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Learning from Experience: Older Adults, Ageism and What Museums can do about it

Category: Creative Aging
Decorative

Panel discussion with Eli Burke, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson; Steve Bennett, Union County Heritage Museum; and Sara Lowenburg, Louisiana State Museum. Moderated by Elizabeth Merritt, American Alliance of Museums. Museum Summit on Creative Aging, July 29, 2021

Transcript

Elizabeth Merritt: Hello, and welcome to Learning from Experience: Older Adults, Ageism, and What Museums Can Do About It. I’m Elizabeth Merritt, Vice President for Strategic Foresight of the American Alliance of Museums, and Founding Director of the Center for the Future of Museums. In this session, I’m joined by Steve Bennett, VISTA Project Manager at the Union County Heritage Museum in Mississippi, Sara Lowenburg, Manager of Education at the Louisiana State Museum, and Eli Burke, who until recently, was the Education Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson. Now Eli is a PhD candidate in art and visual culture education at the University of Arizona.

Now, these three museums: The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, the Louisiana State Museum, and the Union County Heritage Museum, were all participants in the Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums Initiative that was funded by Aroha Philanthropies starting in 2018. Many great lessons and stories from that program have been captured in the report recently published by AAM called Museums and Creative Aging: A Healthful Partnership, and I’m going to drop into chat a link where you can download that free PDF.

Today, we’re going to focus on a specific aspect of those programs that all these museums had in common, which is that they served communities that didn’t fit a stereotypical and probably semi-mythical norm of White, wealthy, well-educated, and hetero normative museum goers. So I wanted to start by having you guys tell me a little bit about the communities you did focus on in your programming, and based on that experience, offer some advice for how museums can recognize and serve the particular needs of different communities. Eli, would you like to kick us off?

Eli Burke: Sure, thanks, Elizabeth. It’s exciting that everyone’s here to learn more about creative aging. At MOCA, we focused on the LGBTQIA+ community, and particularly intergenerational communities, so connecting elders with youth within the LGBTQIA+ community. I would say, honestly, for me, creating the program, one, it was something that I felt was important just personally. So that was kind of the seed, and thinking about, “Well, if this is a need that I have, as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, seems potentially as though there could be needs in other groups among the LGBTQIA+ community.”

I had been involved with two other programs in the past in different roles. So I was a teaching artist, a studio artist for the Latona project, which served 55 LGBTQIA+ folks at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. It was actually a pilot program run by a couple of PhD students, Becky Black and David Romero, at the time. Through that program, in the studio portion, I was just so profoundly touched by the experiences of elders in the program, hearing their life stories.

The studio portion of that program was really focused on personal experience, histories, it focused around a hope chest in the museum’s collection, and thinking about how queerness and the idea of marriage is very troubled historically. So that was something that I found a really interesting opening, is in getting folks to share their histories. Through this opportunity, because they have… no one ever asks them for those histories, nobody asks, who are you? Where did you come from? How did you get here. Particularly, with LGBTQIA+ elders. Very lonely, increased rates of loneliness and isolation, I should say, not all of them are.

But thinking about families of origin and things like that, rejection, facing rejection from church community, family friends through coming out. There’s just a lot of… It’s a different focus for a community. But then I also had worked with a program called Mapping Q, which was started by Chelsea Farrar at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, and that was through my role at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where I worked with youth to interrogate the museum space from a queer perspective.

So through these two programs, it felt like an organic transition to combine them and think, what can these two communities offer each other? A lot of that had to do with, one, my experience with both groups and listening to the needs from participants. Youth are also facing increased rates of isolation, social isolation, because they’re online more. So they’re in these unmediated online spaces. Just creating that connection, expanding chosen families was something that seemed important, holistically, for both groups. So for me, listening to community is number one key in terms of knowing or learning about the needs. I think that would be a good starting point.

Elizabeth Merritt: That’s interesting. So some of the points you brought up are shared, I think, broadly by different communities, one of which being social isolation, which we know from research. But I think there’s this interesting aspect of whether or not somebody is asking you for your history, which I hadn’t thought of before. Now, Steve, you’re also working to connect intergenerational audiences, but in a very different community. Tell me a little bit about the groups you’ve been working with.

Steve Bennett: Yes. Well, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this. It’s exciting for us as a museum. Our director, Jill Smith, and the board are happy that we’re being a part it, too. What we have done through the grants that we’re given through Aroha, we have seen this sweet community of 55 and out people coming together, all walks of life. We just advertised and they came. Actually, it’s the people who are younger than that, who are really upset at us because of the age limit. But we have seen, in pottery, and we’ll be doing…

We’re not quite finished with it, but we are doing painting classes, we have done… we’ll do textiles, as well, in the future. So it’s been this great way of us to let them know, from the beginning, we want to know about you, and we want to hear your stories. So, part of what we’ve done is the bas relief pottery, where it tells their story. They’ll bring in a photograph from home, from decades ago, and they create it into a piece of pottery, or they will create something that has a memory to them. But then we asked them, when we close it out, tell us your story.

Boy, there’s laughter, and tears, and all kinds of great interaction with them, because they get to tell their story. We don’t let them not tell their story. They really enjoy doing it after they’ve done it. But one thing that we’ve noticed is that the story continues. These people who come together go to lunch together now. They have created these neat little communities of their own, and they stay together. And then I will see one of them out in the community, and they’ll go, “I saw so-and-so. We were at lunch.” Or, they’ll call me and say, “Hey, Steve, I’ve baked some bread, and I’m giving it to everybody that was in the classes.”

So they’ve created this web of friendship that we have really enjoyed. Plus, the great thing is, I also do children’s art on a different time period. I’m in the middle of that now. And those same ladies and gentlemen are coming in and helping me now with… and they’re giving back with the children. It’s a really sweet community of people, we’ve enjoyed the possibilities. Plus, they’re signing up for other things that aren’t free, and they’re being a part of that, and they’re volunteering at our front desk in the museum. We have capacity built written into all of this. So it’s been great.

Elizabeth Merritt: So, this was very different from the environment in which Eli is working. Unlike Tucson, you’re in a very rural area. Yes?

Steve Bennett: Well, yes. I mean, it’s a small town. But yes, and we have reached people who are out in the county, out… Even in a city that’s almost 30 minutes away, they’ve driven and come in for it. We’ve had way more than our space will hold. Right, we’ve served close to 80 students in a facility that will hold 10 to 12 or 14 comfortable. So we’ve done that. Maybe closer to 100 by now. Yeah.

Elizabeth Merritt: That’s wonderful.

Steve Bennett: Yeah. It’s been great.

Elizabeth Merritt: So, Sara, you’re operating in New Orleans. Correct? What are the sort of demographics of the people who have been involved in your programming?

Sara Lowenburg: Yeah, so I am, I guess, just down the road, in New Orleans, working for the Louisiana State Museum. I think it’s perhaps an understatement to say that New Orleans is a incredibly rich and diverse cultural landscape, with a lot of artistic practice and culture to draw upon in how we design our courses and who we conduct outreach to. I think we’ve been really conscious in our outreach and recruiting, both in terms of teaching artists and students in an attempt to develop the most diverse classes possible.

So we certainly have conducted outreach to our own docent program and to other docent programs across the city, but also to local community centers through the city, where older adults might be going for various services or for exercise class, as well as to other local service organizations that are working with older adults on fixed income, so that we have ended up with an array of students who are lifelong New Orleanians, who are newcomers to the city eager to get more connected to the culture and to the community and everything in between, as well as a range of financial backgrounds, of cultural backgrounds, of personal identities. It has created a really beautiful space for community building, for sharing.

I think also, one thing that defines our programs is that we have… Especially as the programs have developed, with support from Lifetime Arts and Aroha, we have especially focused in on teaching art forums that are rooted in New Orleans’ culture and history, such as… We’re actually currently in the middle of our second round of a beading course, in the style of Black masking Indians, also known as Mardi Gras Indians, who create fully hand-sewn suits of beads and stones and pearls and feathers, take an entire year and many thousands of hours. It’s a well over a century-old tradition that’s, I think, deeply respected, and it’s being taught by Big Chief Darryl Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas Hunters, as well as Big Queen. This time, we have a second teaching artist, the Queen Dianne Honore, as well.

They have also done a fair amount of recruiting to their networks to find students. This time around, that class filled up in less than 48 hours, but within that 48 hours, we were very careful about trying to make sure that we conducted outreach to as diverse outlets as possible, so that we, yes, we’re reaching previous students, but also, we’re reaching new students, we’re reaching students who had some connections to that cultural tradition already and some who did not. I have had to apologize to many of former students of previous classes that they didn’t find out in time, because we’re trying to ensure that we continue to reach new people and serve our existing community and uplift them, as well.

Elizabeth Merritt: There are worse problems to have than having more demand than you can meet.

Sara Lowenburg: Yes. I hope we can just keep doing it.

Elizabeth Merritt: Well, I’m really glad you brought up this issue of the teaching artists that you’re working with coming from the traditions and communities of New Orleans, because one of the questions I had for all of you is, often, when you think of museum programming, it’s about experts in art teaching people about what we know. But one of the really powerful things about the Aroha model is that because you’re using teaching artists, many of those teaching artists can represent the communities that you’re working with. I wonder how that can up end or flatten the traditional museum power structure. So can each of you tell me a little bit about who you’ve worked with as teaching artists, and how that has, perhaps, uplifted the voice of groups that weren’t necessarily the same power groups that run the museum?

Steve Bennett: Well, one thing, to begin with, they have to meet certain qualifications as far as the granting procedures go. But we have had local residents who have been several of our teaching artists, because they have a proven track record, and they… So that’s been fun to see our own people be a part of… being the instructor, the facilitators to some of the art. And then it has helped them to blossom and grow. And then they have this web of students that they’ve taught, and so then sometimes they have brought in one of those, and they’ve been their sidekick, the person to… We’ve done that in pottery. The lady who teaches our pottery is a professor at the local college near here, but a lady she’s brought in with her, who has her own following now, and it’s been great. They go to her and ask advice on pottery. So it’s been really a neat thing for us in that aspect.

Sara Lowenburg: Yeah, I would echo that. I think because we have especially focused on teaching artists who are themselves what we would define as culture bearers… which I’ve learned through experience isn’t necessarily a common term outside of New Orleans. But here, we use it frequently to refer to people who are within a cultural tradition, continuing it, teaching it, practicing it. They also are very rooted in their tradition and their art form outside of this class, and the museum, instead, I think, becomes this conduit to pre-existing communities, traditions, and practices outside of our doors that students can continue to stay involved in.

These teaching artists are certainly the experts. And teaching in these more traditional ways, through storytelling, through song and chanting, when relevant. So we’ve worked with the Big Chief Darryl and Queen Diane, also with Luther Gray, who taught a drumming course, and leads drumming every Sunday through the Congo Square Preservation Society at Congo Square, which is an incredibly sacred and historically significant site in New Orleans, where enslaved people and indigenous people would gather every Sunday to drum and pray and celebrate and sell goods. That tradition continues today through Luther and other culture bearers.

And then even Aroha has inspired further programming for us. So for example, this past spring, we offered, virtually, an African dance course that also connected closely with Black masking traditions in Carnival in connection with a current exhibition, and that included several more big chiefs, and a teaching artists, who is versed in Black masking traditions and African dance. Through all of these practices, students have continued to stay connected outside of the classes, whether it’s drumming in Congo Square on Sundays, or one of our students who is in the beading class for the second year, is a 92-year-old man named Mr. Raymond, who has stayed connected with Chief Darryl, and has been invited to come out and mask with the tribe this coming Carnival.

The class this year, the plan is for them to help make… once they finish their final thesis, to help make patches for his suit. So it becomes this really communal, I think, special way of honoring him, of honoring the tradition, and getting their work also out onto the street as a collective. The museum, I think, takes a backseat to that, which is the ideal. It’s not about our space, it’s about us helping continue this community outside our doors. So it’s great just to kind of hand over the reins, and I can buy the supplies, I can help do the outreach, and make sure that everybody is there and ready. But it’s the practice and the students.

Elizabeth Merritt: So Eli, I would think that this takes its own dimension with the LGBTQA+ community, because you’re talking about transmission of traditions that, in some ways, have been suppressed or hidden. So it’s a whole new level of recognition to bring it forward in the museum. What was it like finding people to work with? Was it a pretty open process of finding teaching artists who are willing to dive in, or is it like, well, I don’t know if I want to work with a museum on this, or it’s a good fit?

Eli Burke: Yeah, I’m glad you started that, because I was going to actually say this is such a great group of people, because… to share today, because it really highlights how not all 55 plus people have the same needs. Thinking about culture bearers… In terms of the LGBTQA+ community, I approach this around a community of care, thinking about care, because there’s just been a lot of trauma, particularly within institutional spaces, and particularly within education.

So, I think whenever I think about teaching artists or this group, I think about embodiment and power, and how those things connect within an institutional space. Anytime you have more than one person in a room, there’s power. A power struggle of some kind, or power issues arise. So being transparent about that, but also approaching things with care, and understanding that without having that embodied experience of whomever you’re teaching to or with, it can be difficult to transmit knowledge or really understand. That’s why, for example, having culture bearers teach is so important, because they embody that group.

So for me, thinking about queerness and power in the museum, I really abhor hierarchies. While I understand historically, there’s been a need for them, that power structure, I feel like museums are in a like crisis mode right now, in a way, like an identity crisis. I think part of what’s been happening is folks leaving because they’re seeing how the power structure is really inhibiting what we are here to do.

So, for me, Stay Gold, which is the group that we run through Aroha is about flattening the hierarchy and bringing in teaching artists who… It started with myself as the teaching artist, but then as I learned… In this program, I’ve learned so much, and I’m constantly learning. Every time I run it, I learned something new. The group itself, it’s which is ever changing… Every time we have a program, there’s a core group, but then there’s new folks who come. They come with their own cultural capital that has tremendous value.

So for me, it felt like allowing… giving the power to the group and allowing… not allowing, because it… That sounds like I have all this power. But inviting or creating space for program participants to facilitate the program is where it ultimately ended up. So each season, someone new from the group will facilitate the entire season of Stay Gold. If they don’t have a teaching artists background, which so far, I think most of them have had on some level, then I work with them, we work together and collaborate on curriculum, and thinking about how what we’re going to physically create connects to queerness.

We always use our exhibitions as a guide, and so I always use this one example, Blessed Be… it was an exhibition we had, and it’s Blessed Be: Mysticism, Spirituality and the Occult in Contemporary Art. So, how profound to think about religion and queerness together. Each time we do a program, it’s very interesting, because we can take our identity as queer people and turn them, and approach these different facets through our exhibition.

So we were approaching our relationships with religion. In another session, we approached it through this idea of camouflage, just due to the exhibition that we had up at the time. And how do we camouflage our code-switch in different spaces? And what does that mean in a museum? And how can contemporary art speak to that? Or how can we use it as a tool to unpack our own experiences? So yeah, I would say that’s…

Our teaching artists come mostly from the group. One example would be when we had to shift to digital during COVID. I realized, oh, this opens up things, right, because we’re all going to be virtual. So I was able to look at teaching artists outside of our community to have a unique experience that’s more outside of our regular program. It really created cool opportunities to bring in voices, both to teach, but also participants from different geographic locations, which has only added to the group. So, yeah.

Elizabeth Merritt: I’m glad you brought up that issue of empowerment, Eli. Because It seems like one of the things about this programming is however it starts, it turns into a environment where everybody is a contributor. So one of the elements of the Seeding Vitality Arts model is that at the end of the workshop series, there’s a public presentation of what people created in the workshop. That element of elevating what people do, that what you you have created is of worth, and it’s something that museum is sharing, because we are a conduit for what you have created, it seems to me that there’s an element throughout here of the museum basically giving up power and lending power to the participants. So you have something to teach and share, as well. I’m wondering if that has come up in the dynamics of the programming that you’ve done.

Eli Burke: I mean, I think, personally, as someone in a position of… Well, when I was at MOCA like two weeks ago, I was in a position of power. So I had urgency to do that. I won’t speak for Steve or Sara, but I think in a lot of situations, the museum is a barrier, can actually be a barrier. So it just depends on who has power within those spaces, from my perspective, to actually create these types of programs, or create them in ways that feel as though they’re authentically for the community. I’ll pass it on .

Elizabeth Merritt: Steve, I didn’t mean to break in. You were starting to say something-

Steve Bennett: No-

Elizabeth Merritt: … earlier.

Steve Bennett: … that’s fine. I was just thinking, personally, it has benefited me, because watching the craft, watching the art, I’ve learned some things. I’ve learned how to do pottery, maybe. But I’ve taken that, and now I’m using that with my children’s groups, art groups, but then those art participants from the Aroha classes are helping me. But then I also have students who are high school and college students, and it’s like this beautiful passage from one generation to the next to the next. One day, and I know I will, because I’ve watched the children teach each other parts, these children will one day be those 55 and up, who remember being an art at the museum, and the wealth of friendships and things that they’ve gotten.

But I think one more quick thing that… as I heard Sara and Eli talk, is that, for instance, COVID, the pandemic, it actually opened us up to this, such a bigger audience, because then we had to learn how to do some of our work virtually, and so that gave us knowledge about doing Zoom meetings and things like that. So one of ours was Total Art by Zoom, and that was exciting for us. But we were fearful at first, and then we thought, well, we’re reaching hundreds, if not thousands more, because anyone can come into what we’re doing through music and all of the other avenues.

But I thought, well, I’ve benefited from this whole thing as much as anyone else, because I’ve learned a few things that I can pass along in small ways to children, which is what I actually do through Vista, working with children, and helping them to have this spark for learning and keep them in school, go beyond that and give back to the community. But it’s been a world opened up to us because of the pandemic. Now that our doors are really open, then it’s even more so, because the world has watched… our world has watched us open up even bigger than we were before.

Elizabeth Merritt: I’m glad you emphasized that, because I think you’re talking about the transmission of knowledge from elders to children through you directly. Brings up a point we haven’t really talked about much yet, which is the ageism part of the whole thrust of this project. We live in such a profoundly broken society in the way that we divvy it up. Not all families, but a lot of families, grandparents don’t live with their grandkids anymore, and you’ve geared society, so the kids go to school, and they’re not learning from their elders as part of continuous tradition. Older people sometimes choose or are put into communities only with people their own age. It’s breaking the whole cycle of knowledge and tradition and transmission of knowledge. Do you have any thoughts to offer about how museums can try and heal that break, and use programs like this to rebuild connections, so that we actually are a continuum of age and not separate generations?

Steve Bennett: I can offer what we do. We have a heritage craft preservation society within our museum. I wish I could turn my camera out this window here. We have a whole pioneer village. So we take seniors, older adults who have… I would offer this… You can take anything in your collection and have multiple generations telling the story and bringing people in to hear the story. But our craft preservation… our heritage craft preservation people are basket weavers, bow makers, we have a blacksmith, we have all of those people who tell their story. We have between six and eight hundred students who come in, and they see all of these older folks telling the story of how they churned butter, or how to milk a cow.

So I know that through what we’ve done with Aroha and these art endeavors, those people are going to come in and be some of our heritage craft preservers. We try to do that with our county here. Our museum is strict almost 90 or more percent about our county, our city, and then just the surrounding area. But we go back, and we try to follow that trail of the way we work. We try to match the collection to anything that’s going on today. Real quick, we had a gentleman who’s a fashion designer, and he came in and did a fashion workshop and a fashion modeling show.

So we took, from our collection, the clothing from the 1960s, and we had it out, and a fashion designer from that time, who was all the way to New York… So his things were there, the new designs were there, the new world was there, and we were comparing the two. I think anytime we can take what we’re doing and tell the story of where we were and where we’ve been, it’s really important. And-

Elizabeth Merritt: And making the connections.

Steve Bennett: Yes, Something that both of the other two said, there are new things that no one else has ever done. So, now we have to create new stories.

Elizabeth Merritt: Well, Sara I wonder if you have a particular challenge in New Orleans. With the tremendous environmental challenges and the disruptions of Katrina, is there a risk that some of these heritages will be broken and lost if there isn’t a way to transmit them to younger generations?

Sara Lowenburg: That’s a great question that I don’t know that I feel qualified to answer, as someone not fully within the culture myself. But I certainly think that’s true. Also, based on my outsider perspective, and also that there’s a huge challenge in this city of rapid gentrification, of… There’s so many things pushing people out and bringing new people in, and I think there’s certainly a fear of losing cultural traditions and harming the communities that continue them in the practice. This certainly, I think, helps to uplift that.

But I think, also, your last several questions tied together well in this point, also thinking about the dynamics of power within the museum and ageism are certainly connected. I think in all of our programs, we aim to create a space for exchange and dialogue and shifting that power dynamic, but there’s a constant tension when you think about the historic structures of museums and what we’re operating within. The structure of these classes, I do think really helps to break that down and create a space where older adults who, I think, quite traditionally or more frequently are pigeon-holed into specific roles within a museum, whether as visitors or as a specific volunteers. This gives them a chance to be active creators and artists and build upon the exhibition.

So all of our classes have been very rooted in the exhibitions that we have at the museum, whether virtually or in-person, using the collection, and then to turn around, and at the end of those few months, for students to have their work on the walls as a part of an exhibit itself, or as part of a culminating celebration of drumming and dancing or a printed anthology. It’s creating new work that builds upon the museum and goes beyond it, and I think that in that sense, it’s helping to continue that that cultural tradition and add to the landscape, for sure.

Elizabeth Merritt: Yes, yeah.

Eli Burke: I would-

Steve Bennett: Having their artwork on display has been amazing. They absolutely feel this rush of excitement, knowing that their artwork is presented well, staged well, and it’s been absolutely wonderful.

Elizabeth Merritt: I think that’s such an important part of the Aroha model and the Vitality Arts model. Because if you create a situation where you hold up what’s in museums as the realm only of experts, only experts do art, only experts do history, only experts do drama, you don’t create the base of people who are interested in participating and are passionate amateurs, and become engaged in it. I think that that kind of division and dichotomy isn’t doing anyone service in terms of enriching society, or in terms of making people feel connected to the content they see in museums. So I think that opening the doors and telling people, “You can do it, and you can do it well,” is very important.

Sara Lowenburg: I think that’s certainly true in terms of the participants, and I think also, tying back to something Eli said earlier about power within museum structures, our definitions of expertise and of experts are incredibly narrow within-these museum buildings and within academia and the structures that we have all risen within, and these courses have provided us a chance to reflect upon that, and ensure that we are working with experts who are on the ground, doing the work, and maybe came to that expertise in a different and incredibly important way, and for us to step aside in acknowledge we’re not the experts. Similarly, we’re getting participants who themselves have incredibly rich backgrounds of experience, whether in these practices that we’re now teaching, or otherwise, and it creates a great space for exchange.

Steve Bennett: We have three of our Aroha students, who are going to be leading a different art medium program now. Just mentioning certain things to them, they said, “Well, here’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve done this for years.” And now they’re taking that beautiful art form, and we have three set up within the next few months. That was another thing that was just great about this.

Elizabeth Merritt: Yeah, surfacing and honoring expertise out in the community, so they know that they are valued for their ability to share it.

Steve Bennett: And they’re not experts, they’re not college professors, they are our participants.

Elizabeth Merritt: Well, I think what we’re teaching people is not all experts have to be college professors.

Steve Bennett: Yes, exactly.

Eli Burke: I would love, too, add to that people are experts in their lives, and that’s what makes the programs rich, and I think, valuable. Because while we can learn skills, we can also click on a YouTube video and learn skills now, too. So in a way, there’s this other layer that feels critical, which has to do with individual participants. I think about the intergenerational aspect in terms of, it’s not just what we pass on, but what we don’t. Or what we don’t… you can flip it either way. But within the absence somewhat of what we pass on or don’t pass on, people are going to fill in those gaps.

So one of the things I learned from Stay Gold thinking about… I’m in a middle generation, and so working with youth and elders, and learning about… I have knowledge on both ends of that spectrum, partially because I have kids who are part of the queer community, and I also… I’ve been involved in the community and I know elders in the community. But thinking about just the term queer, and how traumatic it was for older generations, and how embraced it is by younger generations, and the misunderstanding between those generations, like, why would you embrace the term that caused us harm? Unpacking that, and getting each group to understand that this isn’t… there’s nothing against one another, we’re just coming from completely different experiences, and sharing those experiences, using art as the tool to express things that maybe are hard to say with words.

So, I just wanted to throw that out there, that also, aside from skill building, which is important, there’s this other layer of the generational trauma being passed on. It’s really important to just have spaces where those conversations can occur, and I believe what better space than one that is filled with cultural objects and artifacts that were created with passion from people who had a specific story to tell?

Elizabeth Merritt: I can’t think of a better place to wrap up our recorded remarks today, Eli. So let’s use that as a jumping off point for our live portion of this event, the Q&A. So I’m going to end our recording now, and I will see everybody in the audience, live, in just a moment, where you can share your questions with Eli, and Sara, and Steve. Okay?

Eli Burke: Thanks, Elizabeth.

Steve Bennett: Thank you.

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