In June 2021, Carnegie Museum of Art embarked on a year-long strategic visioning process that brought together knowledge and experiences from individuals across the museum, the Pittsburgh region, and national and international art world to reflect on the museum’s legacy, opportunities, challenges, and ambitions. The below strategic framework is the result of this visioning process. It guides our decision-making and it charts a dynamic and energizing future, transforming the museum’s relationship to the audiences it serves and the art histories it narrates.
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another.
At Carnegie Museum of Art, we believe creativity is a defining human characteristic to which everyone should have access. Carnegie Museum of Art collects, preserves, and presents artworks from around the world to inspire, sustain, and provoke discussion, and to engage and reflect multiple audiences.
As one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art embraces the Core Values of the larger institute:
- Collaboration: Working together to make the whole institution greater than the sum of its parts
- Diversity and Inclusion: Welcoming and respecting all; recognizing and responding with empathy to multiple perspectives in our programming and deliberations
- Equity and Accessibility: Ensuring fairness and impartiality in all practices and policies, and providing people across the spectrum of human ability and experience with equitable access to our buildings, programs, and communications
- Integrity: Conducting all actions in accordance with ethical, legal, and professional requirements and norms
- Relevance: Ensuring that our activities and programs are responsive to the needs, concerns, and interests of the communities and audiences we serve, locally, nationally, and globally
- Safety: Ensuring a safe environment for all who come to our facilities to visit or to work
- Stewardship: Optimizing our collections and other assets for the benefit of the public we serve and supporting the efforts and welfare of our staff
- Sustainability: Considering the impact of our actions on the environment and on the long-term viability of our facilities and finances
Our Statement of Purpose
Driven by curiosity, Carnegie Museum of Art makes space for expansive inquiry into the art and ideas that shape our time.
Underpinning our organizational mission and values, our purpose articulates the museum’s reason for being, or the central “why” we do what we do. This purpose is our guiding principle for our staff, leadership, advisory board, volunteers, and community partners as we forge ahead.
Our Value Proposition
A Confluence of Creative Possibilities
As the nation’s first museum dedicated to collecting the art of its time, Carnegie Museum of Art is a meeting place for Pittsburgh and the world. Through the Carnegie International, our collection, artist-centered exhibitions, co-created educational resources, and dynamic public programs, we surface questions with both local and global relevance, building on history’s lessons to contemplate, envision, and help manifest brave and imaginative futures. We strive to be an inquisitive and responsive institution, bringing together perspectives from the Pittsburgh region, the broader nation, and the globe to connect our lives to the larger human experience.
These three guiding ambitions articulate the long-term, transformational impact we seek to have in the world. Each ambition is accompanied by a core question that we endeavor to answer through our work. Together, these ambitions serve as our compass for aligning the collective efforts of our many stakeholders, ensuring that every initiative and project we undertake contributes to our vision for the future.
Expand the Imaginative Capacity of Museum Work
How might we exemplify a culture of creative exchange that sparks new possibilities for what a 21st-century museum can be?
We aim to re-examine inherited narratives, histories, and ways of seeing in order to bring our museum, and the field as a whole, into more robust dialogue with our audiences and communities. By continually interrogating the purpose and field-wide implications of our practices, we seek to evolve and elevate our collection, commissions, programming, and operations in responsive and dynamic ways that model new directions for the field.
Catalyze Creative Agency
How might we foster inclusive, affirming, and empowering experiences for all who engage with the museum?
When we choose to welcome art into our lives, we unlock the vital power of creativity to transform ourselves and society. We aim to be an ever-evolving and responsive museum where a multiplicity of perspectives makes our museum experience richer, and where our staff and audiences alike are welcomed, seen, and empowered.
Enrich Our Region’s Artistic Life
How might we extend our impact and the work of local communities and partners through mutually beneficial and sustained relationships?
We strive to be an active partner in gathering, connecting, and supporting the diverse individuals and organizations that put our region’s cultural ecosystem on a national and international map. We commit ourselves to sharing our institutional resources, platform, and knowledge to foster stronger, more equitable, and reciprocal networks that uplift the creative vibrancy of our city and radiate their impact more widely than would be possible alone.
Strategic Focus Areas and Priorities
To achieve our guiding ambitions and realize our vision for long-term impact, we commit to the following strategic focus areas which will guide our efforts through 2027.
Internal Culture: Empowering a diverse and collaborative internal community
As a community of colleagues and peers, we value the perspectives and wisdom that exists at all levels of our organization, and strive to champion individual agency, growth, collaboration, and openness in all that we do. We endeavor to be an employer of choice and a supportive training ground for those who are eager to make a robust impact in the world through art.
- Prioritize recruiting candidates with diverse identities and lived experiences to leadership, staff, and advisory board positions to better reflect the audiences and communities the museum serves.
- Invest in professional development to retain talent and foster pathways for staff advancement within and beyond the museum.
- Adopt clear standards of communication across the organization to promote transparency, feedback, knowledge-sharing, and cohesion.
- Create structures for cross-departmental collaboration to enable innovation and promote the sharing and retention of institutional knowledge and relationships beyond one individual or department.
- Model and pursue opportunities to co-create operational excellence and programmatic innovation within the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh network.
Experience: Reimagining the museum experience to center welcome, access, and dialogue with audiences
Building on our commitment to sharing art as an essential form of knowledge with the public, we believe a work of art isn’t truly complete without the experience of the viewer. We are committed to listening to and learning from our audiences to ensure access to our collection, programs, and spaces on their own terms.
- Engage staff at all levels in redefining the visitor experience to prioritize creating and maintaining a sense of welcome, belonging, and curiosity for all audiences.
- Reimagine the shared museum campus to create spaces inside and outside of the building for organizing, relaxing, reflecting, and connecting with others.
- Elevate the audience’s role in the museum’s public identity, strategic messaging, and imagery to underscore the human experience of engaging with art.
- Develop new hybrid and digital pathways that expand the public’s access to museum programs and collections, and provide new opportunities for revenue generation.
- Systematize the collection of audience data and feedback across the museum experience to facilitate a responsive visitor-centered experience.
Community: Leveraging the museum’s resources to support and advocate for the communities of Pittsburgh
As a neighborhood museum and resource, we aim to serve Pittsburgh artists and communities alike with intentionality and responsiveness. We strive to be a porous museum: sharing and activating our platform, assets, and expertise through vibrant and dynamic community partnerships both onsite and off.
- Create channels for ongoing communication and exchange with local institutions, peers, and community-based organizations to share available museum resources, and identify unmet needs and opportunities for co- creation and mutual support.
- Prioritize deep, sustained, and mutually supportive local partnerships to build community trust and achieve greater collective impact.
- Support Pittsburgh artists through access to space, collections, resources, programs, and relationship-building opportunities.
- Build out off-campus programming and activations that extend the museum’s resources and offerings into the community.
Field: Expanding the museum’s reputation and influence on the world stage
For over 125 years, Carnegie Museum of Art has been committed to showcasing the art and artists of the current moment while also building a vital archive of art from the past. From the ambitious execution of the Carnegie International to the daily work of our entire organization, we seek to build on our legacy of thought leadership through rigorous research, adventurous and artist-centered programming and partnerships, and forward-thinking contributions to museum discourse and practice. We are dedicated to fulfilling our role as a deeply local cultural institution that convenes and contributes to the global creative conversation.
- Build organization-wide capacity and resources for research and learning that enables innovation in curatorial practice, programming, education, design, visitor experience, and operations.
- Amplify diverse voices, both existing and emerging, across the museum’s programs to advance field-wide conversations about how art functions in our lives.
- Undertake large and small institutional partnerships with regional, national, and international organizations that emphasize dialogue, expand mutual benefits, and share the museum’s work outside of Pittsburgh.
- Advocate for Pittsburgh’s artistic legacy and future through initiatives that bring the city’s artists and ideas to regional, national, and international audiences.