Jun 15, 2022
In its inaugural iteration, Museums as Systems asks: How are museums systems of artistry, archives, education, labor, care, communication, and communities? By assembling curators, writers, educators, critics, creatives, and administrators in the arts, this convening seeks to spark connection, inspire collective action, and create an avenue for participants to engage with and be motivated by The Studio Museum in Harlem’s mission.
Museums as Systems aims to understand how to build toward a more collective, just, and care-centered museum landscape, and to begin a system of renewal and revitalization that bridges the departmental fragmentation that so often occurs in museum spaces.
Panel discussions will explore the theory and practices of curatorial, education, public programs, archiving, media, and communications within museums. By understanding the nuances of each department’s contributions, processes, ways of thinking and doing the work, Museums as Systems expands the possibilities of what it means to be a professional arts worker within the contemporary cultural institution.
The convening centers the work and interests of emerging Black arts workers and cultural producers, specifically current students, recent graduates, and early-career arts workers committed to the study of artists of African descent and Black cultural production.
The framework considers how museums are functioning now, reflects upon what never was that could potentially be realized, and imagines what comes next. The panel discussions that comprise the convening will provide systematic ways of thinking around these guideposts.
The sessions place established arts and cultural workers in dialogue with the next generation of thinkers and workers—though, everyone arrives with expertise regardless of years in the field. For this reason, the program offers a multivocal, multigenerational space of circular learning. To do this, Museums as Systems proposes an alternative mode of study and work that encourages interdisciplinarity, centers imagination and curiosity, and destabilizes dominant hierarchies.
Museums as Systems is presented by the Studio Museum Institute.
Live CART captioning provided by Stenocaptions and ASL interpretation provided by Pro Bono ASL.
I. The Role of Care & Wellness Within Institutions, 5 – 6:15 PM EST
How can you care for others when you’re not cared for? Who is doing care work in museums? This session explores the relationship between care, wellness, and education. What does this intersection look like, why is it essential, and how do we foster space for care within institutions for both staff (internal) and publics (external)?
Panelists: Chloe Hayward, Shanell Kitt, Lauraberth Lima
II. Intersections: Educational & Curatorial Practices, 6:30 – 7:45 PM EST
If an exhibition is a learning space, where do the values, intentions, and processes of education and curatorial converge? Who do curators and educators work in service to and in support of? This session explores the legacy and precedents of these intersecting departments, imagining what more could be when education and curatorial build and engage together.
Panelists: AJ Girard, Jennifer Harley, Jordan Jones
Chloe Hayward is an educator, artist and art therapist residing on the unceded land of the Lenape, otherwise known as Brooklyn, New York. She believes in the power of art to transform systems, selves
Chloe Hayward is an educator, artist and art therapist residing on the unceded land of the Lenape, otherwise known as Brooklyn, New York. She believes in the power of art to transform systems, selves and structures. As Associate Director of Education at The Studio Museum in Harlem, she co-creates with her department and across the institution to provide a robust focus on the intersection between art, education and therapeutic spaces, overseeing programs and projects rooted in community care and abolition. Her latest written work Museums as Therapeutic Space: Centralizing the Voices of People of Color, is part of a larger anthology Museum Based Art Therapy: A Collaborative Effort with Access, Education, and Public Programs. Chloe also serves on the Board of Directors for Artistic Noise, an organization which provides self-expression through art for system impacted youth. She recently joined The School of Visual Arts as an adjunct professor in the Creative Arts Therapy Department.
Shanell Kitt is a licensed social worker, visual artist and art administrator from The Bronx, New York, residing in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in direct practice in mental health settings,
Shanell Kitt is a licensed social worker, visual artist and art administrator from The Bronx, New York, residing in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in direct practice in mental health settings, resource coordination, community engagement, trauma-informed care and strengths-based approaches. With an understanding of the link between art and social work, Shanell aims to build conversations around creative expression, wellness and self-care. Shanell earned a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY – Buffalo State College in 2012, a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University in 2016, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art - Painting, also from Howard University, in 2020. Prior to working in the African American Art department at Swann Galleries, Shanell worked as a mental health therapist, completed the Museum Professional’s Seminar and Curatorial Affairs internship at The Studio Museum in Harlem in Fall 2021, and participated in the Black Arts Movement School Modality – Chicago in Summer 2021.
Lauraberth Lima is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Museum Studies at New York University and an Adjunct Professor at the Bard Prison Initiative. Lima is also an established cultural consultant with
Lauraberth Lima is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Museum Studies at New York University and an Adjunct Professor at the Bard Prison Initiative. Lima is also an established cultural consultant with over 12 years of experience in education and community engagement in cultural institutions. Lauraberth brings a social justice lens to consulting through interdisciplinary expertise in intergenerational engagement, BIPOC representation in the arts, health equity, museum and art education, youth development, early childhood education, as well as programming for LGBTQ2SIA+/gender expansive communities. Prior to consulting, Lima served as the Director of Education for No Longer Empty and managed Family and Community Engagement Programs and the Internship in Museum Education Program at the Museum of the City of New York.
AJ Girard is an L.A.-based independent curator and cultural strategist who is passionate about the arts and social change. He holds a BA in Art History from Howard University and has worked with The
AJ Girard is an L.A.-based independent curator and cultural strategist who is passionate about the arts and social change. He holds a BA in Art History from Howard University and has worked with The Broad Museum, the California African American Museum (CAAM) and, most recently, The Underground Museum. His critically-acclaimed show, Shattered Glass, which he co-curated with Melahn Frierson at Jeffrey Deitch, featured work from 40 international artists of color.
Jennifer Harley is an interdisciplinary artist, art historian and educator based in Brooklyn. Her practice includes collaboratively building and facilitating partnerships between art museums and
Jennifer Harley is an interdisciplinary artist, art historian and educator based in Brooklyn. Her practice includes collaboratively building and facilitating partnerships between art museums and community spaces, centering individuals with justice histories. She received her BFA in Sculpture and BA in Art Management at Appalachian State University and has held roles at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, and The Museum of the City of New York. She is currently the School & Community Partnerships Manager at the Studio Museum in Harlem where she has worked five years. In September 2022 she will join the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University as a PhD candidate.
Jordan Jones is an arts worker living and working in New York City. She is currently the Exhibitions Coordinator at Independent Curators International (ICI). Prior to joining ICI, she was a joint
Jordan Jones is an arts worker living and working in New York City. She is currently the Exhibitions Coordinator at Independent Curators International (ICI). Prior to joining ICI, she was a joint Curatorial Fellow at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art. While at Studio Museum, she worked with the permanent collection and co-organized Harlem Postcards Winter 2020 and Hearts in Isolation, the 2020 Expanding the Walls exhibition. At MoMA, Jones worked in the department of Drawings and Prints. Additionally, she has participated in the Studio Museum’s Museum Education Practicum. Jones received a B.A. in Studio Art and Comparative Literature from Williams College.
Museum as Systems is generously funded by a grant from the Llewellyn Family Foundation. The Studio Museum in Harlem’s education programs are supported by the Thompson Foundation Education Fund; William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Gray Foundation; Con Edison; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; and Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts. Digital programming is made possible thanks to funding from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s Frankenthaler Digital Initiative. Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Legislature and the New York City Council.