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How Two Artists’ Transformation of a Portland Museum May Provide a Blueprint for Larger Institutions

Category: Decolonization

We did not enter into this with a desire to hold power. We see our success criteria as decentering the directorship and the museum’s authoritative voice, and leveling hierarchies to create more access and more voice for people.”

–Molly Alloy, Co-director, Five Oaks Museum

Washington County Museum in Portland, Oregon brought itself back from the brink of failure through decolonizing its practices and reinventing itself as the Five Oaks Museum. Decentralizing power, guest curators in lieu of permanent curators, removing traditional hiring criteria--can these reformations serve as a model for the field?

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