Best Overdue Conversation: Art-Part'heid

Many people refer to Baltimore’s art scene in the singular, as if it is just one scene, when really it’s a series of different scenes or silos, where those who run galleries and institutions don’t do enough to reach out and cultivate more diverse shows and audiences, while other folks specifically feel excluded from certain spaces or groups or even funding opportunities. Kalima Young observed, in last year’s State of the Arts issue, that acknowledging these silos is important but that “silo” is also “coded shorthand that obscures the structural and institutional racial and class inequities” in Baltimore’s art scene. In February, artists, institutions, and interested folks crowded into the 2640 Space for the Art-Part’heid panel discussion, an important moment in this continuing conversation about equity in the workings of the arts here—and the Artpartheid Facebook page has helped people share arts events and opportunities beyond their usual audience. Acknowledging and dissecting structural problems is a step toward dismantling them, and the Art-Part’heid talk was one such step in the right direction.

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