Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Dialogue


The Dialogue 
   The MCA Chicago's
annual conversation on museums, diversity, and inclusion

  September 7, 2011, 6 pm


The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, presents the fourth year of The Dialogue, the MCA's annual conversation on museums, diversity, and inclusion on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 6 pm. This seminal fall event turns the MCA Theater into a live chat room as the panelists and audience delve into pressing issues of diversity and inclusion facing museums today. This year's focus is on Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and the early 90s, and the profound shifts happening as they come of age, related to self-identity, race, and culture. The Dialogue's panel discussion features Hennessy Youngman (Jayson Musson), YouTube's most followed art theorist; Chicago's Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Michelle T. Boone; and MCA Curator Naomi Beckwith.

As the Millennials influence and impact culture, museums and cultural organizations need to understand the changes and their implications to develop a new sense of where and how people produce and engage with art. This may mean that museums should not only rethink who and what they present but also the very ideologies that underlie the collecting, presenting, and interpretive activities. New ethnographic research on Chicago Millennials will be shared by the Museums in the Park Marketing Committee, and audience members are welcome to live tweet during the program.

The Dialogue takes place in the MCA Theater. Tickets for the program and dinner reception are $35; the program alone is $10, students $6, available at the MCA Box Office at 312.397.4010 or 

Audience members can follow @mcachicago and use #1thedialogue when tweeting about the program. A live Twitter feed of comments will be featured on 

Jayson Musson
Musson is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work across media often deploys satire in the service of art-historical and political critique. Musson is best known for his fictional persona, Hennessy Youngman, a hip-hop-inflected art theorist with an acerbic wit. Described in Art in America as "Ali G with an MFA," Hennessy Youngman has become an online sensation with his periodic video blogs on art history and art making.

Michelle T. Boone
Boone is the newly appointed commissioner of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, which presents and promotes high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances, and holiday celebrations each year in parks, the Chicago Cultural Center, and other venues throughout the city. Most recently, Boone was the senior program officer for culture at The Joyce Foundation in Chicago, responsible for distributing nearly $2 million annually to arts and cultural institutions in major Midwestern cities.

Naomi Beckwith
Beckwith is Curator at the MCA Chicago and is focused on conceptual practices in contemporary art. Her Master's thesis on Adrian Piper and Carrie Mae Weems earned Distinction from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Prior to joining the MCA, Beckwith was the Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, and worked at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Whitney Museum Independent Study program.

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