Dear CMA Families,
When it comes to the creative lives of children, I believe we have more to learn from them than they do from us. It may run counter to our protective instincts as parents, but we must embrace the challenge of becoming active listeners if we want them to have a voice. It should be plain from the events of the last week, that this skill is crucial, not only within our families, but for the larger health of our society.
The ongoing protests in response to the murder of George Floyd have been a clear reminder that systemic racism places a radically unjust burden on Black people in every aspect of life. The freedoms we purport to value – freedom from fear, freedom to think, freedom to live, love, and succeed – are not granted equally, as they should be. Black lives do matter, and it is the responsibility of those with any degree of privilege to learn by listening, questioning ourselves, and raising up the voices of the systematically oppressed.
Children’s Museum of the Arts has a role to play – listening, learning, and celebrating the creative voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to inspire all children. And we have a role to play supporting parents and caregivers as they do what can be the hardest part of the hardest job in the world – listening to their children. To this end we have compiled resources that may prove helpful to you, and we hope you’ll take the time to explore them.
There is more we can and will do as an organization. We will do more to diversify our team at all levels, for we believe that a truly enriching experience for our community must begin with the interchange of ideas between people with distinct life experiences. We will do more to contribute to, promote, and partner with organizations run by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color that support the creative lives of children and families from these communities. We will do more to exhibit and celebrate the creative contributions of artists and educators from these communities. And we will commit to charting the future of CMA in full consideration of how we can best serve the cause of eliminating the scourge of systemic racism.
Executive Director, Children’s Museum of the Arts
Pictured Above: We All Stick Together by Halimah Kennedy, Age 12, USA. Part of CMA’s Permanent Collection.