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AAMC & AAMC Foundation Code of Conduct

Wednesday, July 29, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Casey Collier
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Code of Conduct for Curators


July 29, 2020, New York, NY 

Dear Members and Friends,

The AAMC & AAMC Foundation are committed to an environment in which all individuals are treated equally, respectfully, professionally, and free of harassment and racism within the workplace, in person or in a virtual setting. In all matters, curators should seek internal and external cooperation, communication, transparency, and engagement. We believe these principles should be upheld at all art organizations.
To this end, we share our Code of Conduct. We call upon all curators to make a pledge to uphold this Code of Conduct in their workplace and lives. Take the pledge, as an individual, here. We will post, on our website, an ongoing public list of curators who have signed this Code. Signing the Code sends a strong message to the public and leadership that the field holds itself accountable to shared ethics and standards.
In addition, all curators should review our Professional Practices for Art Curators in Nonprofits. It outlines the policies that we hold ourselves to and expect our community to uphold. As the opening statement declares: “Curators in every aspect of their work, including but not limited to, collection development, exhibitions, hiring, mentoring, and more, need to put at the forefront of their efforts inclusivity and accessibility.”
In addition to featuring a dedicated section on Inclusion & Accessour Professional Practices integrates Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) throughout sections on exhibition planning; provenance; restitution; collection development; marketing; mentoring, supervising and hiring; programming; digital technologies; public engagement; and collaboration. The publication highlights the significance of cooperation (internally and externally), transparency, and engagement, as well as the importance of embracing inclusivity and accessibility in every aspect of the curatorial field. Together we will ensure that our profession embraces at its core collegiality, equity, inclusiveness, access, advocacy, and mentorship.
There are many resources available and we urge our members to utilize them. The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Talking About Race is an online portal to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader culture. Other resources include: AAM Facing Change InitiativeIncluseumMASS Action Toolkit, and Anti-Racism Resources andDocument compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020. In addition, we encourage our members to watch the AAMC Foundation & Art Fund webinar, Beyond Statements: Taking Action, available, alongside other programs, on our YouTube channel here.
As we noted in our June 2 statement, “Art curators have the responsibility to document, discuss, and right injustices through equitable hiring practices, culturally responsive programs, exhibitions that welcome community voices, diverse artist representation, and fair interpretation and presentation of histories and ideas.”

The AAMC & AAMC Foundation are developing additional and actionable ways forward. Our next step will be to hold antiracism training for our board and staff, starting in August.
We have much to do to ensure an equitable and antiracist curatorial field and we, as an organization, are committed to making that happen. We invite discussion, feedback and dialogue.


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