In Museum Metamorphosis, over forty cultural innovators and changemakers in contemporary art share strategies for building sociocultural relevancy and responsiveness in museums. Representing diverse perspectives from across the entire arts and culture ecosystem, the book offers tools to reshape museums into collaborative platforms for collective impact and social change.
Part One features seven roundtables in which practitioners discuss best practices for dismantling barriers to entry and building reciprocal, sustained engagement with diverse constituencies. Part Two documents four case studies in structured collaboration, prompting museums to invest in both hyperlocal relationships and cross-sector partnerships. And Part Three features four interviews with thought leaders who discuss how to shift equity from a measure of compliance to a vital daily practice of organizational accountability and sustainability.
Compiled during a moment of heightened social action, cultural transformation, and institutional critique, Museum Metamorphosis considers and responds to the following prompts: how will museums learn to embrace real-time change and adapt to meet the evolving needs of a rapidly shifting sociopolitical landscape? How can this metamorphosis open new pathways for engagement and encourage museums to meet more audiences where they are? And, how might reconstituting the essential DNA of the museum recalibrate the power dynamics between communities and institutions, producing a sustainable model for engaged cultural citizenship?
In addressing these questions,Museum Metamorphosislooks to innovation transpiring beyond the museum echo chamber and lays bare both the opportunities and challenges of adopting new ways of working. It dares readers to identify their respective position within the social change ecosystem, and empowers them with tools to reorient their work towards cultural equity and social justice.
nico wheadon is an independent art advisor, curator, educator and writer, and is founder and principal of bldg fund, LLC. She is an adjunct professor at Brown University and Hartford Art School, and serves on the board of governors at the National Academy of Design. nico recently served as executive director of NXTHVN (2019-2020); director of public programs and community engagement at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2014-2019); and curatorial director of Rush Arts Gallery (2007-2010). She holds an MA in creative & cultural entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths, University of London (2011), and a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University (2006).
Introduction | A Crisis of Relevance
Part I | Dialogues on Decentralization
Roundtable with Jordan Casteel, Shaun Leonardo, Miguel Luciano & Lina Puerta
Roundtable with Deborah Burke, Mario Gooden & Maitland Jones
Roundtable with Eric Guy Booker, Maren Hassinger, Kendal Henry & Diya Vij
Roundtable with Jamaica Gilmer, Kemi Ilesanmi & Shani Peters
Roundtable with Chayanne Marcano, David Rue & Lauren Argentina Zelaya
Roundtable with Ryan N. Dennis, Vashti DuBois, Lauren Kelley & Jasmine Wahi
Roundtable with Shawnda Chapman, Ruby Lerner & Melissa Cowley Wolf
Part II | Case Studies in Cultural Citizenship
Case Study with Elia Alba, Tina M. Campt, Connie H. Choi, Leslie Hewitt & Shanta Lawson
Case Studywith Jordan Casteel, Connie H. Choi, Dr. Dawn Brooks DeCosta, Shanta Lawson & Kyle Williams
Case Study by Nisa Mackie, Alexandra Nicome & Victoria Sung
Case Study by Juliana Rowen Barton, Michelle Millar Fisher, Zoë Greggs, Gabriella Nelson & Amber Winick
Part III | Perspectives on Praxis
Interview with Nicole Ivy
Interview with Ariana A. Curtis, PhD
Interview with DéLana R.A. Dameron
Interview with Sandra Jackson-Dumont
Conclusion | Cultivating Change
About the Author