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AIA New York’s Future of Cultural Centers Series Explores New Visions for 21st-Century Museums

By Anna Liza Montenegro | Event

The fall 2020 installment of the series will feature five conversations with museum professionals, focusing on how cultural institutions can use this unprecedented moment to adapt to the changing times.

The AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee, in collaboration with DVDL DD, has launched the second part of the series “The Future of Cultural Centers,” which seeks to explore how arts and cultural institutions can be reimagined to adapt to our changing times. Supported by Microsol Resources, the conversation series will pair cultural forecaster and museum expert David van der Leer of DVDL DD with museum professionals from the US and beyond.

David van der Leer - Video thumbnail

As the world rapidly changes around us, it is becoming less certain whether old frameworks for the programs of museums will be relevant for tomorrow’s institutions. Changes in technology, along with the challenges of COVID and growing demands for racial and social justice, have forced us to reconsider how we experience and consume art and culture, and how institutions can better foster a sense of inclusion and community. In this series, Van der Leer engages in informal conversations with museum professionals to ask, “What would museums for the 21st century become if we were to take this unprecedented time to explore new missions, visions, and programs for existing and new institutions? And ultimately, how does this impact how architects design the museums of the future?”

The first four programs in the fall series will feature critical conversations between Van der Leer and museum leadership:

  • Courtney J. Martin, Yale Center for British Art (October 20)
  • Miranda Massie, The Climate Museum (October 27)
  • Uzodinma Iweala, The Africa Center (November 10)
  • Estuardo Rodriguez, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (November 17).
  • The series will culminate with a December 1 panel, NextGen Reflections, which invites young museum professionals Naiomy Guerrero, formerly Perez Art Museum; Lisa Kennedy, Museum of Dissent Collective and The Science Museum; and Alice Power, Victoria & Albert Museum, to reflect on and reimagine what’s in store for cultural institutions.

“Museums are notoriously intricate institutions that today have a responsibility and opportunity that goes beyond the care, presentation, and interpretation of objects,” says Van der Leer. “Museums can help us see things differently, help us make sense of an increasingly complex world, and be a true part of everyday life. In our conversation series, we have learned that museum professionals are often stifled by the bureaucracies and frameworks they operate in, but also that so many of them care deeply and that they want to speak up about great ideas for change they have for the field. This series provides exactly that platform for dialogue and innovation.”

“As technology providers, we have supported the design and maintenance backbone of cultural centers for over 30 years; as denizens of the world, we have benefited immeasurably from what they offer to us and our families for even longer,” says Emilio Krausz, President of Microsol Resources. “How could Microsol Resources pass up on the incredible opportunity to support these invaluable institutions? We are delighted to be able to be sponsors of such a worthwhile series.”

“The events of the last several months have brought into stark light the shifts and ruptures that our world is undergoing,” says Mercedes Armillas, AIA, Program Director of the AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee. “Our cultural centers can play a vital role in helping our communities heal and rebuild. These conversations offer architects the opportunity to hear directly from professionals from a variety of museums and cultural centers about their visions for reframing relationships with communities.”

The fall installment of the series will be followed up by a spring 2021 installment, with themes, speakers, and dates to be announced in the new year. Videos recordings of the complete summer 2020 session are available on the AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee page.

To register for the fall 2020 upcoming sessions, you can go here.

 

INDUSTRIES: Architecture

About the Author

Marketing Director in New York via San Francisco and Manila. Anna Liza is inspired by architecture and technology. A fan of traveling, slow food movement, and summers in Maine with her kids. She has been with Microsol since 2004.

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