Timeline

June 29, 2020, 8:10 am

A Better Guggenheim sends the letter signed by 169 current and former staff members to the Board of Trustees.

July 1, 2020, 9:47 am

A follow-up email is sent to the Board requesting a confirmation of receipt and an appointment to meet with a group of signatories. Prior to this, the Board did not acknowledge or issue a response to the letter.

July 1, 2020, 5:32 pm

The Board sends a letter to all current staff, excluding furloughed colleagues. In this letter the Board says they are “committed to addressing systemic racism and structural oppression” and lists six action items to help achieve that goal: 1) hiring a firm to “develop and administer Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for all employees”; 2) pledging to commit funds for “creating opportunities for members of the BIPOC community to learn about art and also about careers in the art world” through educational programming, internships and mentorships; 3) holding leadership accountable for advancing the new DEAI action plan; 4) conducting a review of recruiting practices and developing reforms; 5) recruiting a more diverse Board and leadership team and committing to announcing appointments “over the next year”; and 6) forming a committee to review the museum’s history of collecting and exhibiting to “reconcile and address any systemic racism that has persisted…and take these lessons forward.”

In this letter, the Board also announced that they voted to launch an independent investigation, led by an external lawyer, directed by and reporting to them “into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Basquiat exhibit.”

July 2, 2020, 2:44 pm

A Better Guggenheim responds to the Board to highlight points of urgent concern that the letter dated July 1 did not address. The original staff letter is reopened to allow for additional signatures.

July 2, 2020, 5:14 pm

Richard Armstrong, Director, emails current staff, not including those furloughed. He references the Board’s July 1 correspondence, but not the letter dated June 29 or follow-ups.

July 6, 2020, 1:10 pm

The Board responds to A Better Guggenheim’s message of July 2, saying:

“Thank you for your response. We plan to begin by implementing the steps we outlined in our letter and as stated those steps will be inclusive and transparent. It is unrealistic to expect the process to be completed in a number of days.”

July 6, 2020, 11:01 pm

A Better Guggenheim replies with clarification that responses from the Board have misrepresented our messages and reiterates calls for action.

July 10, 2020

A Better Guggenheim launches a website and Instagram account.

July 29, 2020

A Better Guggenheim sends a follow-up email to the Board one month after sending the initial letter.

August 31, 2020

A Better Guggenheim sends a follow-up email to the Board two months after sending the initial letter.

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