35th Annual Conference

March 27-29, 2023


Behind the Velvet Rope — Meaningful Inclusivity in the Arts

60-minute Workshop

Day 2

Session Code: S3-C
When: March 28, 2023
Level: Intermediate
Track: DEI Strategy
Industry Designation: Nonprofit
Presenter: Michelle Petrazzuolo, Phillips


The arts world has traditionally been slow to bring DEI principles to their staff “behind the velvet rope” and suffered some high-profile failures in bringing people of color to leadership. At this company, an international arts, jewelry, and watches auction house, we recognized not only our need to diversify, but the opportunity it presented.

This session, presented by the director of DEIA and Talent Development at Phillips, will outline the earliest steps taken to focus on diversifying our workforce, and the results that made us the first house to be known for our inclusivity.

You will walk away with a roadmap of the best first principles to bring DEI to businesses that are joining the cause for the first time, and how to avoid creating a program that feels to employees and external audiences like jumping on a bandwagon.

Learning Outcomes:

• Understand the root causes behind why the arts have struggled to diversify — despite strong interest from staff and clients, and numerous attempts
• Learn the strengths that art organizations possess to leverage for DEI success, and how we leveraged them to create success
• Develop a roadmap, delivered through breakout sessions, for starting a DEI program that resonates based on the best practices we’ve learned

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
Privacy Policy