We, the staff of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, are committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive environment within the Museum for our communities. We are proud of the work we do towards our mission in Building Community Around Art in this nonprofit space. We are poised at a pivotal moment in history where our institution must actively align its actions with its professed values, both within the public eye as well as in private. We must recognize that it does us a disservice to speak of SVMA as if the institution was anything other than the people who work for, and make decisions toward, fulfilling SVMA’s Mission Statement on a daily basis. SVMA is the sum of us all. We seek policy shifts that reflect this inherent truth and acknowledge the vast amount of time and human energy given by staff to create, maintain, and help our institution grow.
We must first embrace a people-centered ethos, putting all employees at the center of our organizational thinking, ensuring that we understand, support, and value what every individual brings to this work, moving forward into a place of collaboration and discovery, in partnership with SVMA staff. We believe that the formation of our union, Cultural Workers United-AFSCME DC57, is the logical next step in this endeavor for a more egalitarian workplace.
In unionizing, we passionately aid the Museum in following through on its commitments, stated over a year ago in its Equity Statement: “SVMA aims to eliminate the inequities of historically marginalized groups and is committed to learning and evolving as well as compassionately urging our direct stakeholders—and colleagues in the field—to do the same.” Equitable pay and the fair treatment of all employees and stakeholders must be codified into the very fabric of our institution moving forward.
In standing together as a union, we commit to the following: creating transparent policies and practices; ensuring management accountability to staff concerns; advocating for an equitable workplace; thoroughly embedding diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion into our workplace; and working alongside the leadership to shape the future of the organization.
We trust that SVMA’s stakeholders, including our members, artists, teachers, students, families, and anyone else we have had the pleasure of serving in Sonoma Valley, will support us in this undertaking. We expect that both current and former board members, former employees, and other key community members who have helped found and support SVMA over the years will also speak in support of our announcement today.
We have reached a supermajority of support for our union. We hope that SVMA leadership will proceed with our voluntary recognition. If not, we hope that leadership will remain neutral throughout the National Labor Relations election process. When we stand together we can make improvements to both the SVMA and our professions as a whole. Please reach out to Linda Keaton, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org to express your support for our effort.
Please sign our petition