Museums Moving Forward logo

Data Studies

Welcome to MMF's 2023 Report on Workplace Equity and Organizational Culture in US Art Museums.

Please click below to read online or download the report.

If you would like to submit a comment, please select the "Read the Report" button below, and you will find commenting enabled.

MMF collected quantitative data about workplace equity and organizational culture in US art museums in late 2022. The study uses secure multi-party computation to protect user privacy while providing aggregate analyses. The goal of the study is to create a field-wide view of trends and patterns in art museum workplaces and to provide benchmarks for participating museums.

PARTNER museums

Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Arizona State University Art Museum
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Brooklyn Museum
Buffalo AKG
Chazen Museum of Art
Columbus Museum of Art
Contemporary Art Museum Houston
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Contemporary Austin
Crocker Art Museum
Dallas Museum of Art
Dia Art Foundation
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Frye Art Museum
Harn Museum of Art
Honolulu Museum of Art
Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles
Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Menil Collection
Mississippi Museum of Art
Mint Museum
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Morgan Library & Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
Nasher Museum of Art
Nasher Sculpture Center
National Gallery of Art
Newark Museum of Art
New Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Parrish Art Museum
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Portland Art Museum
Portland Museum of Art
Queens Museum
Reynolda House Museum of American Art 
Saint Louis Art Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Speed Art Museum
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
Studio Museum in Harlem
Toledo Museum of Art
University of Michigan Museum of Art
Walker Art Center
Weatherspoon Art Museum
Weisman Art Museum
Williams College Museum of Art
Worcester Art Museum

Survey instruments HR survey spreadsheet

frequently asked questions

Who is funding this?
MMF’s data study is made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation and Mellon Foundation.

Who are your data partners?
MMF is pleased to be partnering with Slover Linett Audience Research, the social research firm co-directing the major national initiative known as Culture Track over the past few years, and the Faculty of Computing and Data Science at Boston University whose expertise lies in applied cryptography.

Why are you doing this study?
MMF's research shows there is a lack of data about workplace culture and human resources within art museums, despite urgent calls for better practices over the past several years. This study is designed to bridge the information gap and create a productive path forward for the field.

What does participation entail?
Participating museums will be asked to support data collection across three types of surveys: a full staff survey, an HR survey, and a director survey.

What kinds of questions are you asking?
The main topics of the staff survey are employment information (such as length of service, department, position level, salary, promotions, role in DEAI, etc.); organizational culture (such as strengths and challenges, experiences of discrimination, salary transparency, etc.); and participant demographics (such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability status, etc.)

The main topics of the director and HR surveys include board engagement and demographics; count of staff members by type and within salary ranges and categories; employee benefits (such as health insurance, PTO/sick leave, retirement plans, flexible time/remote work policies, etc.); and dispute procedures/metrics (such as mechanisms for reporting, count/type of complaints, type of resolution, etc.)

How long do the surveys take?
The staff survey will take approximately 7-10 minutes.

The HR survey will take approximately 1-2 hours. We are providing an Excel template of the survey for HR officers to answer at their own pace. Once complete, the template can be dragged to the study webpage anytime during the data collection period and it will auto-populate the survey questions.

The director survey will take approximately 3-5 minutes.

How are you protecting the confidentiality of responses?
The study uses multi-party computation or MPC, which is a secure way to extract collective insights about data without exposing the individuals who contribute that data to disclosure risks, using techniques closely related to encryption. MPC has been used to collect sensitive information to study important questions, like gender and racial wage gaps across the city of Boston. If you are interested in learning more about MPC, please visit

Participants in the study anonymously provide answers to MMF’s survey(s). These answers are securely encoded before they leave the participant’s internet browser, so no one ever sees an individual survey taker’s response—not even a data analyst or members of MMF’s team. There is a minimum of 10 staff responses required for a museum to receive an aggregate report to ensure the privacy of respondents.

How is MMF’s study different than other studies out there?
In addition to our privacy-preserving approach, we’re asking different questions than other recent complementary research efforts. This study specifically explores salary and promotion rate equity and workplace experiences and takes a more in-depth look at organizational culture.

We’re collecting and triangulating data from multiple levels and viewpoints within each organization to get a picture of workplace equity and organizational culture informed by HR officers, directors, and other staff members, and to explore how these perspectives relate to each other across the field.

Why should I participate?
Participating museums will receive early access to MMF's field-wide report with deeper analyses of responses across all participating museums.

Participating museums will also receive a contributor badge (digital file) from MMF as an acknowledgment of your organization’s commitment to moving museums forward.

If a museum opts for an organizational report, then each survey participant at that museum will get to see an organizational report with the aggregate responses from that museum's staff and field benchmarks of staff across other participating museums. If a museum opts out of the organizational report, participants will get to see aggregate responses from staff across participating museums only but no organization-specific data will be available.

What is the deliverable or result of the study?
MMF will publish a field-wide report including data from all three surveys, available for free download on our website in the summer of 2023. This is the only public report.

What will be shared publicly about data across all participating museums and employees?
For the staff survey, MMF will share aggregate measures from all respondents across all museums on each question and we plan to calculate some new variables across questions. In addition, breakouts by race, ethnicity, gender, etc. will be shared for certain questions. No organization-specific data will be released publicly without permission.

For the director and HR survey, MMF will share aggregate measures from all participating museums on each question. The research team will also test for connections between the data collected across the surveys. No data about a specific organization will be released publicly without permission.

What is the timeline?
Data collection for the study begins October 24th and closes December 9, 2022. All surveys must be completed during this time.

The data analysis period begins in December 2022 and we plan to have organizational reports (if applicable) by spring 2023. MMF will host a series of convenings with participating museums to share and discuss findings, and to collectively interpret the data. Finally, MMF will produce a field-wide report in fall 2023, which will be available to participating museums first.

How much does it cost to participate?
Participation in the study is free.

What is the deadline for signing up?
October 17, 2022.

I have another question, who do I speak to?
Please contact [email protected].