Blog Indocent Exposure at the Art Institute of Chicago

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Indocent Exposure at the Art Institute of Chicago

According to its Veronica Stein, who fired them, its volunteer docents of 15 years average experience needed to be fired because they are white.

t turns out that older, well-to-do, white women volunteer at greater rates than those in other demographic categories. The solution to this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad problem?

Fire volunteers.

The Art Institute of Chicago fired its docents en masse. The reason? The 100 or so unpaid gallery guides, though priced right at free, embarrassed the museum’s leadership because of their whiteness.

“As a civic institution, we acknowledge our responsibility to rebuild the volunteer educator program in a way that allows community members of all income levels to participate, responds to issues of class and income equity, and does not require financial flexibility to participate,” Veronica Stein, ironically the museum’s woman’s board executive director of learning and public engagement, wrote dozens of women in firing them and their male counterparts last month. “Rather than refresh our current program, systems, and processes, we feel that now is the time to rebuild our program from the ground up. This means the program’s current iteration will come to an end.”


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