What is a Museum? An Exploration in Six Parts
Tuesday February 16, 2021
12pm EST

Webinar Reference Guide

ICOM-US Members can view the recording here.  

Museums are undergoing an effort to acknowledge and recognize with concern the legacies and continuous presence of deep societal inequalities and asymmetries of power and wealth across the globe, nationally, regionally and locally. How could museums reverse their lineage and attain diversity in a continuous organic fashion? Can tokenism eventually lead to core transformation and inclusion?

George Abungu, Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants (Nairobi) and Former Professor of Heritage Studies, University of Mauritius
Christopher Bedford, Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, The Baltimore Museum of Art
Christina Woods, Executive Director, Duluth Art Institute
Lyndel King, Director Emeritus, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, ICOM-US Board Member
Kate Quinn, Executive Director, James A. Michener Art Museum, ICOM-US Board Member and Program Committee Co-Chair



George Abungu

George Henry Okello Abungu is an archaeologist and Emeritus Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya. He is the founding Chairman of Africa 2009, the International Standing Committee on the Traffic in Illicit Antiquities, and the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa. He is a recipient of awards including “Ife Prize in Museology” 2007; Distinction of “Passeur du Patrimone 2009; Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art 2012; Chevalier de l’Order de Arts et des Lettres 2012; African World Heritage Fund Award 2016 and Ordre National Du Lion Chevalier, Senegal 2018. He was Vice President of ICOM, Kenya’s Representative to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and currently a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Stellenbosch. He is founding Professor of Heritage Studies, University of Mauritius.

Christopher Bedford
Christopher Bedford is the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director of The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the 10th director to lead the museum, which is renowned for its outstanding collections of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Recognized as an innovative and dynamic leader for building greater community engagement and creating programs of national and international impact, Bedford served as director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University for four years prior to joining the BMA and was appointed as Commissioner for the U.S. Pavilion for the 2017 Venice Biennale, the world’s most prestigious contemporary art fair, which presented an exhibition of new work by American artist Mark Bradford. Previously, Bedford held the positions of chief curator and curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University (2008-2012), where he organized a nationally travelling exhibition of the work of Mark Bradford. He also served as assistant curator and curatorial assistant in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006-2008) and consulting curator in the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts for the J. Paul Getty Museum (2006-2008). Born in Scotland and raised in the United States and the UK, Bedford has a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College, received a master’s degree in art history through the joint program at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and has studied in the doctoral programs in art history at the University of Southern California and the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. Bedford is also a noted author and contributor to publications including Art in America, ArtForum, and Frieze, among others. He is currently a trustee of Art + Practice, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

Christina Woods

Christina Woods has 27 years working with underserved communities and individuals and serves the Duluth Art Institute (DAI) as its first Anishinaabe Executive Director.  Currently, she serves on the City of Duluth Public Arts Commission, State of Minnesota Capitol Arts Committee as the Chair, and the State of MN CAAPB task force participant, and Past-Duluth League of Woman Voters as the President.  Christina is an enrolled member of the Bois Fort Band of Chippewa and works closely with the Anishinaabe community as a leader and mentor. Christina also conducts trainings and workshops on equity, diversity and inclusion including the program she created for the DAI, Commission Your Bias.  Christina’s work social justice brings a unique lens to the context of an arts organization. Christina is a 2019 AARP 50 0ver 50 awardee in bias busting. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education in Leadership. Christina is called upon locally, regionally and nationally as an expert in decolonization, diversity, equity and inclusion. Christina consults on these topics through her company Diversity Consulting. A top talent, brilliant administrator and strategist, Christina Woods is a talented leader. Her success includes a 14 year career teaching, 10 years narrating and on camera work on the national program Native Report, and 25 years writing curriculum and grants, fundraising, and diversity/inclusion consultation.  Christina brings an extensive range of non-profit experience as a board member, executive director and business leader.  As an Anishinaabekwe and community leader, Christina shares her enthusiasm for empowering individuals and illuminating the breadth of human experiences. Christina enthusiastically leads the vision of the Duluth Art Institute as its first Anishinaabe leader. Her focus is delivered with tender attention to advocacy rooted in celebrating inclusivity and professionalism. Christina thoughtfully serves our community with a vision to the future. Christina currently chairs the State of MN Capitol Arts Committee and serves on the Duluth Public Arts Commission.  Christina was recognized as 2019 AARP 50 over 50 most influential people in MN as a bias buster.  She lives in Duluth, MN with her acknowledged home in the Bois Forte Nation of Northern MN.