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Newfields Hires Belinda Tate as New Museum Director

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The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Newfields has announced the appointment of Belinda Tate as its new museum director. Her appointment comes after years of controversy and widespread outcry over racism in the museum’s hiring process.

Photo: Belinda Ann Tate

The search for a new director began after a job requirement was posted online, which called for a director to help the museum diversify while maintaining its “traditional, core, white art audience.” This post ignited public outrage and led to the resignation of the Newfields president and chief executive, Charles L. Venable.

Tate, currently the executive director at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan, will take on the role of leading Indiana’s largest and most influential art institution starting November 6th. During her time in Kalamazoo, Tate helped the museum and Kirk Newman Art School become a community-based organization and received national recognition for her work.

Photo: Belinda Ann Tate

Tate is an experienced art professional with a background in art history and museum studies, as well as a master’s degree in liberal studies. She was also the director of the Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University and has served on various boards and task forces related to diversity and inclusion in museums.In her statement, Tate expressed her excitement about joining the team at Newfields and working alongside President and CEO Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette. She also highlighted the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s status as an evolving institution with a stellar collection and its commitment to serving the community through exceptional exhibitions and programs.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to work alongside President and CEO Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette and the incomparable team at Newfields. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is an evolving institution with a stellar collection and inspiration to all who visit. I look forward to joining a team dedicated to serving the community through exceptional exhibitions and programs as one of the nation’s leading cultural destinations,” Tate stated in the release.

Belinda Tate’s appointment is a significant step towards addressing the systemic racism that has plagued the museum industry for years. With her leadership, it is hoped that the Indianapolis Museum of Art can become a more inclusive and welcoming space for audiences of all backgrounds and continue to inspire and educate through its excellent exhibitions and programs.

Author

Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art News Africa.

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