In Session

Panels on Anti Racism in Museums

By: - Nov 11, 2020

  MASS MoCA and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) at MCLA are launching In Session, a series of four panel discussions on anti-racist work in museums, streamed live on MASS MocA's YouTube channel and Facebook page beginning on Thursday, December 10, at 6pm EST with upcoming dates to be announced soon. The first two panels will invite artists, curators, and arts administrators to discuss how museums and artists represent Black and Brown trauma in artwork, exhibitions, and performances, and navigate the resulting implications and challenges. These conversations are designed to pose more questions than answers.

The December 10 panel will feature artists Nick Cave, Shaun Leonardo, Steve Locke, and Xaviera Simmons. The panel will begin with introductory remarks by Dr. Kalima Young, and will be moderated by M. Carmen Lane

Topics for discussion include: What is trauma and what do we mean when speaking of Black trauma? Who holds permission to use images of violence against Black and Brown bodies? Who grants this permission? What are an art institution's responsibilities toward audiences when hosting work regarding violence enacted against Black and Brown bodies? 

This series is free and open to the public. Visit for more information.


About the Participants

Dr. Kalima Young is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electronic Media and Film at Towson University where she teaches Principles of Film and Media Production and African American Cinema. She received her PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her scholarship explores the impact of race and gender-based trauma on Black identity, media, and Black cultural production.
M. Carmen Lane is a two:spirit African-American and Haudenosaunee (Mohawk/Tuscarora) artist, writer, and facilitator living in Cleveland, Ohio. Lane’s work ranges from experiential educator to diversity practitioner to organizational systems consultant to experimental artist—all of it integrates ancestry, legacy, and spirituality, and pursues expansion, experimentation, and play. Lane is founder and director of ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership, an urban retreat center and social practice experiment in holistic health, leadership development, Indigenous arts and culture, and the founder and director of the Akhsótha Gallery located in Cleveland's historic Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood. 
Nick Cave works with choreographers, dancers, and amateur performers to produce lavish community celebrations in untraditional venues for art. His “Soundsuits” are displayed in exhibitions as static sculptures, arranged as groups of figures in formation that are striking in their diversity and powerful stance. Cave’s sculptures also include non-figurative assemblages, intricate accumulations of found objects that project out from the wall, and installations enveloping entire rooms. He has had major exhibitions at he Momentary (2020); Carriageworks (2018); MASS MoCA (2016); Cranbrook Art Museum (2015); Saint Louis Art Museum (2014-15); ICA Boston (2014); Denver Art Museum (2013); Fabric Workshop and Museum (2011-12); Seattle Art Museum (2011); and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2009), among others. Cave lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Shaun Leonardo’s multidisciplinary work negotiates societal expectations of manhood, namely definitions surrounding Black and Brown masculinities, along with its notions of achievement, collective identity, and experience of failure. Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens, New York City. His work has been featured at The Guggenheim Museum, The High Line, and New Museum, with a recent solo exhibition at Maryland Institute College of Art and now at MASS MoCA.
Steve Locke is an American artist who explores figuration and perceptions of the male figure, and themes of masculinity and homosexuality through drawing, painting, sculpture, and installation art. He lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts, where he teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Xaviera Simmons' sweeping body of work includes photography, performance, choreography, video, sound, sculpture, and installation. She received her BFA from Bard College (2004) after spending two years on a walking pilgrimage retracing the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade with Buddhist Monks. She completed the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in Studio Art (2005) while simultaneously completing a two-year actor-training conservatory with The Maggie Flanigan Studio, New York. Simmons’ works are in major museums and private collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Deutsche Bank, New York; UBS, New York; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Agnes Gund Art Collection, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Studio Museum in Harlem; ICA Miami; Perez Art Museum Miami; The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; The Nasher Museum of Art, Durham; and The High Museum, Atlanta, among many others. Simmons was a visiting lecturer and the Solomon Fellow at Harvard University (2020)  and has been awarded The Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College this summer. This fall, and winter 2021, Simmons will have works on view at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, Times Square NY, Columbia University, and The Moody Gallery at Rice University, among many other exhibitions.

About Berkshire Cultural Resource Center: 
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) provides opportunities, resources, and support to the Northern Berkshire Community. BCRC brings together the Northern Berkshires, MCLA, and greater creative communities through its cultural programming including: MCLA Gallery 51, Downstreet Art, B-Hip, and MCLA Presents! BCRC promotes, facilitates, and encourages dialogue in order to foster a sustainable creative community. BCRC is a collaborative project of MCLA, MASS MoCA, and the City of North Adams.