National Landscape Study 

About the National Landscape Study

In late 2019, CCLI launched a field-wide study to better understand the current state of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) practices in the museum field in the United States. Conducted by the Garibay Group on behalf of CCLI, the study was designed to illustrate the current landscape of DEAI practices across the museum field and, in turn, establish a set of metrics that museums can use to measure the progress of their equity and inclusion work. The resulting landmark report, CCLI National Landscape Study: The State of DEAI Practices in Museums, is based on data collected from 580 museums across the United States and highlights where organizational change is progressing and where gaps exist.

Overview of findings
The study findings provide critical benchmarking to help museums measure the progress of their DEAI work and offer an evidence base for developing new strategies and activities. Key findings include:
  • Museums report that DEAI is an organizational priority but have not taken strategic, consistent action at an organizational level foundational enough to support and achieve enduring equity and inclusion.
  • Museums use a range of DEAI-related strategies to develop and support more inclusive experiences in their exhibits, programs, and events and can build on them. These practices, however, are not integrated into the core work of the organization.
  • Museums focus less on the internal organizational dimensions of DEAI compared with public-facing aspects.
  • Lack of focus on collecting and using data to inform DEAI practice is hindering museums’ ability to measure progress and increase accountability.
  • Even in the face of organizational challenges, museums across types and budget sizes report using some DEAI-related practices.

Take Action

The CCLI team has developed a set of recommendations for organizational action based on the findings from the study. Download our Actionable Insights guides on the topics Foundational Practices, People and Operations, Community Engagement, Data Collection, and Services and Products for ideas.

Services / Products

Museums must integrate a range of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) strategies into their core work in order to create more inclusive exhibits, programs, and events.

People / Operations

When it comes to equity and inclusion practices, museums concentrate less on internal efforts than on public-facing work.

Foundational Practices

Without strategic and consistent action, museum leaders risk not being able to support and achieve organization-wide equity and inclusion.

Community Engagement

Museums are not doing enough to share power with community members from non-dominant groups and give them agency and voice.

Data Collection

Without collecting data and using it to inform practice, museums’ progress on equity and inclusion is hindered.