Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

Leveling the Playing Field at Sugar Hill

Harlem, New York City, by Андрей Бобровский

I fell in love with the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling back in 2014, when I read that Broadway Housing Communities’ brief to architect David Adjaye for this affordable housing project included a preschool AND a 17,000 square foot cultural institution designed to function together as a “school in a museum.” In this brief post, I’m sharing the love via this interview with Lauren Kelley, executive director of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, in which she talks about creating a museum based on the “radical but incredibly simple principle that there is a lot of empowerment in delight”

“Real social justice happens by leveling out the playing field and giving those who have absolutely nothing access to the same degree of intentionality and craft as those who have access to everything.”

–Lauren Kelley


This video is from the Cross Sector Collaboration: Intersections between Arts Organizations and the Broader Arts Ecology, held on October 23, 2017, at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Tex. Kelley’s remarks run from about time mark 1:06 to 1:19. The panel, moderated by Zannie Giraud Voss of Southern Methodist University also includes Cézanne Charles, Director of Creative Industries at Creative Many, Josephine Ramirez, Former Portfolio Director and Arts Program Director at the James Irvine Foundation, and Susan Saloom, Military and Veterans Arts Initiative Field Specialist, Americans for the Arts’ National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military.

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