Jun 12, 2020
The Tampa Museum of Art continues to listen, learn, and change.
The anguish and outrage expressed around the world following the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others are real. The staff, Board of Directors, and Board of Trustees at the Tampa Museum of Art mourn alongside the families and the Black communities that have long suffered because of social and racial injustices. The Tampa Museum of Art stands in solidarity to protest against brutality and systematic racism because Black Lives Matter.
We want the community to continue to count on the Tampa Museum of Art as a safe place for expression and dialogue. Last week TMA set up a free sign-making station in support of the peaceful protests to help the community creatively express themselves. We believe that demonstrations and activism are the way a community can come together to make real change happen. Protests are the reason why civil rights have taken steps forward over the decades; why women earned a right to vote in this country; why the LGBTQ+ community achieved the right to marriage equality. Change may not happen tomorrow, but it must.
The Tampa Museum of Art will continue to be intentional in our choices to promote awareness and healing racial and social divides. As a cultural leader in the Tampa Bay community, TMA is here to represent and honor the richness and complexity of our cultural tapestry. We are also expanding our commitment to reducing barriers of admission and accessibility to programs reflective of all members of our community and allow everyone space to learn and reflect on the critical issues of our time.
To keep moving forward in support of positive change, the Tampa Museum of Art pledges to continue hosting artists open forums, special lectures, and artist features to bring attention to voices who have historically been marginalized in the art historical record. The measures outlined in TMA’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan have taken us in the right direction towards diversity and inclusion among our boards, audiences, staff, and volunteers. However, we acknowledge that there is still work ahead.
Today, we are deepening our commitment to representing the diversity of our Tampa Bay community through our exhibitions, educational programs, partnerships, staff, and members of our boards. As we prepare to begin formulating TMA’s goals for the future, we are looking to you – our visitors, members, supporters, employees, artists, board members, and community – to continue contributing to the discourse that promotes representation, awareness, and change. We want to keep listening to you and learning from you.
See the list of resources below to find ways to be an ally and gain new insights.