Community Advisory Network

Community Advisory Network, August 2017.
Photo: Henry Murphy

Community Advisory Network

Community Advisory Network, August 2017.
Photo: Henry Murphy

As the Studio Museum looks ahead to our 50th anniversary and new building, we seek to strengthen our roots in the local community, and to broaden and deepen our public service. The Community Advisory Network (CAN) is a group of Harlem residents, teachers, parents, and representatives who work with the Museum to ensure that the needs and aspirations of neighborhood residents are heard and addressed. Through quarterly meetings, we explore ways that the Museum can continue to serve as a vital resource.

Members of the Community Advisory Network represent more than twenty stakeholder groups, including Community Board 10, the New York City Housing Authority, the New York City Parks Department, the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, the NYPD’s 28th Precinct, the New York Public Library’s George Bruce Branch, churches, educational institutions, fellow cultural organizations, Harlem service organizations, the 125th Street Business Improvement District, and alumni of the Studio Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program.

During our first convening in August 2017, we shared stories about the historical decade—the 60s—in which the Studio Museum was founded and drilled down on the ways the Museum’s mission and work is deeply informed by its community. Advisors expressed interest in preserving Harlem’s cultural heritage and oral histories, building a local coalition to mitigate the impact of gentrification in our community, and reaffirming the Museum’s commitments to the neighborhood on every level.

In November 2017, our second meeting topic was “Visibility” and we shared our goals for inHarlem, a growing range of exhibitions and programs designed to engage the community while taking the Museum beyond its own walls. The group discussed how to galvanize new audiences in the immediate areas and how to make the Museum’s current off-site program offerings more visible, beyond the platforms currently used by the Museum.

During our February 2018 meeting on “Artists Projects,” advisors heard a special presentation from the Curatorial Department discussing the small- and large-scale artist projects the Museum plans to present during inHarlem. They also discussed the permanent collection reproductions project, and our breakout sessions covered how the Museum can make its over 3,000 object collection more accessible in both public and private spaces.

Our fourth meeting will take place in May 2018 on the topic of accessibility. Each convening of the Community Advisory Network provides an opportunity to draw out different perspectives and experiences around the idea of community.

For more information on inHarlem programming and the Community Advisory Network, please e-mail us at {{{lqkduohp@vwxglrpxvhxp*ruj}}}.

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