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Skidmore College

Art and race forum

March 16, 2017
Cole artwork detail
Detail from Cole's To get to the other side

Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery invites the public to “Whiteness and ‘Default Culture,’” a free panel discussion starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. The inaugural event in the Tang’s Accelerator Series brings three expert panelists to explore what it means to be white and the concept of a “default culture” in a multicultural society. Accelerator events use a work of art from the Tang’s collection as a catalyst for conversation, and this event will feature part of Willie Cole’s To get to the other side, a series of 32 concrete lawn jockeys and an oversized steel chessboard.

As an open forum for dialogue and questioning, the series seeks nontraditional entry points into discussion of big questions, fostering curiosity and engagement around compelling issues in order to help drive change. The speakers come from the arts, academia, entertainment, government, journalism, media, and politics and tend to embrace a “getting comfortable with discomfort” attitude.

isolde brielmaier
Isolde Brielmaier

The March 23 panel, moderated by Tang Curator-at-Large Isolde Brielmaier, will include race-and-gender scholar Treva Lindsey, filmmaker Matthew Cooke, and activist Dara Silverman. A faculty member at Ohio State University, Lindsey teaches and researches African American women’s history, black popular culture, race and gender theory, and sexual politics. She has been an online contributor to Al Jazeera, Cosmopolitan, and HuffPost Live. Actor and film creator Cooke, known as an advocate for social justice and prison reform, edited the acclaimed 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil, about sexual abuse in Catholic churches. Silverman is the founding director of Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national network for white people. She is a longtime organizer for economic, racial, gender, and social justice movements.

The Accelerator Series is supported by Accelerate: Access and Inclusion at the Tang Teaching Museum, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project.

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