Arts management students, including Grace Stewart, are utilizing their degrees to improve inclusivity and understanding within cultural organizations.
Senior Manager of DEAI Programs, American Alliance of Museums (AAM)
“People are actually talking about issues surrounding diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) within organizations now. That’s the biggest change from when I was in school,” said Grace Stewart, senior manager of DEAI Programs at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).
Stewart is a graduate of the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University. She now heads an initiative at AAM called Facing Change, which currently partners with about 50 institutions. Facing Change works directly with museums’ board of trustees to change the dynamics at their organization, centering on racial disparities in particular.
“You need action from both ends, grassroots and leadership, and alignment between them to make sure the staff and the board are using the same language and working in tandem,” Stewart said.
Stewart brings significant quantitative management skills to her work as a DEAI leader. She graduated from CMU with an understanding of how to integrate data into her approach to solving problems. Especially in DEAI work, data and evaluations are important to understanding whether an organization is serving its community and meeting its goals.
“At CMU I learned about organizational design and structure, how decisions are evaluated and made, and how structures and systems are built,” she said. “Not everyone understands that management and leadership are skills you can learn, and because I learned those skills at CMU, I am continuing to grow and hone those skills in my professional work.”