AMA to host ‘Courageous Conversations About Race’ to promote healthy race talks

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 9:23 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Racism can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss for some, but others say there is a dire need for more open, honest conversations about it. The Albany Museum of Art (AMA) is working to have just that, in a safe, judgment-free environment.

The museum will be hosting a discussion, Courageous Conversations About Race, this weekend.

Annie Vanoteghen, the director of education and public programming, said they’re not just preaching to the choir, they really want people to come out who wouldn’t typically participate in this type of event.

Annie Vanhoteghem is the Director of Education and Public Programming for the Albany Museum of...
Annie Vanhoteghem is the Director of Education and Public Programming for the Albany Museum of Art.(WALB)

Vanoteghen said people may have their reservations but these discussions are more helpful than they may realize.

“Even if they think they’ve got everything figured out, that they don’t, no one has everything figured out. We want to bring in people who are maybe uncomfortable or they don’t feel like they belong in a museum so they can create this brave space to talk,” explained Vanoteghen.

The discussions will include how to view race relations through the lens of art. The current exhibition is called “Work, Worship and Community” and showcases different cultures in Bainbridge.

“Art has always been used as a catalyst to talk about racial understanding and bias. We don’t believe it’s enough to just hang up art in the galleries, we must talk about it and what the artist’s intentions were,” said Vanoteghen.

The talks were partially influenced by teachers’ concerns about the impact of prejudice on their students.

This is the first time in two years the event will be open to the public.

“This year we’re shaking it up, making it on a Saturday for teens and adults across the community. AMA hoping to expand the program beyond once a year in the future.

The event will be Saturday, May 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you’d like to be a part of the discussion, you can make a reservation on the AMA website.

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