By Andrea Michelbach
Last month, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for our race exhibit met for the third time. We had a lot to do — brainstorming, reviewing, strategizing. But before all that, we began, as usual, with dinner.
I’ve only been to two of these meetings so far, but both times, I’ve been amazed that people show up on a Wednesday night.
I also feel proud to be part of a meeting setup that includes dinner. To me, it’s a simple show of hospitality, but one that seems to really relax everyone and start the meeting off right.
Of course, people don’t just attend the CACs for a free dinner. After our September meeting, I asked some of the CAC members for the race exhibit why they were there. Here’s what a couple of them had to say:
“I came to bring my generation’s perspective — my life perspective. I wanted to see how ‘honest’ people were with broaching the race issue. Most like-minded people will be in the room to support, do they come to learn something new?”
“Being on the Race Exhibit Community Advisory Committee has given me so many chances to hear first-hand experiences of the people around me. In this case, people of different ages are participating and so I’m getting to better understand how racism and exclusion has been similar or different for different individuals.
“I’m always learning something new and although the diversity and nuances of experiences and responses are difficult to wrap my head around, I’m always inspired at the end of each session. I know that I’m supposed to be contributing to the CAC, but I usually feel that I’m the one benefiting the most from all the other insightful and thoughtful members!”
What happens next?
After our September meeting, here’s where the CAC is at in planning the exhibit:
- Our exhibition name ideas are off to The Wing’s Development and Marketing team for fine-tuning.
- We’re looking at what educational and interactive components might accompany the exhibition.
- We’re sending out the Call for Art. (Interested? Check out the “Submit Art” page.)
- We’re contacting people about writing posts for this blog and writing them ourselves. (Again, interested? Check out the “Write a Post” page.)
- We’re looking forward to our next meeting on November 7.
Want to join us?
If you’d like to attend the next CAC meeting, email Mikala Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Andrea Michelbach is an exhibits intern at The Wing and graduate student in Museology at the University of Washington.