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CMA Mission

CMA Mission, Vision, Values & DEAI Commitment


The Canton Museum of Art is where art meets life, providing opportunities for everyone to discover, explore, learn, and be inspired through a connection with American art.

Through creative exhibitions, imaginative programs, and sharing American art and its stories through our collection, the Museum is a cultural resource that engages, educates, entertains, and enriches our visitors and community.


  • The Canton Museum of Art serves Canton, Stark County, and the region as an outstanding American art museum and inspiring destination for the discovery and enjoyment of art.

  • We are dedicated to enriching lives and engaging diverse audiences and communities through dynamic exhibitions, education, and artistic programs that connect the visual arts into the lives of our audiences and make art accessible to all.

  • CMA is a cultural cornerstone for a city “Celebrating Excellence Everywhere” — contributing to cultural tourism, economic development in Canton and Stark County, and building a vibrant and healthy community.

Operating Principles

Our Mission and Vision are supported by the Museum’s internal focus on five critical operating principles for success. These principles are followed by management, staff, volunteers, and the Board.

  1. Innovation – Exhibitions and programs are of the highest creativity, artistic quality, and educational excellence for the discovery and exploration of art.

  2. Patron Satisfaction – Ensure our patrons have an excellent experience at CMA, and measure service, quality, and effectiveness across the Museum.

  3. Operations Excellence – Establish and maintain the highest standards in quality, organization productivity, safety, and continuous improvement.

  4. Organizational Development – CMA will have a dedicated, customer-centric staff of the highest talent levels for each functional area of the Museum. We will ensure that there are volunteer opportunities at many entry points and levels to engage the community and support the Museum’s programmatic activities.  

  5. Financial Strength – CMA will create and maintain a solid financial foundation—including individual donor, grant, foundation, corporate, major gifts, and investment / endowment support, with accountability and transparency in all transactions—which will support the mission and help CMA to strengthen and sustain our community.

Museum Values

Operational Excellence – We create exhibitions, education and public programs, and collections of the highest quality. Our board, director, staff, and volunteers will be recognized as strong examples in leadership and professionalism. By focusing on excellence in everything we do, we continue to grow our national (and international) reputation and reach.


Creativity – We are a place where art meets life, and we are dedicated to helping people discover, explore, and experience the power of art to inspire creative thinking and innovation that benefits both themselves and society.


Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) – We seek to make art accessible to all. We work to remove economic, physical, and intellectual barriers to ensure everyone is able to experience the inspiration of art. We embrace diversity across all aspects of the Museum. We welcome many voices and shared life experiences into a connection and conversation with art. We work to develop and sustain a diverse board and staff rich in age, race, ethnicity, education, and lived experiences, enabling us to develop memorable programs and explore opportunities for growth. We invite and welcome all — and we encourage feedback around our efforts as we seek continuous improvement and growth.


Education – We will teach and inspire diverse audiences through engaging visual arts education programs at CMA, inside classrooms, in the community, and beyond. In this critical function deeply aligned with the Museum’s mission, we will be known for our welcoming and inclusive spirit—enabling people of all ages, places, and stages to learn, to play, and to be inspired by art.


Collaboration – Partners are essential in artistic products that reach our community. We work to build an organizational culture that embraces collaboration and long-term relationships to co-create with other arts, cultural, humanities, and service organizations, and individuals, to deepen the experience of art.


Stewardship – We are dedicated to careful stewardship of all Museum resources – financial, artistic, and personnel. All of the areas are critical to fulfilling our mission and vision. As an art museum, we are charged with protecting and sharing artistic treasures that are links to our past and shed light on the future. We share CMA’s Permanent Collection with the community through creative exhibitions and programs, and we build and conserve the Collection with utmost care. Best Practices and Ethics from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) govern our Collection stewardship. 


Accountability & Transparency – We focus on fiscal prudence and transparency in all transactions. We are conscientious in our use of financial resources and uphold the highest ethical standards in financial reporting.


Sustainable Growth – Through our focus on dynamic programs, community engagement, collections expansion, and cultural tourism, CMA will grow its presence across Stark County and the region as a premier destination for inspiration, learning, and enjoyment through the visual arts and related arts and cultural activities.


Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion: Our Commitment at CMA

Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) is central to living the Canton Museum of Art’s Mission and Values. CMA is deeply committed to DEAI at all levels of the organization in order to realize our goal of a museum and community cultural resource that is truly welcoming to all. CMA seeks to be relevant to and reflective of the community we serve; recognize value in all voices; create welcoming experiences that connect, inspire, and enrich our community; communicate with honesty and transparency; and listen carefully to one another in order to honor our different perspectives and shared life experiences.


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