Turmoil at Indianapolis Museum
- An offensive job description seeking a new director for the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields drew ire from artists, IMA patrons, and former and current museum workers. Thousands called for Charles L. Venable’s removal as president over the listing, which mentioned “maintaining the Museum’s traditional, core, white art audience.” Amid the mounting pressure, the IMA announced Venable’s resignation. Its statement also noted that the museum will establish a committee to conduct a review of leadership and expand curatorial representation “of/for/by Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, Women, People with Disabilities, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized identities.”
Cultural Suppression in Turkey
- Turkey’s Trade Ministry filed a lawsuit demanding the dissolution of Anadolu Kültür, an institution founded by jailed philanthropist Osman Kavala in 2002. Last week, the US Department of State urged Kavala’s release after three years of imprisonment without conviction.
- A theater ensemble has been targeted by Turkish authorities, accused of terrorist propaganda for its Kurdish-language performances.
- A new $1.6 million grant to seven institutions will support the digitization of Indigenous oral histories to make them widely available, especially to Native communities.
- A new $38.5 million Getty fund is a massive effort to preserve jobs and retain the cultural capital of Los Angeles’s creative workforce.
In Other News
- Yup’ik choreographer Emily Johnson says that her residency at Montclair State University was revoked after she requested the school commit to decolonial practices, including a land acknowledgment. She says she then faced verbal abuse and “unethical and punishing measures” from Jedidiah Wheeler, head of the university’s Peak Performances series.
- The Guggenheim Museum has signed a contract with its union after a year of tense negotiations. The three-year collective bargaining agreement represents 22 full-time employees and 145 on-call staff of the museum’s art handlers and facilities staff.
- A new Alabama bill could make it illegal to put up signs offering historical context on the site of Confederate statues and other monuments.
- A new project from Google Arts + Culture uses machine learning and Wassily Kandinsky’s extensive color theories to interpret what the painter might have heard when working on this painting.
Awards & Accolades
- The artists participating in Desert X 2021 have been announced. | Desert X
- Shanel Edwards was awarded the third annual Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant For Queer Women(+) Dance Artists by Queer|Art.
- Rashaad Newsome, Rodolfo Peraza, Sondra Perry, Stephanie Dinkins, and Black Quantum Futurism are the inaugural recipients of its new arts and tech fellowship by the Knight Foundation. | Knight Foundation
- Kobena Mercer was appointed the Charles P. Stevenson Chair in Art History and the Humanities at Bard College.
- Joshua Vincent was named interim executive director of the Southern Vision Alliance.
- Brenda Ballin (1929–2021), guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York Times
- Teresa Burga (1935–2021), conceptual artist | ARTnews
- J. Hillis Miller (1928–2021), literary critic and scholar | UCI News
- Johnny Pacheco (1935–2021), bandleader, producer, musician, and co-founder of Fania record label | New York Times
- Danny Ray (1935–2021), emcee and “cape man” for James Brown | Rolling Stone
- Albor Ruiz (1940–2021), columnist for the Daily News | New York Times