Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem Conference Series


SAIC’s Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem conference series consists of three dialogues on anti-racism featuring art and design industry leaders from various backgrounds, including art and design education, museum practices, galleries, auction houses, practicing artists, and more. The first of the three events in the spring of 2021 focused on Chicago’s art ecosystem. The second event in fall 2022 broadened the scope to include nationally-based leaders in the arts. 

The Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem Conference Series is generously supported by Hindman Auctions.

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SAIC Featured on NBC's The Path Forward

The first of these three events took place in April 2021 and focused on Chicago’s art ecosystem. To help us continue the conversation, NBC interviewed panel participants on an episode of The Path Forward.

NBC's LeeAnn Trotter spoke with SAIC's Interim Dean of Graduate Studies Delinda Collier, Executive Director of the American Library Association Tracie D. Hall, and Executive Director of Threewalls Jeffreen M. Hayes about how art and design organizations can become more equitable and inclusive.

Collier, a co-chair of SAIC’s Anti-Racism Committee, spoke about the School’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work. The committee, composed of staff, faculty, and students, is identifying and implementing initiatives that will make meaningful progress in the short and long term. This committee was established last summer by President Elissa Tenny to deepen the School’s anti-racism work.    

Part I: Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem in Chicago

This first event focused on SAIC’s home: Chicago. A panel of some of the city’s art and design leaders discussed the impact of segregation; bright spots in anti-racist work that can serve as guiding lights; and how we can work together to remove barriers to entry for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. You can view the entire event below. 


Moderated by Jina Valentine, SAIC associate professor of Printmedia, and featuring:

Rashawn Griffin, Practicing Artist and SAIC Visiting Professor
Kavi Gupta, Owner and Director, Kavi Gupta Gallery
Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director, American Library Association
Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D, Executive Director, Threewalls
Felicia Mings, SAIC Alum, Curator, Art Gallery of York University

Part II: Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem in the World

The second event considered the US at large, featuring a panel of nationally-based leaders in the arts. You can view the entire event below.

The event was moderated by Sampada Aranke, SAIC assistant professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, and featured:

Brendan Fernandes,  Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago
Allison Glenn (Dual MA 2012), Senior Curator and Director of Public Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Deana Haggag, Program Officer for Arts and Culture, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Nancy Marie Mithlo, PhD, Professor, Department of Gender Studies and Core Faculty Member, American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles

Part III: Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem in Chicago

The third and final explored how to build an anti-racist art ecosystem. A panel of thought leaders from throughout the international art industry joined us to raise necessary questions and propose actions toward anti-racist practices in art production, exhibition, administration, and education. 


In a conversation moderated by Full-Time Visiting Professor Magadalena Moskalewicz, panelists included:

Zoe Butt, Curator, Writer and founder of in-tangible institute, Chiang Mai
Victoria Noorthoorn, Director of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires
Smooth Nzewi, Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture
Vipash Purichanont, Curator and Lecturer at Silpakorn University in Thailand
Gio Swaby, interdisciplinary visual artist currently represented by Claire Oliver Gallery