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Filoli Selected by the American Alliance of Museums for Participation in Groundbreaking National Initiative to Increase Diversity and Inclusion on Museum Boards

Filoli Historic House and Garden, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the last country estates reminiscent of the Gilded Age, has been selected by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to participate in "Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion." This unprecedented national initiative to diversify museum boards and leadership is taking place across 5 U.S. cities and includes a cross-section of museums of all types and sizes.

WOODSIDE, Calif., July 30, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Filoli Historic House and Garden, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the last country estates reminiscent of the Gilded Age, has been selected by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) to participate in "Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion." This unprecedented national initiative to diversify museum boards and leadership is taking place across 5 U.S. cities and includes a cross-section of museums of all types and sizes.

Backed by $4 million in grants from three foundations (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alice L. Walton Foundation, and Ford Foundation), Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion, will provide the framework, training, and resources for museum leaders to build inclusive cultures within their institutions that more accurately reflect the communities they serve.

"Building a more inclusive museum field is achievable only with museums trustees and leaders committed to long-term change and improvement," said Laura Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums. "Museum boards, in particular, set the tone for their institutions and are well positioned to be agents of change. We commend the museum directors and trustees who have committed to this program for investing in their own operations and serving as models for all museums."

Kara Newport, Filoli Center CEO, added, "It is my personal hope that through this program Filoli can play a small role in helping create a replicable program for all types of cultural organizations as we all strive for more diverse and inclusive organizations. This opportunity is in clear alignment with Filoli's new five-year strategic plan which fully encompasses goals of sustainability, organizational excellence, and diversity and inclusion."

Earlier this year, as part of the Facing Change initiative, AAM announced an Excellence in DEAI Task Force charged with developing recommendations to embed diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion more deeply into AAM's excellence programs. AAM also named ten DEAI fellows who will work with AAM to implement trainings and support the museum boards in developing sustainable and measurable inclusion plans.

The Need for Action
AAM's field-wide diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiative responds to extensive and multi-year research that underscores the need and desire for change. In 2017, AAM and BoardSource examined museum board leadership and found a disconnect in the area of diversity and inclusion. The survey revealed that nearly half (46 percent) of museum boards are entirely white, 77 percent of museum directors believe expanding the racial and ethnic diversity of their boards is important to advancing their missions, but only 10 percent of museum boards have developed a plan of action to become more inclusive. A recent survey by the Mellon Foundation demonstrated that employment in the US museum sector does not reflect the makeup of the communities these institutions serve, despite decades of local and national efforts.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community.

For more information, visit http://www.aam-us.org.

About Filoli

Located in Woodside, CA, Filoli boasts 654 acres of historic beauty nestled along the slopes of California's coastal range. The historic property features a 54,000+ square foot Georgian revival style mansion, 16 acres of exquisite English Renaissance gardens, a 6.8-acre Gentleman's Orchard, and a nature preserve with over 7 miles of hiking trails. Established as a private residence in 1917, Filoli was open to the public in 1976 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Filoli is dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and is considered one of the finest remaining country estates of the 20th century. For more information about Filoli, visit https://filoli.org/.