We commit to sharing our platform and resources to support the formation of a Student Programming Committee (SPC) to include students as active and valued voices within our exhibition and program planning process. We will engage with and learn from students in order to better meet their needs and wants through the exhibitions and programs the galleries offer. This means opening up our spaces to all students, being mindful that gallery spaces, including ours, have not always been welcoming for our BIPOC students.
With a newly established group of current students, the SAB is learning about TUAG operations and have begun to offer feedback and make recommendations. They are in the process of developing student-centered programs that began to roll out in Spring 2021.
Over the summer and fall of 2020, the Tufts Public Art Committee (PAC), spearheaded by the Art Galleries, led a university-wide audit of all of artworks on view in public spaces to ensure that representation on campus includes both BIPOC subjects and works by BIPOC artists. This effort is part of Tufts President Anthony Monaco’s initial commitments toward making the university an anti-racist institution. “We need to think critically about whose history and images are displayed” on campus, as President Monaco noted. A summary of the key findings of this work can be found here
The audit, led by TUAG staff and students, is extending into the entirety of our Permanent Collection. With the first phase complete, our work ahead of us is clear.
The PAC’s workstream report can be found here, summarizing the current state of representation on campus and key recommendations towards repair.
Concurrently, we are also examining the content and history of these objects, assessing the values they represent, and using this data to rewrite our Collections Policies to prioritize the acquisition of artwork by BIPOC artists and makers.
In order to make our exhibitions, collections, and public programs both online and in-person accessible to everyone we launched a staff-led working group to research and implement best practices within the field. We acknowledge that this is a process, a process that we have just begun, and will continue updating our operations.
Furthermore, we recognize the intersection between marginalized communities and disabilities and the disproportionate ways this has limited access. Outreach and collaborating with communities will be crucial to understand how we can better serve them.
Our first steps towards a more inclusive space include a new website that follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), adding Alt Text for images online, adding Image Descriptions on our social media posts, offering Closed Captions and Transcriptions on online programs, following ADA guidelines on our exhibition’s installations and designs, and using accessible language for all informational texts.