Smithsonian curator Ariana A. Curtis highlights the importance of non-white narratives in museums, speaking from her experience as a museum curator and as an Afro-Latina and African American from Western Massachusetts.
A Fulbright Scholar, Curtis is the first curator of Latinx Studies at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is responsible for museum research and collections related to U.S. Latinx, U.S. Afro-Latinx, African American & Latinx, African Diaspora, and African American migration to and engagement in Latin America.
“Marginalized racial, ethnic and gendered identities do not deserve recognition because one person poked a hole in a racist and patriarchal system to become the first woman, the first black person or the first Latina,” Curtis said. “Our everyday experiences belong as part of our national narratives because we exist.”
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.