* This event may be a hybrid live Central Library / virtual event, depending on COVID-19 safety protocols, with social distancing and limited occupancy measures. Announcements to follow.
Leading activist museum director Laura Raicovich explains in her new book why museums are at the center of a political storm and how they can be reimagined. For this evening of conversation, she is joined by writer and art historian Aruna D'Souza, as they discuss the structural issues faced by cultural organizations and museums that have increasingly come under fire in our age of protest, and how to address them.
Protests against museum funding (like the Metropolitan Museum accepting Sackler family money) and boards (such as the Whitney appointing tear gas manufacturer Warren Kanders)—to say nothing of demonstrations over exhibitions and artworks—have roiled cultural institutions across the world, from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to the Akron Art Museum. Meanwhile never have there been more calls for museums to work for social change. Raicovich shows how art museums arose as colonial institutions bearing an ideology of neutrality that masks their role in upholding capitalist values. And she suggests how museums can be reinvented to serve better, public ends.
After their conversation, leading curators and writers Ken Chen, Dr. Kelli Morgan and Helen Molesworth respond in turn.