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In Session

Lisa Dent, Tracy Moore, Cameron Shaw, Eric Shiner, Dr. Mindy Fullilove, and Cecile Shellman

  • Adult Education, Learn, MASS MoCA From Home

  • Recorded panel discussion
  • YouTube/Facebook

This was a virtual event streamed on YouTube and Facebook. Watch a recording of the discussion below:

Presented by MASS MoCA and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) at MCLA, In Session is a series of four panel discussions on anti-racist work in museums, streamed live on MASS MoCA’s YouTube and Facebook. The first two sessions invite artists, curators, and arts administrators to discuss how museums and artists represent Black and Brown trauma in artwork, exhibitions, and performances, and navigate the resulting implications and challenges.

Tune in for our second panel on January 21 with museum leaders Lisa Dent, Executive Director, Artspace New Haven; Tracy Moore, Interim Director, MASS MoCA; Cameron Shaw, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, California African American Museum; and Eric Shiner, Executive Director, Pioneer Works. The panel will begin with introductory remarks by Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Social Psychiatrist and Professor, New School, and will be moderated by Cecile Shellman, DEI Museum Consultant. Billy Sanders will provide ASL interpretation.

Designed to pose more questions than answers, topics for this discussion include: Why should art institutions move toward the work of anti-racism and social change? In what ways should museums reflect broader socio-political mandates? What are an art institution’s responsibilities toward BIPOC audiences when hosting challenging work concerning violence enacted against Black and Brown bodies? What is an art institution’s role in providing context (cultural, art historical, media, or otherwise) around a work of art? How and when should artwork on view reflect structural and internal institutional change?

Do any other questions come to mind? Submit your own questions via email to insession@massmoca.org.

This series is free and open to the public.

Gifts from individuals like you strengthen MASS MoCA’s ability to make programming like this free and accessible. Please consider making a $5 donation here.

About the Participants:
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, LFAPA, Hon AIA, is a social psychiatrist and professor of urban policy and health at The New School. Since 1986, she has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities, with a special interest in the relationship between the collapse of communities and decline in health. From her research, she has published numerous articles, book chapters, and monographs. She has also written: The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, and Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities.  A third edition of Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People’s Power, which she helped her father, Ernest Thompson, write, was released in May 2018 by New Village Press.  She is co-author, with Hannah L. F. Cooper, of From Enforcers to Guardians: A public health primer on ending police violence, issued by Johns Hopkins University Press in January 2020.  Her latest book, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All, was released in September 2020 by New Village Press.  

Cecile Shellman is a full-time consultant providing diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion, and anti-racism services for museums. Her experience includes having worked in a leadership capacity for Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, PA, heading initiatives at Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Selected past appointments include: Director of Visual Arts and Exhibitions at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Program Manager for Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Culturally Responsive Arts Education Initiative, Education Coordinator at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA; Director of Education at Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York; and Education Curator at the Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City, UT. She holds a CMS from Harvard University and a BFA in Painting from Brigham Young University. She was named an American Alliance of Museums Facing Change Senior Diversity Fellow in 2019, and she is licensed as a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), the premier research-based cultural competence assessment.

Lisa Dent is an advocate for living artists and cultural workers. Her background includes work in film, theater, and the visual arts as a curator, gallerist, writer, production designer, and creative producer. She is the Executive Director of Artspace New Haven in Connecticut, a nonprofit for contemporary art. Previously, Dent was the director of resources and award programs at Creative Capital, leading the financial and advisory services programs, advising artists on the full realization of their projects. Dent was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow at MoMA and held curatorial staff positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. From 2004-08, Dent owned Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco, CA where she presented the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. She received her BFA from Howard University and her MFA from NYU, and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in curatorial studies.

Tracy Moore joined MASS MoCA in 2019 as Deputy Director, Chief Operations and Finance Officer, and was appointed MASS MoCA’s Interim Director in October 2020. Moore has over 18 years of experience in contemporary art museum public programming, community partnerships, and senior leadership, working prior to MASS MoCA as the Director of Public Programs and Audience Engagement and then Co-Executive Director of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT.

Cameron Shaw is the Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the California African American Museum (CAAM) in Los Angeles, where she guides the curatorial and education departments, as well as marketing and communications. Shaw was previously the co-founder and executive director of New Orleans-based Pelican Bomb, a non-profit contemporary art organization that present a forum for exhibitions, public programs, and arts journalism. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2008. Her writing frequently focuses on the history of Black art and image practices since 1960, and has been widely published, including in The New York Times, Art in America, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and BOMB Magazine, as well as in numerous books and exhibition catalogues. She was awarded a Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing in 2009 and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation | Art in America Writing Fellowship in 2015.

Eric Shiner is the executive director of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY. He was formerly artistic director of White Cube, New York, NY, and senior vice president of contemporary art at Sotheby’s. Prior to this, Shiner was the director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, from 2010 to 2016, and was the Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Warhol from 2008 to 2010. A leading scholar on Andy Warhol and Asian contemporary art, Shiner lived and worked in Japan for a total of six years and was assistant curator on the inaugural Yokohama Triennale in 2001. He has curated dozens of contemporary art exhibitions in cities around the globe and was the team leader on The Warhol Museum’s major Warhol retrospective that traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo between 2012 and 2014. Notable exhibitions include Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei in 2015/16, Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After in 2012, and Armory Focus: USA at the Armory Show in 2013.

Billy Sanders credits his love for serving within the Deaf community to his mother, Debra, who is Deaf. Having earned both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Public Administration from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Billy is currently a doctoral student in the Community College Leadership Program at Morgan State University. A staunch advocate for education, Billy has taught extensively since 2000 at a myriad of colleges and universities in the subjects of American Sign Language, Signed Language Systems, and Strategies for Cross-Cultural Communication. As a nationally certified interpreter, Billy is a Communications Consultant with Bridges Consulting, a company he founded over twenty years ago to champion cross-cultural communication through education and empowerment. Additionally, he is a veteran mentor for College Bound – the pathway-to-college mentorship program for Washington, DC, high school students, an Executive Board Member of Light the Way Foundation, which hosts an annual summer teen film camp, and an Executive Board Member for the Friends of the Buea School for the Deaf in Cameroon, West Africa, to raise money for the annual operational costs of Cameroon’s premier school for the Deaf. Aside from living out his passion, Billy loves to spend time with his 21-year old son, Donovan, who is a scholar-athlete and social justice advocate attending the University of Virginia.

About Berkshire Cultural Resource Center:
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) provides opportunities, resources, and support to the Northern Berkshire Community. BCRC brings together the Northern Berkshires, MCLA, and greater creative communities through its cultural programming including: MCLA Gallery 51, Downstreet Art, B-Hip, and MCLA Presents! BCRC promotes, facilitates, and encourages dialogue in order to foster a sustainable creative community. BCRC is a collaborative project of MCLA, MASS MoCA, and the City of North Adams.

What to Expect:

  • This event will be streamed live on MASS MoCA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
  • While RSVPs are not necessary to watch, please RSVP to let us know you’ll be tuning in and to receive a reminder email.


Top row: Lisa Dent, Tracy Moore, Cameron Shaw (photo: Matt Sayles). Bottom Row: Eric Shiner, Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Cecile Shellman.