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Since it opened its doors in 1979, the Metal Museum has been a home for the metalsmithing community and a place where art is created, displayed, and treasured. Originally founded as a museum for forged and ornamental ironwork, the Museum has expanded its scope to include works of holloware, sculpture, and art jewelry.

In recent years, the Metal Museum has begun to formally address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the organizational level. This began with a focus on internal operations and how they relate to outward-facing programs and exhibitions. The IDEA committee, a DEIA-focused staff committee, was formed and the Museum underwent an equity audit in January 2021. As Museum staff and leadership continue these efforts, we are committed to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible community that is passionate about the art and craft of metalsmithing. Read about our progress below.



  • Started a staff committee that reviews museum policies and is currently developing an IDEA plan to coincide with the Metal Museum’s strategic plan

  • Is actively increasing DEIA knowledge and understanding through numerous group and individual trainings for staff and leadership, including Whiteness at Work with the Adaway Group and Unpacking Racism with the National Civil Rights Museum

  • Completed an equity audit through the community organization Beloved Community

  • Set goals to diversify the Board of Directors

  • Begun the process of certifying the Museum as a Brave, Safe, and Educated Space for the LGBTQ+ community through Bridge Builders CHANGE

  • Is actively seeking consignment artists for the Museum Store who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color

  • Developed a more inclusive policy for vendor selection

  • Committed to increasing the diversity of full-time and part-time staff, apprentices, interns, and volunteers


  • Provided scholarship opportunities to youth participating in our after-school programs

  • Committed to offering additional scholarships to traditionally underrepresented communities

  • Continued participation in the Studio Institute's Arts Intern program, a paid internship program that provides opportunities for students from diverse and low-income backgrounds

  • Committed to planning exhibitions highlighting artists and curators from traditionally underrepresented communities

  • Is in the process of developing criteria for accepting group or themed exhibitions organized by other institutions


  • Increasing diversity of visitors, members, and donors

  • Improving the accessibility of the Museum and its programming

  • Dedicating resources to support DEIA work


The Metal Museum is committed to fostering diversity and a spirit of inclusiveness in our governing authority, staff, volunteers and audiences, as well in our exhibitions and programs. The Museum serves the entire community and fosters understanding of all cultures and points of view, including but not limited to those of people who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion.



To preserve, promote, and advance the art and craft of fine metalwork.


As the international center for the metal arts, the Metal Museum will inspire creativity among all audiences through art and education.



Diversity is the state or practice of acknowledging the collection of differences that make people distinct; the numerical representation of attributes such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, cognitive abilities, physical ability, etc.


Equity is the practice of dismantling infrastructure and allocating personalized resources so that individuals feel included and successful in any environment. Equity requires an investment in and commitment to people, while ensuring that everyone is capable of achieving the same level of success.


Inclusion is the action of cultivating and maintaining a safe, brave space that welcomes people from a variety of backgrounds, respects all voices, and provides equitable opportunities and resources. The embracement of differing behaviors, perspectives, and experiences.



Accessibility is the quality of equitably accommodating people from different backgrounds to engage in any activity through the removal of physical, financial, technological, and intellectual restrictions and the enactment of policies, practices, and resources to ensure success and equity.


Allyship is the continuous practice of using one’s social, political, financial, or verbal privileges to advocate for, support, and elevate underrepresented communities. It is the act of educating oneself on social injustices and unlearning and reevaluating personal biases. A person cannot declare that they are an ally.



Anti-racism is the practice of actively condemning and opposing racial oppression personally, interpersonally, structurally, and politically; advocating for racial justice and equity through the identification, correction, and removal of political policies and systems that perpetuate racist ideals and biases.



Community is the many different people that engage with, feel included in, and who are impacted by the Metal Museum.



Equality is the practice of allocating the same resources, access, rights, and freedoms to all groups without the consideration of circumstance or context.

The Metal Museum is currently in the process of setting specific, measurable, and time-based goals for DEI efforts. We welcome feedback and open dialogue about this process. To share your comments, please contact us at

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