Since the terrible death of George Floyd, we are witnessing global protests against racism.
The Black Lives Matter movement and these events are incredibly important moments in our history. They force us all to take notice of social injustice, confront our own prejudices, and re-examine our values, our roles, and our responsibilities in society.
They also provide an opportunity to have open conversations about race, and for critical self-reflection and debate. Nowhere is this more important than in education, and like many other institutions our students, staff and alumni are sharing their views and getting involved.
Christie’s Education, a specialist postgraduate institution serving the arts, recognises the huge lack of diversity in the art world. The limited record of exhibitions of, and prices for, black and ethnic minority works of art beyond the ‘tribal’ reflect a long-standing lack of investment in artists themselves, despite recent reappraisal and popularity as a collecting category. Similarly, we only have to look around positions of influence across auction houses, museums, galleries, fairs, and university history of art faculties to see evidence of lack of representation at this level, while various initiatives to redress the balance have yet to make a significant impact. These factors, along with many others, make art market studies less attractive as a career investment for students of colour.
Recognising our own deficiency in working to rectify this situation and to help address it, Christie’s Education Trust joined forces with the financier and philanthropist Reginald Browne to offer fully funded scholarships covering both fees and living expenses, and a year of internship at Christie’s.
Our aim was not only to expand the diversity of our own student body but also to provide scholarship recipients with work experience and a chance to develop their global network as a solid foundation for their future careers. We see this as a long-term investment to support change in the sector.
The scholarships have given three highly talented students an opportunity to join us this year and we are all benefiting from their presence.
Sadly, we are closing our master’s degrees and this cohort will be our last, so we will not be able to continue this initiative. We encourage other institutions to step in and fill the gap.
We also share here some information on how you can give your support to this vitally important issue.
International Managing Director, Christie’s Education
Ways to Donate
Movement for Black Lives (US)
Black Lives Matter (Global)
Black Visions Collective (US)
What To Do If You Can’t Donate Right Now
Show Racism the Red Card
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
The Movement for Black Lives
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Black Visions Creative