Cities After…Laura Raicovich on Oligarchy and Dark Money: Museums, Art and Culture - Pt. 2


[S02 E06] New

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In this episode of Cities After…, Prof. Robles-Durán talks with Laura Raicovich, NY-based writer and art curator, about the roles that the global oligarchy plays in art museums and cultural institutions. They discuss how cultural institutions have never been the neutral, inclusive spaces they often market themselves as. Rather, these spaces, both public or private, rely heavily on private funding by elite donors and wealthy board members. Robles-Durán and Raicovich look closely at these complexities within major art institutions, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, consider the dark money that funds these spaces, and highlight some organizations that are trying to reimagine cultural spaces with equity and care at the forefront.

About our guest: Laura Raicovich is a New York-based writer and art curator. Her latest book, Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest, addresses Western western cultural institutions’ long history of representing "neutrality" while protecting the political interests of the oligarchs, the elites, and those in power. She most recently served as interim director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, a museum devoted to queer art and artists and is the recipient of both the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship and the inaugural Emily H. Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators at Hyperallergic. 

Until early 2018, she served as President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum where she oversaw an inviting and vital commons for art, ideas, and engagement. Prior to the Queens Museum, Raicovich inaugurated Creative Time’s Global Initiatives, where she successfully expanded the organization’s international work; launched Creative Time Reports, a media initiative featuring artists’ perspectives on world news and events; and directed the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference on art and social justice. She arrived there after a decade at Dia Art Foundation, where she served as deputy director and was a key member of the senior team during a period of transformation for the institution that included the opening of Dia:Beacon. Prior to that, she worked at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Public Art Fund, and New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation.

Raicovich lectures internationally and has organized numerous talks and programs, including the two collaborations on series of public seminars at The New School’s Vera List Center for Arts and Politics and she is a member of the transnational consultancy Urban Front.

Cities After... is a Democracy At Work production. Launched in May of 2021, it is a bi-monthly podcast about the future of cities; grounded in our daily urban struggles, it is part dystopian and part utopian. The intention is to entice civic imagination into action, because a more just and sustainable urban future is possible. A new episode is released every other Tuesday at 4pm EST.
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Showing 1 comment

  • Ismael Cook
    commented 2022-04-22 08:13:34 -0400
    Awesome and interesting article. Great things you’ve always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post.


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