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Curatorial Practice, Equity, and Exchange: A Dialogue between Cape Town and Chicago

Generously funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this project seeks to create an international conversation on curatorial training and strategies designed to map social justice into museum practices. Collectives from Chicago and Cape Town, South Africa, meet with artists and practitioners, curators and academics, educators, and other thought leaders on how to best engage in fresh dialogues on acquisitions and exhibitions, collaborations with emerging artists and other creative enterprises, and paths to expand the art historical canon. These activities will culminate in a public symposium for Chicago-area students at all stages of their academic careers who are interested in curatorial practice. The main goals for this exchange are to connect, internationalize, and build on existing mentorship and curatorial training programs in both countries for students who are typically underrepresented in museums; to create an open forum for participants to explore curatorial approaches beyond commonly applied cultural interpretations of geographic positions, with an emphasis on equity and social justice; and to engender reciprocity and concretize international partnerships through plans for future institutional collaborations, including further joint training programs, exhibitions, and art acquisitions.