The Ethics of Museum Sponsorship and Arts Activism

The Ethics of Museum Sponsorship and Arts Activism

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

A leading museum of modern and contemporary art needs to reconcile the interests of its diverse audiences. The art museum operates in a complex environment: while it seeks revenue generation opportunities to help ensure financial stability, at the same time it needs to maintain public trust and its integrity in all its activities including revenue generation. How should the director of the art museum respond to an internal dispute? The art museum curator of public programs proposes to organize a workshop exploring art and activism as part of discussions in contemporary art. Meanwhile, the art museum corporate sponsorship manager is concerned that workshop participants will criticize some of the art museum sponsors, including representatives from investment banking, oil and gas, and wines and spirits, resulting in future challenges to generate revenue.

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