Kameko Branchaud MA 2014 is after stints at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City and the Peabody Essex Museum now spearheading as its Director of Education the overhaul of the Newport Art Museum's Education programming. Kameko is committed to inclusivity in programming as she describes here in an interview reported in a recent edition of Rhode Island State Council on the Art's
RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?
KB: Across the board, art institutions need to become more inclusive. This is a major issue for museums throughout the country as huge segments of our changing population are not reflected in our museums. Being a person of color working in museums, often with students of color, I see and feel issues of representation at every level — who’s working in museums, whose artwork is on display, how people of color are represented when they’re the subjects of artwork, and how it feels to be a person of color visiting a museum. What the art community needs is for the gatekeepers — museum workers, gallerists, event organizers, program coordinators, funders — to move beyond dialogue and actively work towards building racial equity at every level of our local arts institutions. Define your communities, train your staff on what diversity is and is not, identify barriers to participation, to start. I know that Newport Art Museum and other arts organizations in the state are working towards equity and inclusion, but I’d love to see collaborative efforts along the way. I want to see organizations sharing their tactics and successes so we can elevate our practices statewide, until every person knows they are welcome in our institutions.