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University Lectures Continue March 17 With Arts and Culture Agent Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham
The University Lectures continue its 20th season with a presentation by Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham, an agent for arts and culture, on Wednesday, March 17.
Syracuse University’s premier speaker series, the University Lectures bring to Syracuse University audience members and the larger public notable guest speakers of exceptional accomplishment who share their diverse global experiences and perspectives. The series was created through, and is supported by, the generosity of alumnus Robert B. Menschel ’51. Media sponsor for the University Lectures is WAER.
The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET and be presented in an interview-style format. Following public health guidance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this spring’s lectures will continue to be all virtual and viewable via Zoom webinar. Audience members will be able to submit questions for consideration as part of the experience, time permitting. Those attending should register in advance at lectures.syr.edu to receive the Zoom link. Communication Access Real-Time Translation will be available.
The lecture is co-sponsored by the graduate program in museum studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design. Johnson-Cunningham will be interviewed by Andrew Saluti, assistant professor and coordinator of the graduate program in museum studies. A welcome will be offered by Craig Boise, dean of the College of Law.
This lecture is the keynote to “Deaccessioning After 2020,” a two-day virtual symposium that aims to comprehensively address collections and deaccessioning in the context of the economic fallout of the pandemic and the national call to rethink the role and responsibilities of museums and their collections in an increasingly diverse and complex world. The symposium’s agenda reflects a broad set of perspectives and taps experts from across the art and museum world, from directors and trustees to seasoned museum professionals, scholars, legal experts, artists, auction houses, journalists and influencers.
Johnson-Cunningham is an agent for arts and culture, and she centers cultural equity as an essential part of achieving social justice. She co-founded and serves as director of Museum Hue, an organization supporting Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC). She built the first online directory and system to map BIPOC museums across the United States. She is currently working on a larger cultural mapping project specific to New York City with support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
As a United Nations Human Rights fellow centering on arts and culture, Johnson-Cunningham applies the UN’s ratification of cultural rights to her work to call for a greater recognition and representation in the arts ecosystem. She received the Americans for the Arts 2019 American Express Emerging Leader Award for her work.
She has also hosted and produced “On Display,” a show for WNET’s ALL ARTS Network that focuses on ways museums readdress societal issues that resulted from intersecting histories and connect to contemporary life. Each episode covers various topics including immigration, mass incarceration, transportation and preservation of Black cultural spaces.
The University Lectures’ spring season will conclude on Tuesday, March 23, with Nyle DiMarco, deaf activist and winner of “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model.”