This Cool Culture initiative is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Lab explores how museums might respond to the nation’s rapid demographic, cultural, social and political transformation, in ways that bring diverse people together to strengthen communities. Following the Launch program of the Lab, 35 selected museum educator participants from 23 NYC cultural institutions meet for a 6-part seminar series convened by Cool Culture featuring national thought leaders. The Lab builds a creative and supportive community of museum professionals invested in advancing equity through arts and culture.
The Lab Launch will convene museum directors and educators, Lab alumni, thought leaders, advocates, policy makers, arts and culture enthusiasts and funders in a reception and conversational exploration of advancing equity through arts and culture.
Executive Director at Cool Culture, Moderator
Candice Anderson has been the Executive Director of Cool Culture since 2007, and has devoted her career to improving educational opportunity and life outcomes for children and families in New York City's most disadvantaged communities. Prior to joining Cool Culture, Candice served as Director of Child Care and Head Start Collaboration at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services; and as Senior Policy Associate for Child Care, Education and Youth Development at Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, New York City’s premier child advocacy organization where she conducted research and advocated on behalf of vulnerable children and families. Candice received the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Extraordinary Women award while at Cool Culture, has an MS in Urban Planning from the New School for Social Research, received her B.A. from Oberlin College and in 2010 became a graduate of the Executive Level Program at Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for- Profit Management. In October of 2015, Candice was appointed by NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, as a new member to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.
NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner, Panelist
Tom Finkelpearl is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In this role he oversees city funding for nonprofit arts organizations across the five boroughs and directs the cultural policy for the City of New York. Prior to his appointment by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Finkelpearl served as Executive Director of the Queens Museum for twelve years starting in 2002, overseeing an expansion that doubled the museum’s size and positioning the organization as a vibrant center for social engagement in nearby communities. He also held positions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, working on the organization’s merger with the Museum of Modern Art, and served as Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program. Based on his public art experience and additional research, he published a book, Dialogues in Public Art (MIT Press), in 2000. His second book, What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the activist, participatory, coauthored aesthetic experiences being created in contemporary art. He received a BA from Princeton University (1979) and an MFA from Hunter College (1983)
Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Panelist
James E. Bartlett is Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout Mr. Bartlett’s diverse career in media and the arts, he has developed new models for creative development that take into account the changing landscape of modern business, media, and technology. In 2005, Mr. Bartlett co-founded MVMT, a business cooperative supporting progressive companies that serve artists and arts organizations through marketing, design, media production, and consulting. Additionally, Mr. Bartlett co-founded, Media MVMT, a film production house whose first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Currently, Mr. Bartlett is leading MoCADA’s $6 million capital campaign for the construction of a new building, to be located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, which is scheduled to open in 2018.
Museum Futurist at the American Alliance of Museums, Panelist
Nicole Ivy is a Museum Futurist at the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Center for the Future of Museums (CFM). She is also a Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Public Fellow. She researches issues around museums and labor, including accessibility and inclusion in museum employment and the future of work. Nicole has held university positions as a professor in the fields of history, American Studies, and African-American studies, and has also taught widely in secondary education.In addition to her academic appointments, Nicolehas also worked in the museum and visual studies fields, having been an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Graduate Fellow in Museum Practice. Her professional and scholarly interests include future studies, public history, visual culture, and museum accessibility and inclusion. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Florida, her Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University, and completed training in strategic foresight from the University of Houston.
Multimedia Visual Artist, Panelist
Miguel Luciano is a multimedia visual artist whose socially engaged artwork has been exhibited widely, nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award Grant, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, and was a recent fellow of the smARTpower program – an international, community-based art initiative of the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. His work is featured in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the Newark Museum, and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Luciano was recently appointed to the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Cultural Plan of New York City by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Program Officer at Ford Foundation, Panelist
Margaret Morton is part of the Creativity and Free Expression team and has supported grant making in the arts and other forms of cultural expression.
Margaret joined the foundation in 2015. Previously, she was deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where she oversaw funding for arts and cultural program activities and capital infrastructure. She also served as the department’s general counsel, in which capacity she devised new frameworks for grant programs, designed development resources to support arts administrators, and implemented a new model for addressing the affordability of space for artists. In addition, she guided large-scale capital funding initiatives for cultural institutions, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and BRIC Arts/Media Center.
Prior to her work in the arts and cultural sector, Margaret served as counsel to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where she helped enact civil rights legislation and worked on immigration reform and judicial nominations. She also managed education, labor relations, and the equal employment opportunity portfolio for the New York State court system.
Margaret was a founding member of the East Harlem School at Exodus House and has been active on the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She was a member of the New York City Lobbying Commission and is currently an appointee of the chief judge of the state of New York on the Commission on Judicial Nomination, which screens candidates for the New York Court of Appeals.
Margaret earned her juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and her bachelor's degree, in dance and American history, from Barnard College.
Advancing Equity Through Arts and Culture Panel Discussion:
This panel discussion will engage museum directors, thought leaders, artists, policymakers and funders in a conversation about advancing equity through arts and culture. Panelists will deconstruct practices that undermine inclusion and equity, and identify key levers of change through art, policy, philanthropy and authentic community building. This live streamed panel discussion is brought to you in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums.