Museums Are Not Neutral Keynote Webinar
Presented by Western Museums Association and British Columbia Museums Association
Sponsored by DLR Group
On June 2nd, the Western Museums Association partnered with the British Columbia Museums Association for a special keynote webinar with Museums Are Not Neutral co-producers, La Tanya S. Autry and Mike Murawski. As inspiring change leaders who are exposing the myth of museum neutrality one step at a time, together La Tanya and Mike explored the strategies for how museums can become relevant, socially engaged community spaces that act as agents of positive change, and highlighted the importance of having a strong and ethical institutional core.
If you missed out, you can now view the recording below or on our WMA YouTube channel.
Click here to download their PowerPoint, which includes an ever-evolving “Action Manifesto” for igniting change.
Meet the Presenters!
La Tanya S. Autry
“More change can happen if people work collectively." – La Tanya S. Autry
As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, La Tanya S. Autry centers collective care in her liberatory curatorial praxis. In addition to co-creating The Art of Black Dissent, an interactive program that both promotes public discussion about the Black liberation struggle and engenders fighting antiBlackness through the collective imagining of public art interventions, she co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, a global initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums; and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowd-sourced bibliography. Her latest project, the Black Liberation Center, an experimental series of exhibitions, workshops, and programming, spotlights arts and culture that envision and strategize paths toward the freedom of all Black people, and thus, all people.
La Tanya has curated exhibitions and organized programs at moCa Cleveland, Yale University Art Gallery, Artspace New Haven, and other institutions. Through her graduate studies at the University of Delaware, where she is completing her Ph.D. in art history, La Tanya has developed expertise in the art of the United States, photography, and museums. Her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America, which analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment, concentrates on the interplay of race, representation, memory, and public space.
"What would it take to get your organization to acknowledge wrongdoing and make amends?" – Mike Murawski
A museum consultant, change leader, and educator, Mike Murawski is passionate about transforming museums, cultural institutions, and non-profits to become more equitable and community-centered. After more than 20 years of work in education and museums, he brings his personal core values of deep listening, collective care, and healing practice into the work that he leads within organizations and communities.
Mike is currently the co-producer of Museums Are Not Neutral, a global advocacy campaign aimed at exposing the myth of museum neutrality and calling for equity-based transformation across museums. Since 2011, he has also served as Founding Editor of ArtMuseumTeaching, a collaborative online forum reflecting on critical issues in museums. Mike’s new book entitled Museums as Agents of Change: A Guide to Becoming a Changemaker is now available through Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
He previously served as the Director of Learning & Community Partnerships for the Portland Art Museum, Director of School Services at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Coordinator of Education and Public Programs at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis. Mike has also served as a contributor to the Museums as Sites of Social Action (MASS Action) initiative supporting equity and inclusion in museums; and First Wave Project Advisor for the OF/BY/FOR ALL initiative helping civic and cultural organizations grow of, by, and for their communities. Mike earned his MA and PhD in Education from American University in Washington, DC, focusing his research on gender in curriculum development and interdisciplinary learning.
Special thanks to DLR Group for supporting this keynote webinar and transformative change in museums