Exhibiting Inclusion: An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Museum Participation

Museum visitors are not reflective of the diversity present in communities around the nation. In this study, the authors, Alexandra Olivares and Jaclyn Piatak, investigate the racial and ethnic diversity of art museum participants as well as the potential motivations and barriers to visiting a museum. Using the General Social Survey, the authors examined race and ethnicity and arts participation in the USA, finding Black individuals are less likely to attend an art museum than white individuals. Certain motivations and barriers to participating may explain part of the lack of diversity. The authors found Black and Latinx individuals are motivated to participate in art museums for cultural heritage reasons more than white individuals, but race and ethnicity are unrelated to perceiving admission fees as a barrier. This research highlights the urgency in the field to make museums more inclusive.

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