Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Time is (Always) Now to do the Work - Arts & Anti-Racist Resources

During this historic time, in the midst of a global pandemic, and what some have called a “Great Awakening” there has been widespread social awareness of systemic racism in the U.S. and most every industry has responded. Initially, statements of solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter were presented to the public by many corporations and organizations. Subsequently, the public has pushed back with a demand for these organizations to be held accountable to these statements and truly challenge their roles in perpetuating systemic racism.

In a world where everything seems to be moving so fast, through the internet and social media, many people from all sectors have been sharing lists upon lists of information with anti-racist tools, strategies and resources. From my perspective as an arts and cultural worker, the discipline that interests me most is visual arts - and some of the most important forums for discourse around visual arts are through museums. I believe strongly in the arts as a viable tool for activating personal growth, societal change and social justice. As I mentioned in my previous blog post Increasing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at NYC Cultural institutions, now is the time to build on what’s been done so far, and push forth in this work.

Keeping in mind that each and every great change begins within the individual, I’d like to acknowledge the importance of people (from all walks of life) doing anti-racist work - not just now, but continuously - even when this red-hot moment has passed. In order for the organizations to work at dismantling their structural racism, the people who make up those organizations must be actively working on themselves, too.

For that reason, I have decided to gather up some of the information I’ve received in the recent months - the information I’ve found most interesting - and share it here. Some of these links may be useful to think about on an individual level, within groups, as well as an organizational level. Included in this list are: anti-racism resources, Black cultural organization lists, tool-kits for transforming arts organizations, and news articles pertaining to museums in NYC, across the country and the globe, which are responding to this historical moment.

[Note: I did not write these lists or articles, I am merely sharing them.]


Anti-racist Resources - AirTable
This is a constantly growing database of anti-racist resources. Articles, books, podcasts, movies, PDFs and more. There are also places to donate and support. #BlackLivesMatter

Justice in June
"The result: 'Justice in June,' offering three learning plans for anyone hoping to spend the month taking a step to 'becoming an active ally to the black community.' Choose how much time you have per day — 10, 25 or 45 minutes — and the learning plan tells you what media to consume."

Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. These resources have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible. We will continue to add resources.

This is a working, growing, and collectively-sourced list of Black centered and/or led arts entities (non-profits, collectives, and small businesses) in NYC. Thank you to all who have contributed.


Arts Go Black
From Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute “Today, on Juneteenth, CCCADI officially launches the #ArtsGoBlack Campaign for organizations that wish to take real action. If you want to join us, please visit and take the pledge. Once you have signed up, you will receive a toolkit for your use to let your constituents know that you are ready to end racism in the Arts and Cultural field as well as a questionnaire. This is everyone’s work so know that this is open to every organization, funder, agency, or business.”

Solidarity Is
Welcome to Solidarity Is, a project that generates tools, trainings, and narratives to facilitate transformative solidarity practices for movement building organizations and activists who are invested in meaningful social change.


A global list of Black-owned/founded museums, art galleries, and spaces

Anti-Racism for Arts Administrators — Young Professionals in the Art

Anti-Racist Imperatives for Southern California Museums

Culturally Responsive Museums Are Leading the Way

How UK museums are responding to Black Lives Matter

Institutional Racism in the Arts: The Need to Hire, Retain, and Promote People of Color

On the Limits of Care and Knowledge: 15 Points Museums Must Understand to Dismantle Structural Injustice

People are calling for museums to be abolished. Can whitewashed American history be rewritten?

Smithsonian’s Leader Says ‘Museums Have a Social Justice Role to Play’
Lonnie Bunch, who oversees a host of museums and libraries, says the role of cultural institutions is to make people “feel comfortable with nuance and complexity.”

To Bear Witness: Real Talk about White Supremacy in Art Museums Today

What Does a Social Justice Curator Do? The Bronx Museum’s Jasmine Wahi on Why Every Art Institution Should Have One

What Should Museums Do?
Let’s take art history apart and reimagine it.

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