Black Curators Reimagine Future Of Museums During Pandemic, Protests

A statue commemorating the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute is on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016.

Photograph by Preston Keres. Image courtesy of AFP/Getty Images.

In a year riven with social and political unrest and wracked by a global pandemic, museums are just beginning to open their doors once more to visitors, and Black curators are thinking deeply about how to best respond to and reflect upon the world outside the walls of their various institutions. In this interview for 90.9 WBUR, Tonya Mosley speaks with Porchia Moore, assistant professor of museum studies at the University of Florida and co-creator of Visitors of Color, and Tyree Boyd-Pates, an associate curator of Western history at the Autry Museum of The American West in Los Angeles. Their conversation delves into how museums might change given our current circumstances and just how far they still have to go in order to be more equitable and inclusive to marginalized communities.

“I feel like in this particular moment, museums have a vast opportunity to now directly engage with all of these different community members that they've previously been unable to reach. We can really examine the ways in which we can use social media platforms in a way to not only create dialogic spaces but also kind of create digital events and happenings.” - Porchia Moore