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In-Conversation: Multiple Voices to Build Inclusion
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AAMC is pleased to be hosting the next of our In-Conversation series, Multiple Voices to Build Inclusion. Join our speakers for an active discussion on approaches to addressing inclusion in exhibitions, collections, and museum work through bringing together various voices - of not only colleagues, but also different audiences, artists, supporters, students, leaders, and collectors.

When: Tuesday, April 10, 2018
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: Seattle Art Museum
Nordstrom Lecture Hall
1300 First Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98101
United States
Contact: Lucy Lydon

Online registration is closed.
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Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation In-Conversation Series 


Multiple Voices to Build Inclusion

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Program: 6:30pm – 8:00pm | Reception: 8:00pm – 8:30pm

Seattle Art Museum
Nordstrom Lecture Hall 
1300 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101


Throughout the arts we are working towards addressing inclusion within our exhibitions, collections, and overall work.  Advancing the conversation takes a community, one that goes beyond curator-to-curator conversations. Increasingly museums are seeing the benefits of including others in the planning process—not only colleagues within our own museums but our audience, artists, supporters, students, leaders, and collectors.  During this roundtable discussion, we’ll look into examples of how bringing varying perspectives together is working to change our arts organizations and the programs we offer.

This In-Conversation is generously hosted at the Seattle Art Museum.


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

Ping Foong, Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, Seattle Art Museum

Rodney HinesDirector of Social Impact for U.S. Operations, Starbucks

Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art, Curator of European Painting & Sculpture, Seattle Art Museum; Moderator

Elisheba Johnson, Project Manager of Public Art, City of Seattle

Tracy RectorIndigenous Media Activist, Filmmaker and Curator 

S. Surface, Curator, Designer, and Lecturer

Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Seattle Art Museum

Emily Zimmerman, Director, Jacob Lawrence Gallery


Registration closes Monday, April 9, 12 PM ET. 


$25 USD for AAMC Members
$35 USD for Non-Members
$10 USD for Students. To register as a student, please email


Listed alphabetically

Ping Foong, Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, Seattle Art Museum

Dr. Foong Ping received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and is Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Seattle Art Museum, and Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Foong began her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a Whitney Art History Fellowship, and taught at the University of Chicago as Assistant Professor and at the University of California, Berkeley. Her book on Chinese ink painting, The Efficacious Landscape: On the Authorities of Painting at the Northern Song Court, won the 2017 Joseph Levenson Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. Dr. Foong oversees the SAM’s extensive collection of Chinese art in its presentation, research, care, and interpretation.

Rodney Hines, Director of Social Impact for U.S. Operations, Starbucks

Rodney is the director of social impact for U.S. operations at Starbucks. He leads the company's strategy to launch and sustain stores in lower income, diverse communities throughout the country. Previously, as Executive Director of the Starbucks Foundation, Rodney has played an integral role in delivering key strategies globally, including Starbucks Global Month of Service. Prior to Starbucks, Rodney served as the U.S. Community Affairs Manager at Microsoft Corporation and Public Affairs Associate at Cedar River Associates. Before moving to Seattle, his experience was principally non-profit management and leadership, including roles at Casey Strategic Learning Center, a project of the Casey Family Program and the University of Kansas Center; City Year National and City Year Chicago; and Wheaton College.  Currently, Rodney serves on the board of On the Boards theatre and is a member of both the Community Advisory Council for the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle University Youth Initiative Advisory Board. In 2017, Rodney made #16 on Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.


Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art, Curator of European Painting & Sculpture, Seattle Art Museum; Moderator

Chiyo Ishikawa has been the Susan Brotman Deputy Director of Art/Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture at the Seattle Art Museum since 2005. Hired by SAM in 1990 as Assistant Curator of European Paintings and later promoted to full curator, she also served as Chief Curator of the Permanent Collection. She works with the Director Kimerly Rorschach and SAM curators to plan the artistic program. Earlier, Ishikawa was a lecturer at the University of Washington, and she was the recipient of NEA internships, working at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the department of paintings conservation and in the European paintings department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her education includes a Ph. D. from Bryn Mawr College. Ishikawa has a long roster of exhibitions, publications, and honors. She is a member of several professional organizations.


Elisheba Johnson, Project Manager of Public Art, City of Seattle

Elisheba is a multi-media artist and poet who has dedicated her career in the arts to creating space for emerging and POC artists to create and showcase their work. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. Since 2013 Johnson has been at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture where she is a public art project manager and works on capacity building initiatives including Seattle Arts Leaderships Team (SALT), Public Art Boot Camp.In 2013, Elisheba co-wrote and published "The Adventures of Emery Jones: Boy Science Wonder" with her father Charles Johnson.Elisheba is also a founding member of COLLECT, a monthly curated art tour to inspire a new generation of art collectors. Elisheba is currently a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council.


Tracy RectorIndigenous Media Activist, Filmmaker and Curator 

Tracy Rector is a mixed race (Choctaw/Seminole) filmmaker, curator, community organizer, co-founder of Longhouse Media and a 2016 Stranger Genius. She has made over 400 short films, and is currently in production of her fifth feature documentary. As co-producer of the award-winning film Teachings of the Tree People, producer of March Point, co-director of Clearwater, and director of Ch'aak' S'aagi; Rector has developed an awareness and sensitivity to the power of media and film as a modern storytelling tool. Her work has been featured on Independent Lens, Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative, National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project, Toronto International Film Festival, the Seattle Art Museum and in the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian.

S. Surface, Curator, Designer, and Lecturer

S. Surface is a Seattle-based curator, designer, and lecturer on the public consequence of architecture, design and art. Surface is currently a curator with The Alice, a project/exhibition space and writers' residency. Surface serves on the Seattle Arts Commission and on the board of directors of Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility. 

As Program Director of Design in Public from 2015-2017, Surface organized the annual city-wide Seattle Design Festival and curated exhibitions at the Center for Architecture & Design. Trained in graphic design and photography at Parsons School of Design, and with a M.Arch from Yale School of Architecture, Surface has been co-curator of Out Of Sight 2017 - a regional survey of Pacific Northwest Artists, an architect with super-interesting!; an organizer with Architecture for Humanity and Artist Studio Affordability Project; visiting critic at the University of Washington Department of Architecture; research coordinator and editor with C-LAB, Volume Architectural Journal, and the Network Architecture Lab at Columbia University's GSAPP; and a teaching fellow in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Yale University. 


Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Seattle Art Museum

Xiaojin Wu is the Curator of Japanese and Korean Artat the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Among the many exhibitions she has curated at SAM’s Asian Art Museum, two were among the best attended exhibitions in museum’s recent history: Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 (2014) and Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World (2015). Before joining SAM, she worked at the Princeton University Art Museum as Associate Curator of Asian Art. A specialist in pre-modern Japanese painting, she received her Ph.D. in Japanese art history from Princeton University.

Emily Zimmerman
, Director, Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Emily Zimmerman is the Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design. Previously she was Associate Curator of Programs at the Henry Art Gallery and Associate Curator at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). Her writing has appeared in BOMB and Contemporary Performance, and she has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Herb Alpert Awards. Emily received her MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and BA from New York University.


AAMC Foundation’s Regional Programming In-Conversation Series 

AAMC Foundation's regional programming series, In-Conversation, looks at important issues facing our museum and art organization community through a curatorial lens. By bringing this series forward, and opening the program to all, the Foundation continues to advance advocacy and inclusion within the curatorial profession. In hosting these programs in central regional areas, we are opening a dialogue within these communities and making connections across institutions. 

The evening series is organized and supported by the AAMC Foundation. The open discussion format welcomes AAMC leadership, non-profit leaders, and voices from local communities to have an engaging dialogue on a focused subject. Following the discussion, AAMC welcomes the audience and speakers to continue the conversation at a brief reception. Past events have included: Addressing Implicit Bias in Museums, held in Washington, D.C.; Preventing Looting: What Curators & All Museum Staff Can Do held in NYC; Museum Directors on the Curatorial Role, held in Boston; Art & Social Justice, held in Los Angeles; and Behind the Career Curtain, held in Chicago. 


AAMC & AAMC Foundation

Founded in 2001, and now including over 1,300 members from over 400 institutions around the globe, we are a strong leader for curators in non-profit settings. The mission of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) is to support and promote the work of visual art curators in the non-profit sector by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and advancement. In support of these aims, the AAMC Foundation seeks to heighten public understanding of the curator's non-profit role through programs, discussions, and opportunities open to the public and our members. By providing a dynamic forum in which to share ideas and encourage professional development, the Association of Art Museum Curators continues to grow, increasing its visibility and importance to the larger arts community.  At the heart of all we do is our goal to celebrate, advance, and advocate for the non-profit curator.  Our Strategic Plan’s key facets are diversity and advocacy, which now have devoted Task Forces within our organization, with the goals of furthering opportunities for all curators through creating inclusive programming, seeking to define and expand the definition of curator, promoting the curatorial role within our communities, and supporting the highest standards of curatorial ethics and professional behavior.  


Photograph of Emily Zimmerman by Zorn Taylor.

The program is organized and presented by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation. We are grateful to to the Seattle Art Museum 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.

All registrations are non-refundable.

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