Museums were created with a Eurocentric narrative that excluded the Black community from the space up until the twenty-first century. Now, the relationship between the museum and the community has shifted, urging for change in museums leadership, and accessibility. This thesis argues the positionality of the Detroit Institute of Arts, a foundationally White institution, in the predominantly Black city of Detroit. While museums across the country are learning to adapt to a new generation of museum goers, the DIAs history within Detroit suggests a more pressing need to serve their community. Therefore, it is essential to examine the nations shifting demographics, as well as Detroit’s, in order to understand the needs of the institution’s future audience. By analyzing the DIA from a theoretical approach, and other literature that discusses race within cultural institution’s, I argue that the museum’s positionality is informed by racism and bias within the museum’s leadership and various practices that could continue to hinder the museums sustainability as a primary source of cultural information.


Morrow, Kara


Art and Art History


Museum Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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