Panel Discussion on Diversity in Museums

Willie Cole, How Do You Spell America? #2, 1993; oilstick, chalk, and latex on Masonite and wood. Courtesy of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The work is on view in “Art AIDS America,” which runs through May 22 at the Zuckerman Museum of Art before traveling to the Bronx Museum.

Organized on the occasion of “Art AIDS America” at the Zuckerman Museum of Art [read the review here], this panel discussion arose from a need to address the exhibition’s relative lack of African American artists. While at its originating institution, the Tacoma Art Museum, the exhibition drew protests and sparked larger conversations about racial diversity in art museums. In response, the staff at the Zuckerman set out to rectify the oversight by adding additional works to more evenly represent the communities impacted by the AIDS epidemic. BURNAWAY is pleased to co-present this important conversation with the ZMA.

BURNAWAY and the Zuckerman Museum of Art present: Practice, Opportunity + Change: Arts Administrators Speak on Diversity and Inclusion in Museums

Tuesday, May 17, 7:00 p.m.

The Goat Farm Arts Center

Free + open to the public

The arts inspire and bear witness to our changing cultural landscapes, and though museum programming has become more diverse, there is a need for more diversity in the museum workforce. Join us for a lively conversation around museum diversity and inclusion from policy, curatorial, and first-hand perspectives. Facilitated by Makeba Dixon-Hill, attendees are encouraged to participate in the Q&A. Panelists include Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., Anthony Knight, Justin Rabideau, and Alexandra Rachelle Siclait.

Practice, Opportunity + Change is presented by the Zuckerman Museum of Art and BURNAWAY with support from WonderRoot and the Goat Farm Arts Center. The panel is organized by Makeba Dixon-Hill.


Makeba Dixon-Hill

Photo courtesy of Scott Clark King
Dixon-Hill is the Curator of Education at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She has over 10 years of experience working with artists, organizations, and students across the country to produce engaging cultural experiences. Dixon-Hill serves as a guest lecturer at several  academic institutions and provides expertise on contemporary programming practices. Dixon-Hill has evaluated programs for state arts agencies, health and wellness institutions, and nonprofit  organizations.  She has also written successful grants for museums and provided organizational and planning expertise to celebrated artists and organizations including Lynnée Denise Bonner, Torkwase Dyson, Wangechi  Mutu, The Laundromat Project, ElevArte Community Studio, and others.As a Special Projects Coordinator at the Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest museum in the country, her primary duties included providing guidance on arts integration methods, leading professional development sessions, and building collaborative relationships among key stakeholders within and outside of the Art Institute. She was also the Education and Public Programs Coordinator at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Managing Editor of Code Z, an Atlanta-based online publication dedicated to black visual culture. A Georgia native and alumna of Spelman College, Makeba studied English and Art History and participated in the first annual David C. Driskell Summer Arts Institute for the study of the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her M.A. in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a Americans for the Arts Joyce Foundation and Getty Leadership Institute NextGen Fellow. Makeba currently serves on several planning committees on workforce development and arts advocacy.


Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D.

Brownlee is an art historian, curator, writer, and the Director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She is currently spearheading the Spelman College Curatorial Studies Program, a pilot program funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She has curated and co-curated many exhibitions including Howardena Pindell (2015), Maren Hassinger. . . Dreaming (2015), and Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Woman Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 (2007).

Brownlee is the recipient of several academic, professional, and scholarly awards including the 2013 David C. Driskell Prize in African American Art and Art History. She has authored several publications includingCharles White (2002). An alumna of Spelman College, she earned her Ph.D. in Art History from Duke University in 2001. Brownlee currently serves on the board of several arts organizations including the Charles White Archives and WonderRoot and is a Trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors.


Anthony Knight

Knight is the President & CEO of The Baton Foundation, a Georgia nonprofit organization that serves the emotional, intellectual and cultural needs of Black boys in grades five through nine. Before founding the Foundation, Knight worked for twenty-two years as a museum educator and consultant. Knight has extensive experience with and interest in African American history and culture, public and living history, informal education and Black youth.

Knight’s work with The Baton Foundation reflects his ongoing interest in the issues and practices related to the collecting, preservation and interpretation of information about and material culture from the African Diaspora. Knight’s undergraduate work was in Spanish and English at Ohio Wesleyan University, and his graduate work was in museum education at The George Washington University. Knight also holds a degree in Spanish-to-English translation from the Núcleo de Estudios Lingüísticos y Sociales, Caracas, Venezuela.


Justin Rabideau

Rabideau is the Director of the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art located at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. Originally from New York; Rabideau attended The State University of New York at Plattsburgh, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts and the University of Georgia receiving a Masters of Fine Art.

Rabideau worked in various roles at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York and the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida while holding teaching/visiting artist positions at Cazenovia College, Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute and Palm Beach State College. During his four years as Director of the Zuckerman Museum of Art, the museum has been awarded Best New Museum by Atlanta Magazine, received grants from the NEA and Georgia Council for the Arts, and gained local and national attention for the exhibitions programming through reviews, articles and press.


Alexandra Rachelle Siclait

Siclait is a cultural diplomacy enthusiast from Haiti who loves to explore how the power of art can foster a better understanding of cultures and empower communities. Siclait has worked with the Community Folk Art Center in Syracuse, New York, the DEVENEY public relations firm in New Orleans, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining Creative Capital, she served as the Program Manager for the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, awarding and administering over $1M in contracts for arts services. Siclait received her BA in Political Communication from George Washington University, her MS in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and her MA in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is an inaugural member of the Janklow Arts Leadership Advanced Certificate Program.


This panel is presented in conjunction with “Art AIDS America,” currently on view at the Zuckerman Museum of Art through May 22. “Art AIDS America” is organized by Tacoma Art Museum in partnership with The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The national tour is supported by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and Gilead Sciences, Inc. The exhibition is made possible by support from:


  The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

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