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Children's Museum says vendor review 'oversight' to blame for Juneteenth watermelon salad

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Posted at 8:08 AM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 14:49:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Children's Museum of Indianapolis says that a vendor review oversight is to blame for a Juneteenth watermelon salad that prompted a backlash.

Photos of the salad were posted to social media last week.

The museum issued the following statement early Tuesday:

"As a museum, we are very intentional about the content we develop for our exhibits and experiences and the review process they undergo. Exhibit and experience content is carefully created through the view of the individuals featured and vetted by a broad range of external subject matter experts and those who have a special interest in the exhibit or event. This situation has shown us that we need to expand this process beyond our exhibits and experiences and that we must be inclusive in this work.

"We spent the past week investigating what happened and where we fell short as a museum. Since 2020 we have relied on a vendor to create thematic menu items that extend the museum experience into our Food Court. Unfortunately, the inappropriate name and label given to the menu item was not reviewed by museum staff. Through this, we learned a really hard lesson that oversight must play an important role in every museum relationship.

"Vendors are an integral part of our organization and an extension of the museum. As a result of this situation, we have learned that we need to employ a more robust review process with our vendors."

The full letter can be read here:

"Our plan is to evaluate our processes and develop a strategy to prevent this from happening again. Once we have this revised process in place it will be shared on The Children’s Museum website and expectations will be communicated to current and potential vendors.

The Juneteenth Jamboree is scheduled for June 18 with live performances and showcases.