The Momentary and Crystal Bridges on Current Times and Committing to Being an Antiracist Institution
Since the attacks on the US Capitol, the Momentary and Crystal Bridges have been reflecting on our country’s crisis of culture. The symbols of racism brandished by rioters and the artwork honoring problematic historical figures inside the Capitol building were chilling reminders that there is still much work ahead of us. These recurring acts of violence and underlying issues are deeply harmful to our democracy and especially to communities of color.
As we look for a brighter path forward, the first step is to honor our commitment to being an antiracist institution and call out discrimination, injustice, and white supremacy when we see it. On the eve of the inauguration, we stand with our community and colleagues in calling for peace and justice. As a cultural institution, we provide space for civil discourse, offer historical perspectives, lift up marginalized voices, and carry forth the work of promoting equality.
As part of that effort, the Momentary and Crystal Bridges are launching In Real Time, a series of programs created to address current issues affecting our community. Programs will include lectures, community conversations, open mics, and more, alongside developing additional educational resources and highlighting art in our collection that raises social consciousness and empowers change. More information will be available online when program speakers and dates are confirmed. In the meantime, here are more resources to help our community process recent events:
- Artists and Antiracist Activism
- Teaching Empathy through Art (lessons for teachers using artwork in the collection)
- Crystal Bridges and the Momentary’s Efforts to Expand Outreach and Diversify the Museum
- Statement Issued by the American Alliance of Museums, which powerfully defines our call to action:
“At this dark junction in our nation’s history, museums must lean into their missions and step up to the challenge ahead of us by fighting against white supremacy through educating our communities, building empathy, combating disinformation, and uplifting the stories and voices that have endured in the margins. As interpreters and educators of history and culture, museums and museum professionals have the power to uphold democracy and democratic norms, call out bigotry and hate, and fight for racial justice.”
Lieven and Rod
Lieven Bertels, Director, the Momentary
Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art