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art institute Chicago To diversify its team, last month it fired all its trained volunteers and guides, who were mostly older white women.

“We were shocked, we were disappointed,” Dust Council President Gigi Wafis said in an interview with Firing’s radio station WBEZ. “There is an army of very highly skilled doctors who are willing and ready and able to continue with art education.”


The Art Institute used to have over 100 doctors, 82 of whom were active, until Veronica Stein, the executive director of learning and engagement, sent an email on September 3, firing them all, The Wall Street Journal reported. Doctors are trained volunteers who lead tours of museums, and at the Art Institute, they put in an average of 15 years of unpaid service.

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As the outlet reports, the firing was apparently sparked by the fact that most of the inactive workers were made up of older white, financially affluent women. Stein said the museum needed to take a new approach “in a way that allows community members of all income levels to participate, responds to issues of class and income equity, and does not require financial flexibility. it occurs.”

The fired doctors were offered a free two-year pass to the museum as a token of gratitude for their past service.

The institution is one of America’s oldest and largest museums, having been started in 1961 as part of the Women’s Board and Junior League of Chicago initiatives.

The doctors sent a letter on 13 September detailing the staff “engaged in eighteen months twice a week training, five years of continuous research and writing to meet the criteria for the 13 museum content areas.” and bi-weekly training to qualify for writing, and to educate oneself with the materials, processes and cultural context of monthly and museum pieces.

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“It was almost a full-time job,” Dietrich Clavorne, an innocuous since 2012, told the Wall Street Journal. “We had to spend a lot of time physically in the museum studying works of art, researching, putting together tours.”

“We had to be very broad about everything, talking with them, moving through space,” she said. Clavorne was the only fool to speak on the record to the WSJ, after the museum reportedly requested not to speak to the media. The institute told Granthshala News later Sunday that “the museum did not ask doctors not to speak to the media,” but that the defunct council decided to decline further comment to the press.

NS Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune Even overturning the museum’s decision, doctors called Stein’s termination letter a “weasley.”

“Why not spend some time recruiting new, diverse doctors? Why not grow the core in a way that makes it fresh? Why not help doctors who need help with expenses or child care? A hybrid Why isn’t the model, at least until the current doctors run out?” The board wrote in its opinion piece dated 27 September.

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“Instead of erasing volunteerism as inherently elitist, why not acknowledge and substantiate its ongoing value as an important part of the necessary diversification and cultural change?”

Art Institute president Robert Levy defended the decision to fire doctors a few days later in his own op-ed, saying plans to do so had been in the works for 12 years.

“Serious self-reflection and participatory, healthy action is needed if we are to remain relevant to a changing audience seeking to engage with the arts,” he has written.

Clavorne, who is black, acknowledged to the WSJ that inactive workers “were not a demographically representative population.” However, Wafis noted that the employees were a socioeconomically diverse group, and included a fireman and condo manager among the group.

“Still, the Art Institute has not explained why they had to leave the collective and have not diversified over time. The museum appears to be in the throes of a self-defeating overreform. has adopted the language of equality. So thorough that it set out to remove the same upper-middle class volunteers on whom it depends for charitable donations,” the WSJ said.

The Art Institute told Granthshala News in remarks on Sunday that they “have not fired anyone.”

“We thought we were very clear when we outlined our plan, but somehow this has been turned upside down into baseless accusations of racism resulting in blatant threats against our employees. We only support a volunteer teacher program. are withholding and would not like to downplay the contribution. They have made. This should not be the root of a culture war,” a spokesperson for the institute said.