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In-Conversation: Addressing Implicit Bias in Museums
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AAMC is pleased to be hosting the next of our In-Conversation programs, Addressing Implicit Bias in Museums. Leading museum professionals bring diverse perspectives to bear on the topic of unintended bias and offer their insights about meaningful and impactful ways to address the issue.

 Export to Your Calendar 11/10/2016
When: Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, District of Columbia  20560
United States
Contact: Lucy Lydon

Online registration is available until: 11/7/2016
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Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation In-Conversation Series 


Addressing Implicit Bias in Museums

Thursday, November 10th, 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm 

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art 
950 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20560



Leading museum professionals bring diverse perspectives to bear on the topic of unintended bias and offer their insights about meaningful and impactful ways to address the issue. Unconscious beliefs and values with regard to race, gender and/or class often impede efforts to advance inclusiveness and equity in art museums. The implications of unintended biases are wide-ranging, from lack of diversity among museum trustees, staff and audiences to exclusionary practices of collecting, display and interpretation. Panelists will consider how cultural and social privilege is reflected in museums, discuss how to identify and change normative patterns of behavior that impact decision-making, and what we as curators can do to effect change in the museum world and beyond.

A video welcome address will be delivered by Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

This program is generously hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. 



The AAMC Foundation regional programming, In-Conversation, collaborates with our leadership, and prominent voices within local communities for dialogues on pressing issues within the curatorial profession, museum network, and broader visual arts world. Through hosting regional programming, AAMC & AAMC Foundation will further our initiatives of advocacy and diversity, connect members in regional areas, and support our overall mission.

Each evening series includes a discussion and reception. Our current locations include NYC, June 2016; Boston, September 2016; Washington, DC, November 2016; Los Angeles, winter, 2017; and Toronto, summer, 2017. Click here to read more about past discussions, In-Conversation: Preventing Looting: What Curators and All Museum Staff Can Do, and In-Conversation: Museum Directors on Curatorial Role.

Listed alphabetically. Please see below for full biographies of our presenters. 

Christa Clarke, Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; President-Elect, AAMC & AAMC Foundation; Moderator

Eduardo Díaz, Director, Smithsonian Latino Center

Elizabeth Easton, Co-Founder and Director, Center for Curatorial Leadership

E. Carmen Ramos, Curator of Latino art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Kimberly J. Wilson, Deputy Director Human Resources, Volunteers, and Community Service, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


This In-Conversation is open to current AAMC members. Guest registration will open on Wednesday, October 19th. Registration closes Monday, November 7th. Please note that capacity for this program is extremely limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Complimentary admission for AAMC members and guests*. 


Listed alphabetically


Christa Clarke, Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; President-Elect, AAMC & AAMC Foundation; Moderator

Clarke received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland. Since her appointment in 2002, she has pioneered Newark’s collecting of modern and contemporary arts of Africa, building upon its important collection of historic art. Clarke has also organized numerous exhibitions including Power Dressing: Men’s Fashion and Prestige in Africa (2005), Another Modernity: Works on Paper by Uche Okeke (2006), Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art (2008), and Party Time: Reimagine America, a Centennial Commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE (2009), and Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars (2015). 

Clarke’s scholarship on the history of collecting and display and the politics of representation includes Representing Africa in American Art Museums: A Century of Collecting and Display (co-edited with Kathleen Berzock; 2010), which examines the impact of museum practice on the formation of meaning and public perception of African art. Her recent book, African Art in the Barnes Foundation (Rizzoli; 2015), received the James A. Porter and David C. Driskell Book Award for African American Art History and a First Place Award for Excellence from the AAMC in 2016. In addition, Clarke has held fellowships at the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Clark Art Institute, and teaching appointments at NYU Abu Dhabi, University of Pennsylvania, George Washington University, Rutgers University, Purchase College, and Drew University.

An involved member of the AAMC since its founding, Clarke has served on the AAMC’s Committee on Professional Standards (2003-2007) and was Co-Chair, then Chair, of the Membership Committee (2009-2011). In 2012, she joined the Board of Trustees, serving on the Executive Committee as Vice President of Programs from 2013-2016 and since 2015, as co-leader of the AAMC’s Diversity Initiative Task Force.  Clarke has also served on the board of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (2005-2008), the leading professional organization in her field. In 2012, she was a fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership, which is dedicated to expanding the leadership capacity of curators to meet the challenges of the 21st century museum.

Eduardo Díaz, Director, Smithsonian Latino Center

Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, is a 33-year veteran of arts administration.  He is responsible for fulfilling the Center’s mission of enabling Latino presence at the Smithsonian by supporting curatorial positions, research, exhibitions, collections, public and educational programs, web/digital content, and publications that address the contributions of the Latino community in nation building and shaping our national culture. Previously, Díaz was the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC), the largest Latino cultural center in the United States. Before joining the NHCC, Díaz operated a small consulting firm, serving arts organizations, local arts agencies, statewide advocacy organizations and community-based organizations, specializing in grant-making programs, business and strategic planning, cultural facilities planning and cultural and heritage tourism. In 2001, Díaz co-founded the International Accordion Festival, a free outdoor music festival, in San Antonio. From 1989 to 1999, Díaz served as director of Cultural Affairs for the city of San Antonio, the municipality’s designated local arts agency. Díaz earned a law degree (1976) at the University of California, Davis, and a bachelor’s degree (1972) in Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.


Elizabeth Easton, Co-Founder and Director, Center for Curatorial Leadership

Since 2007, Elizabeth Easton has been the Director of the Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL), a not-for-profit organization she co-founded with Agnes Gund to train museum curators in the fundamentals of management and leadership.

Easton formulated the program for CCL as a direct result of her service as the first elected president of the Association of Art Museum Curators (2003-2006), an organization of more than 1200 curators from 350 museums across the United States. In her capacity as president, she launched an inquiry into the professional development of curators that led to the creation of CCL.

Easton earned her Ph.D. at Yale University, writing her dissertation on Edouard Vuillard's Interiors of the 1890's. She joined the Brooklyn Museum in 1988 as Assistant Curator and was Chair of the Department of European Painting and Sculpture from 1999 until 2006. During her tenure, she was responsible for numerous exhibitions, including The Intimate Eye of Edouard Vuillard; Frederic Bazille: Prophet of Impressionism; Monet and the Mediterranean; and Brooklyn Collects, among many others. Her subsequent exhibitions include Snapshot: Painters and Photography from Bonnard to Vuillard. Easton has also devoted many years to research on original Impressionist frames.

Among the many academic honors she has received, Easton was awarded a Fulbright and two Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowships. In recognition of her contributions to French culture, Easton was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government in 2008.

She has served as a trustee of the Town School, the Spence School, Studio in a School, the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), is on the Visiting Committee of the Department of Paintings Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is on the advisory boards of a number of other cultural institutions.


E. Carmen Ramos, Curator of Latino art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Dr. E. Carmen Ramos is Curator of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). Since 2010, she has dramatically expanded the Museum's pioneering collection of Latino art with an eye toward capturing the broad aesthetic and regional range of the field. Her exhibition, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art (2013) is traveling to eight venues and its catalogue received a 2014 co-first prize Award for Excellence by the Association of Art Museum Curators. Over the course of her career, she has curated exhibitions such as The Caribbean Abroad; Latino Artists and Migration; as well as solo exhibitions and public art projects/installations with Miguel Luciano, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Paul Henry Ramirez, and Chakaia Booker, among others. Currently, she organizing Tamayo: The New York Years, a fall 2017 exhibition that will consider Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo’s significant New York tenure during the first half of the twentieth century. She is also writing a monograph about Freddy Rodríguez that is part of the A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series.


Kimberly J. Wilson, Deputy Director Human Resources, Volunteers, and Community Service, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Kimberly J. Wilson joined VMFA in 2015 in the newly created position of Deputy Director for Human Resources, Volunteers, and Community Service. A native Richmonder, Wilson’s extensive experience in Human Resources spans more than 20 years. Her recent work in higher education included a number of HR leadership and executive roles at such prestigious institutions as Howard University and Howard University Hospital, University of Richmond, and the George Washington University. Wilson is a nationally recognized voice within the higher education field having worked with the Higher Education Recruiting Consortium (HERC), the American Council of Education (ACE), the Office of Women in Higher Education (OWIHE), and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). She was named a finalist for the Human Resource Leadership Award of Greater Washington in 2015 and received the George Washington University VALOR Award, which is given to GW administrators for contributing to the success of the GW VALOR program for student military members, their families, and veterans. Wilson holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Mary Washington.


*Thank you to our host the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art for making this event complimentary to members and guests.


Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) In-Conversation Series 
is generously supported in part by 


The program is organized and presented by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation. We are grateful to Christie's for their support of our program, and to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art for so generously hosting.The information presented here is subject to change without notice. The organizers assume no responsibility for any errors that may appear here, and in no event shall the organizers be liable for incidental or consequential damages arising from use of this document or other program-related material. This document and parts thereof must not be reproduced or copied without the organizers providing written permission, and contents thereof must not be imparted to a third party nor be used for any unauthorized purpose.


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