This year-long development programme for up to five UK-based curators promotes experience and learning while raising the profile of associated institutions and collections abroad. Through a partnering process with US institutions the programme aims to broker new relationships, stimulating collaboration on all areas of activity from research, to loans and public programmes.
This week Jane should be in Seattle attending the AAMC Art Curators Conference and making the initial links with her US liaison partner based at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Despite being on furlough leave Jane is able to participate in the alternative online version of the conference (as the scheme allows for training opportunities), and here she outlines what’s going on!
Obviously disappointed not to be in Seattle but it’s fine to be connected to artists and curators in multiple time zones from the comfort of my own sofa. I’ve been introduced to ideas and projects from Toronto to Mexico City to Hong Kong, considering topics as varied as social practice within indigenous communities to addressing inclusion and exclusion within major organisations. Celebrating regionalism, the speakers and panel members discuss working across borders to break down geographical, cultural and societal boundaries and broaden ideas and opportunities. My notebook fills with ideas.
DAY 2: A COVID MOMENT...
Some fairly existential discussions today around the negative impact (on the Arts) of our current pandemic and what needs to change to save institutions from the effects of COVID-19. It’s thought that 30% of US museums won’t survive this situation. Discussions focus on how to reimagine the work the surviving institutions deliver, how to provide equitable audience access to art and how to keep public and staff safe while still providing real-time, real-life engagement and exhibitions. It also provides an opportunity to rethink other important issues like sustainability and the climate footprint of large blockbuster exhibitions. Phrase of the day: ‘front-burner issue’.