Here is what to expect:
Participants will be invited to spend time in Dance We Must: Treasures from Jacob’s Pillow, 1906-1940 independently and reflect before a more structured program begins.
A group of students will be in the exhibition talking with participants about the students’ individual responses to and critiques of the objects and their interpretive framing.
Participants will then divide into smaller groups for facilitated conversations to share responses to the exhibition, and talk about how those reactions relate to one of a set of broader questions:
- What do we make of the phrases cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation? How do we negotiate the categories of inspiration versus exploitation in the arts?
- How might/should cultural institutions frame artistic histories tied to colonialism and racist practices?
- What are the responsibilities of community members –students, faculty, staff, and administration– on a liberal arts campus to frame and grapple with histories tied to colonialism and racism? What forms might this collective grappling take?
Facilitators (WCMA staff and students) in each group will take notes during the conversation. These notes will then be consolidated and made available to participants. They will help shape WCMA’s work, and will also be sent to the organizers of a broader campus program around these issues that is currently in development.