitable and inclusive marketplace.
We will leverage our marketplace, social media, and editorial and curatorial coverage to represent and promote more Black, marginalized, and minority artists and art businesses who have been underserved by the art world. We are also developing a group to review our recommendation algorithms and the representation of diversity in Artsy’s marketplace with targets and metrics for accountability.
Educate our audiences on inequity in the art world.
In addition to our social media and editorial coverage, we are gathering resources on inequity within the art industry and the world at large for those looking to listen, learn, donate, and act.
Raise funds to combat racism.
As a company, we are raising $1 million through benefit auctions and collections for social justice causes.
We ask that you hold us to our commitments and transform the art world with us.
If you have additional resources to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Anti-Racism Resources in the Art World.”
Nine Black Artists and Cultural Leaders on Seeing and Being Seen
If you have additional nonprofits to share, please contact us at email@example.com with the subject line “Anti-Racism Resources in the Art World.”
If you have additional initiatives to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Anti-Racism Resources in the Art World.”
10% of the profits from this benefit auction supports Sibyls Shrine, a new artists residency for Black women, womxn, trans women, and femmes who are mothers and identify as artists, creatives, and/or activists in Pittsburgh, PA.
The New York–based art advisory firm is donating 10% of all sales from this online benefit show to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Black Lives Matter, and The Bail Project.