HueCultures National

HueCultures National is an expansion of Museum Hue’s HueArts New York City and HueArts New York State, seeking to connect and amplify over 150 museums created and led by Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and other cultural workers of color across the United States, through an online database that encompasses the history, geographic location, and significance of these museums.

Culturally-specific museums create a dedicated space and platform for art, history, and culture that centers communities of color. Despite their indelible links to the rich and poignant cultures found across the US, there are no existing online resources — leaving a significant gap in opportunities for these cultural institutions to participate in the national museum discourse at conferences or inclusion in university curriculum and lectures. HueCultures National seeks to remedy this by raising awareness while building a stronger network among them.

HueCultures Northeast

Two Black women stand next to each other to the right side of a wooden sign stating "The Colored Girls Museum"
Stephanie Cunningham, Museum Hue’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, and Vashti DuBois, The Colored Girls Museum’s Executive Director and Founder, in front of the Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, PA.

Museum Hue is developing an online platform dedicated to critically exploring museums and cultural centers founded and led by Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and other People of Color —often referred to as culturally specific museums—in the US. The current working title for this initiative is HueCultures National

The first phase of the project will focus on culturally-specific museums in twelve states across the Northeast region of the United States: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Our long term goal is a full-scale national platform of these museums and cultural centers.

To bring this project to life, we are collaborating with Yancey Consulting, an organizational and leadership development consulting firm, and Slover Linett at NORC, a social research firm for the cultural sector. Yancey Consulting will lead community engagement and qualitative data collection, ensuring we capture compelling insights, varied perspectives, and storied histories of these museums. Slover Linett will lead our qualitative data collection using concise stats and graphic charts to bolster our storytelling.

HueCultures Northeast is being funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Mellon Foundation. Museum Hue has received a National Leadership Grant for Museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Mellon Foundation in support of this initiative, the first of its kind to identify and amplify the work and thought leadership of leaders within these museums. Due to long-standing racial inequities in the museum field, there is a lack of information and resources available about museums created and led by Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and other People of Color. Our comprehensive online platform will encompass the history, geographic location, and significance of these critical institutions and inform and encourage museum leaders, professionals, enthusiasts, and the general public about the cultural assets, programming, and histories of these museums.

This work is central to Museum Hue’s mission. As an organization, we are dedicated to supporting and amplifying Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and other cultural organizations of color and using our research and advocacy to further equity and racial justice in the cultural sector. We have embarked on a similar initiative, HueArts New York that includes a map, directory, and report centering arts entities founded and led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other People of Color across New York State. Through this initiative, we were able to foster relationships and connections among the art and culture entities across the state. We aim to build a strong network among the museums and cultural centers and foster relationships that lead to collaboration and partnerships that strengthen their organizations.

Who will have access to this data beyond the researchers, participants and funding organizations? 

The final map, directory, report, and platform will be available to the general public. 

Why is this project being conducted, who called for it?

Museum Hue initiated this project, we conceptualized and designed it in response to needs experienced and observed in arts and culture spaces and then sought funding.

Currently, no official or comprehensive map centralizes information about the many existing museums and cultural centers founded and led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other People of color throughout the US. Informal crowdsourcing efforts by individuals have tried to fill the need; however, many gaps in data remain, as well as a clear definition of the criteria that around these entities. This lack of information has a direct correlation with stark and persistent gaps in funding, perpetuating generational racial inequities of access to and support for these museums across the cultural landscape. 

How will this help put into action support for these entities?

The process will result in a highly dynamic, user-friendly, multi-dimensional searchable resource that highlights critical information about the work, the people, the assets and opportunities fueling these museums and their activities throughout the US. The goal of such a resource is to increase the visibility of these entities and to expand and diversify both public and private investments in these spaces. The findings and insights gathered from the process will also be shown in a report providing tangible recommendations for future actions and opportunities targeted at government, private philanthropy, and the arts and culture field.

What is the project timeline?

September 2023 – December 2026. The platform will be completed in 2026.

We aim to understand the landscape within which these organizations operate and how they help sustain their communities and cultures. The final product will include a report of recommendations that museum professionals, peer organizations, philanthropic funders, and policymakers will utilize, in addition to a highly graphic map and directory of the museums and cultural centers and a dynamic digital platform that will utilize storytelling (articles, videos, and interviews) to educate peer organizations, museum enthusiasts, and the general public on the leaders, programs, and pedagogies of these culturally specific museums and centers.

Over the last several years, the museum field has increasingly turned its attention to ensuring the values of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are central to its missions and work. From their inception, culturally-specific museums have led with these values through their community-centered approaches and forefronting the cultural assets and expression of their communities. HueCultures National will give voice to the legacy of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other People of Color museums, beginning with the Northeast region. The project will be critical to educating and fostering understanding and appreciation of culturally-specific museums in hopes this translates into increased support in funding, drive increased visitorship, diversifies the museum content in the digital space, and propel Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other museum leaders of color in the field.

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