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EXPO CHICAGO Announces Inaugural Directors Summit and Expanded Curatorial Initiatives

Taking place throughout the 9th edition of the fair, the inaugural Directors Summit will bring together a diverse group of emerging art museum leaders from across the US.

EXPO CHICAGO Announces Inaugural Directors Summit and Expanded Curatorial Initiatives

EXPO CHICAGO, the international exposition of contemporary & modern art, today announced its curatorial initiatives for the fair's ninth edition, taking place April 7 - 10, 2022. EXPO CHICAGO will debut its inaugural Directors Summit, which will gather eight emerging art museum leaders from across the country for a series of conversations on the future of museum leadership and institutional reinvention. This program will augment an expanded, year-round Curatorial Forum program alongside its annual Curatorial Exchange, which together will gather curators from nine countries to discuss shared perspectives, goals and challenges facing the field. The exposition's robust curatorial initiatives support its larger mission to foster the critical international creative dialogues taking place in the Midwest today.

"Each year EXPO CHICAGO has made an industry-leading commitment to host and engage a broad range of international curators as a part of our Curatorial Initiatives programming," said Tony Karman, President | Director. "We look forward to welcoming an expanded group in 2022 and we are deeply grateful for the ongoing partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI) in shaping our annual Forum. As we continue to innovate and expand our programming in service to our exhibitors and audience, we are proud to introduce the Directors Summit. This inaugural initiative will convene national emerging museum leadership in Chicago during the exposition and provide an open discourse on critical issues that many museums are facing today."

Directors Summit

Taking place throughout the ninth edition of the fair, the inaugural Directors Summit will bring together a diverse group of emerging art museum leaders from across the United States for a three-day program addressing the shifting dynamics of museum leadership today. Shaped in partnership with museum consultant Jill Snyder, the Directors Summit is centered on two public roundtable discussions that will examine how to forge equitable and sustainable movement forward for art museums and institutions and include a keynote lecture at University Club of Chicago.

In light of this historic moment of disruption in the field, museum leaders nationwide will gather to reimagine how museums function in society. Public roundtable discussions will focus on exploring a number of questions, including: What do we retain? What do we replace? Do we remove barriers or redesign systems? Or both? How can we dismantle inequitable systems while remaining sustainable? In lively conversation, this cohort will share insights and examples that demonstrate how they are leading from an imperfect past to create a more equitable future. The Directors Summit is supported by Sotheby's, in addition to the Thoma Foundation and University Club of Chicago.

Participating directors include:

· Louise Bernard, Obama Presidential Center Museum (Chicago, IL)

· Miki Garcia, Arizona State University Art Museum (Tempe, AZ)

· Amy Gilman, Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI)

· Adam Levine, Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, OH)

· Cameron Shaw, California African American Museum (CAAM) (Los Angeles, CA)

· Christina Vassallo, The Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA)

· Halona Norton-Westbrook, Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, HI)

· Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

"EXPO CHICAGO has a longstanding history as a global convener for curatorial and institutional leaders, which made the formation and presentation of the inaugural Directors Summit a natural extension of its annual critically acclaimed programming," said Jill Snyder. "As the museum field at large accelerates necessary self-examination and reinvention, the intent for the Summit is to create a convening opportunity, through public dialogue, for museum leaders to address challenges, share aspirations, and to provide insights on the many positive changes that can or have been implemented to fortify the communal foundation of cultural institutions."

Curatorial Forum

EXPO CHICAGO's annual Curatorial Forum will bring together more than 40 local, national and international curators of contemporary art in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI) for a series of both closed door and public conversations addressing pressing issues in the field today. The sixth annual Curatorial Forum offers mid-career and established American curators, working independently or with an institutional affiliation, the opportunity to engage with their peers and explore significant issues relating to curating, programming, institution-building and audience engagement.

In 2022, the Curatorial Forum will feature a series of peer-led sessions focused on critical questions relevant to contemporary practice and context. This year's session topics will include: "Racial Equity, Representation, Social Justice," "Labor Conditions" and "Community Engagement." Closed door sessions and a kick-off reception will be hosted by Presenting Sponsor 21c Museum Hotel Chicago.

The Forum will conclude with an Assembly, bringing all participants together to further address the ideas exchanged throughout the program and to foster regional professional networks and collaborations across the American cultural landscape. ICI and EXPO CHICAGO are dedicated to taking this approach further to develop a year-round advocacy group, aimed at studying the views expressed during the Forum, building consensus with additional perspectives from those working for and outside of museums; and issuing recommendations to the field. This year, the program will be supported by Presenting Sponsors the Joyce Foundation and 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, in addition to the Smart Family Foundation, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, UAP | Urban Art Projects and Terry Dowd, Inc. The Curatorial Forum will further expand with year-round events in Chicago, made possible in part by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.

"This sixth Curatorial Forum comes at a critical moment in time for the curatorial and museum fields, when professional and institutional core values are being challenged and reassessed," said Renaud Proch, Executive and Artistic Director, ICI. "In this period of cultural rebuilding, the type of knowledge-exchange and collaboration among curators that the Curatorial Forum has encouraged across the American museum world since 2016 is more important than ever. This edition of the Forum is also very important to us, as it marks the start of new, year-round ICI programming in Chicago that will stem from and deepen the conversations generated during EXPO CHICAGO."

Participants to date include:

· Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha NE

· Laura Allred Hurtado, Executive Director, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City UT

· Amara Antilla, Senior Curator, CAC Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH

· Rehema Barber, Chief Curator, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo MI

· Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City MO

· Ciara Ennis, Director and Curator, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont CA

· Courtenay Finn, Chief Curator, Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa CA

· Allison Glenn, Co-Curator, Counterpublic Triennial 2023, Houston TX

· Marcela Guerrero, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY

· Craig Hadley, Executive Director, The Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City MI

· Lauren Hinkson, Associate Curator of Collections, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York NY

· Henriette Huldisch, Chief Curator, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN

· Simon Kelly, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis MO

· Alisha Kerlin, Director/Curator, Marjorie Barrick Museum UNLV, Las Vegas NV

· Nora Khan, independent curator, Providence RI

· Miranda Lash, Ellen Bruss Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver CO

· Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Curator of American Art, Newark Museum of Art, Newark NJ

· Catharina Manchanda, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA

· Heather Nickels, Curatorial Fellow in African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis TN

· Jessica O'Hearn, Executive Director, Brookline Arts Center, Brookline MA

· Liz Park, Richard Armstrong Curator of Contemporary Art, Carnegie Mellon Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA

· Rachel Reese, Director and Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art at UTC, Chattanooga TN

· Mark Scala, Chief Curator, Frist Art Museum, Nashville TN

· Lauren Schell Dickens, Senior Curator, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose CA

· Emily Stamey, Curator and Head of Exhibitions, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro NC

· Jordan Stein, Curator, KADIST, San Francisco CA

· Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art, PAFA Philadelphia PA

Curatorial Exchange

Through it's annual Curatorial Exchange, EXPO CHICAGO remains one of the nation's only fairs with a dedicated initiative focused on funding global curator exchanges that foster future collaborations for curators on the local, national and international level. The third annual exchange is developed in partnership with foreign consulates and cultural agencies from countries around the world, offering select mid-career and established curators the opportunity to engage closely with their peers, convening as part of a four-day program that includes access to exhibitions, top private collections, artist studios, museums and institutions during EXPO CHICAGO.

This invitation-only program fosters critical dialogue about the Chicago and Midwest art scenes from an international perspective. Cultural and governmental organization partners for the Curatorial Exchange include:

· Consulate General of Canada in Chicago (Canada)

· Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York (The Netherlands)

· Danish Arts Foundation (Denmark)

· Frame Contemporary Art Finland, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and the Consulate General of Finland in New York (Finland)

· Goethe-Institut Chicago (Germany)

· Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Chicago (Italy)

· Villa Albertine and the Consulate General of France in Chicago (France)

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