CALL TO ACTION: LAAGP 2019-2021

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THE COHORT

We are currently seeking museums and funders to launch across a cohort of art museums in 2019 to 2021.

Building off a successful pilot program at the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, we will expand LAAGP to take place simultaneously across a cohort of 3-5 art museums in a particular U.S. region.

Through this city-wide, cross-institutional project, we seek to activate a collective imagination and inspire critical, emotional, real conversations about DEAI in the arts. We ask the public to imagine new structures of power, new forms of exchange, new kinds of conversations, and alternatives to the way things are.

By debuting LAAGP simultaneously across a cohort of high profile institutions during this polarized political moment, we pose our question—what is the value of art today?—as an urgent national one.

We are in dialogue with: The National Gallery of Art, The Whitney Museum, The Queens Museum, MASS MoCA, Tate Modern, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, among others.

WE ASK ART MUSEUMS TO…

  • recognize the broader legacy of art museums in the U.S. and persisting inequities.

  • invest financially in the lives and experiences of those marginalized by their institution.

  • imagine new models for public engagement and audience evaluation.

  • engage DEAI on an emotional level.

  • increase staff dialogue around equity and decoloniality and support POC staff in prioritizing discussions of race.

  • work towards closing the gap between their stated mission and their practices

HOW DOES IT WORK?

COLLABORATION: LAAGP will mean different things at different art museums (e.g. collection based, education-centered). We are excited by this variety. Before hosting our critics, we will work closely with each museum to tailor the program accordingly. We’ll identify existing equity initiatives, audience evaluation and public engagement goals, and sites of potential change within each museum to maximize impact.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING: We aim to support existing ecosystems of activism. Selected in collaboration with partner institutions, we’ll form an Advisory Council of local organizers, activists, and artists fighting for cultural and economic equity, indigenous rights, and black lives. The council will oversee the development and evaluation of LAAGP. We will work with the council survey the needs of community-led organizations and integrate them into our program design to initiate greater resource-sharing between art museums and community organizations. Throughout the program, museum staff will connect with critics, advisory council members, and local artists, seeding relationships for future collaboration.

NEW VISITORS: We’ll craft an art experience for folks typically marginalized by an art institution to have an embodied experience of authority in an elite space. We’ll host 50 critics at each museum, who we’ll connect with through advertising in public transit. We’ll prioritize POC, low income, and differently abled folks, as well as audiences that your museum is seeking to engage.

Critics who wish to be involved beyond their initial visit will be able to 1) Return to the museum with a free membership 2) Speak directly with museum leadership 3) Continue paid labor as advisors to subsequent art commissions 4) Connect with the LAAGP team, advisory council, and museum staff 5) Sit on our council in future iterations of LAAGP.

NEW PERSPECTIVES: The critics’ knowledge will be documented, formatted, and presented by a team of artists who have nurtured strong relationships with museum staff; learned the inner-workings of the system; believe in the value of well-communicated critique; and understand that institutional change is slow, time-consuming work. We’ll present the critics’ feedback to museum staff through the vivid and authoritative medium of documentary video. We will work with each museum to integrate the feedback of the critics into their policies and practices.

FUNDING: It is vital to the integrity of this project that museums invest in LAAGP directly. While we are seeking additional funding to defray the costs of the program, we expect each participating art museum to contribute financially.

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OUR NETWORK

Since creating the program we have built a strong, nimble, and supportive network of mentors and thought partners and institutions.

ARTISTS, ACTIVISTS, CURATORS: Laura Raicovich (Former ED, Queens Museum), Janeen Bryant (Facilitate Movement), Charmaine Jefferson (Executive Director, California African American Museum), Decolonize This Place, Artists of Color Bloc, People’s Cultural Plan, Museum of Impact, Museum of Capitalism, The Incluseum, Working Artists for the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.). Monica Montgomery (Museum Hue Founder), Margaret Middleton, Dr. Porchia Moore, Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell (Curatorally), Aletheia Wittman (The Incluseum).

UNIVERSITY PARTNERS: University of Illinois Chicago (Museum and Exhibition Studies Program), Haverford College’s Hurford Center for the Humanities, Brown University Public Humanities Program, NYU Steinhardt Visual Arts Administration MA.

FUNDING: Mellon-funded residency through Haverford College, National Arts Strategies Fellowship, Creative Capital Finalists, A Blade of Grass (Pending), Rubin Foundation (Pending), Creative Time (Pending), Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, Providence Art Culture and Tourism.