The Art Institute of Chicago has recently fired all of its long-time volunteers. The reason that was given is that the Art Institute wants more diversity in their volunteer staff, not just well-to-do white women. This mass firing was committed by the new Executive Director of Learning and Public Engagement at Art Institute of Chicago Veronica Stein.
The Art Institute used to have more than 100 docents, 82 of whom were active, until an executive director of learning and engagement, Veronica Stein, sent an email on Sept. 3 firing them all. Docents are trained volunteers who lead tours of museums, and at the Art Institute, the majority had more than 15 years of unpaid service.
To become a Docent “Volunteer”, one must engage in eighteen months of twice-a-week training to qualify as a docent, five years of continual research and writing to meet the criteria of 13 museum content areas, and monthly and bi-weekly training to further educate themselves with the materials, processes and cultural context of the museum’s pieces.
Here are my thoughts on the matter: The women who volunteered for decades were highly knowledgeable in the arts and, most importantly, gave their services for free. The new Veronica Stein now wants to hire lower-income people of color to fill these positions. If these new would-be hires are of low income why would they work for free for an unpaid job?
The media in Chicago is not covering this story and I feel it is an absolute disgrace to news outlets around the city to turn a blind eye to this in the name of being WOKE in some way.
This, in my opinion, is outright racism cloaked in the name of equity, plain and simple.
Let me know what your thoughts on this matter are in the comments section.
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