The Art of Justice 8: Decolonize our Minds, Museums, and Funding

Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
120 East 125th Street
New York, NY 10035
An InterActive Presentation/Conversation

The panel will address how the framework of Eurocentric colonialism continues to frame the perspective and therefore funding criteria in the Arts. Institutions considered major receive 85%-90% of both public and private funding. Institutions based in communities and of color continue to be inequity funded. Recent studies have document what most of us who are in organizations of color knew that cultural arts organizations of color continue to get drastically underfunded and relegated to areas of funding that are limited in the amounts dispersed thereby stunting the growth of our organizations.

Research has further confirmed that large white-run organizations continue to employ in policy and curatorial decision making positions white staffs with a Eurocentric aesthetic. This inequity in funding and hiring practices in these institutions, that receive approximately 85% to 95% of funding, therefore have decision makers in positions of power that overwhelming support a Eurocentric standard.

The aesthetic of excellence of diverse groups that reflect the racial and cultural diversity of the globe color are devalued in the process and relegated to the margins of funding and support. New York City reflects an international population that is now a majority of color.  Yet the funding patterns continue to reflect the narrow perspective imposed by Eurocentric criteria imposed by colonialism. We have gathered a panel of institution builders, artist, activist, and museum staff to address why if research has proven the inequity in funding and hiring practices nothing has significantly changed. Why if the data is present that racism and significant disparity in the distribution of resources and the conversation acknowledging the shift of demographic exists change has not happened.

Join us with a panel of thinkers that included artists, museum administrations and institutions builders to address these issues.

Through the Art of Justice series, thinkers and policymakers come together in an open discussion with the community to sketch out paths that will positively impact our efforts in achieving racial justice, cultural equity and an accessible arts environment that embraces the spectrum of who we are as residents of this diverse majority city.

WHEN: Monday | June 25, 2018 | 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

WHERE: Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute 


We encourage you to read the following reports in preparation for the discussion.

Fusing Arts, Culture, and Social Change: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy by Holly Sidford

Not Just Money: Equity Issues in Cultural Philanthropy | Research by Helicon Collaborative with support from the Surdna Foundation

Speakers include:


  • Monica Montgomery - Founder of Museum of Impact, co-founder of Museum Hue, and a Museum Consultant. 

  • Marz Saffore - Artist, Professor at NYU, and founded Decolonize this Place 

  • Antonio Serna - Artist, activist, and Independent Researcher

  • Dr. Marta Moreno Vega -  Artist, activist, and founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. 

*Additional speakers will be announced at a later date

Meet our Speakers:

Monica O. Montgomery is an arts and culture innovator using creativity and narrative as a means of bridging the gap between people and movements. As an independent curator, museum consultant, writer and keynote speaker, she uses her platforms to be in service to society. She is cofounder and strategic director of Museum Hue a multicultural platform advancing diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives for people of color, in arts, culture, museums and creative economy. Her work with Museum Hue includes diversity staffing for emerging and established cultural workers, training leaders and museums, and partnering with universities and institutions to facilitate leadership pipelines, equity & inclusion initiatives, job fairs, town halls, tours and talks. She works internationally to facilitate diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives with clients throughout Europe, Africa and North America. Additionally, Monica is the founding director of Museum of Impact, a mobile social justice museum, having curated 35+ exhibits and festivals at the intersection of art, activism, society.

She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Communication from Temple University and a Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication from LaSalle University. She is a graduate professor who’s taught in Museum Studies programs at Harvard University, Pratt Institute, Johns Hopkins University and NYU and guest lectured at Princeton University, Columbia University, American University, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Arts and dozens more. Monica holds leadership advisory positions in the American Alliance of Museums, Leading Changemakers, Museums As Sites of Social Action, Museum Camp, Museum Workers Speak, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, Emerging Leaders in New York Arts and other groups. She is a dynamic force for change, recently delivering a TedX talk entitled 'How To Be an Upstander' challenging everyone to stand up, speak up and act up for social good.

Marz Saffore was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. In 2015, she graduated from University of Rochester with a B.A. in both Studio Art and Film & Media Studies and a minor in Psychology. After undergrad, she moved to New York City with a partner. May 2017, she received her M.F.A. in Studio Art from New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Marz is a member of MTL+ Collective, a group of artists, writers, and educators who combine research and aesthetics in political action. MTL+ Collective founded and facilitates Decolonize This Place, a collaboration between cultural producers and grassroots organizers across struggles and borders. Currently, Marz is an adjunct professor at NYU Steinhardt, and she is preparing to begin her doctoral studies this Fall.

art of justice

Antonio Serna is a Mexican-American artist, activist, and independent researcher. He is currently working on 'Documents of Resistance: Artists of Color Protest (1960-present)', a series of art projects that focus on the history of art and activism of artists of color and their efforts to end discrimination in cultural institutions. As a member of 'artists of color bloc', 'The People’s Cultural Plan,' and previously 'Arts & Labor,' Antonio has advocated for equity in New York City’s cultural budget suggesting that artists and workers of color receive an equal share of the budget in terms of wages, jobs, and artist resources. Above all, Antonio believes in the importance of cultural self-determination and socio-economic justice for people of color. Antonio Serna is originally from Texas and holds a Masters in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College, and a Bachelor of Arts from Parsons School of Art and Design.

His current project, 'Documents of Resistances,' has been recently included in *Art As Social Action*, a book edited by Gregory Sholette, Chloe Bass, and Queens Social Practice (Allworth Press), and an upcoming exhibition is being planned for Fall 2018.

This program is made possible with the generous support of the Andrew Mellon Foundation and additional support from The Ford Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, New York Women's Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

DISCLAIMER: CCCADI may send updates about this and other events to the email address you provide when purchasing your ticket(s).

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