The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI), alongside 18 local Black organizations, released a statement following the sudden resignation of former Newfields CEO Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette.
The statement, released Nov. 19, details the art museum’s previous issues and allegations surrounding toxic and discriminatory culture, which had failed to serve communities of color — instead leading to a controversial job posting, which indicated the museum’s preference to “maintain a core white art audience.”
“The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) expresses profound concern and seeks clarity on the recent announcement of Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette’s departure from Newfields,” The AACI said in the statement. “The communication from Newfields’ Board of Trustees does not suffice to explain the reasons behind the exit of a leader who has endeavored to rebuild the institution’s reputation and foster meaningful connections with Indianapolis’ marginalized communities.”
The statement also cited the “lack of transparency” surrounding Burnette’s’ resignation, which is raising “unsettling questions” from the community, before calling for Newfield’s board of leadership to re-examine its commitments to determine if the institution is “sincere and capable” of re-building trust within the Black community in Indianapolis.
“Amid many rumors and allegations fueled by a press announcement highlighting her...