TORONTO, June 22, 2018 — The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) today announced plans for a series of public engagements that explore the intersection of #MeToo and the arts with a focus on museums. Launching on July 21, 2018, #MeToo & the Arts will feature an original display and a slate of programs on sexualized harassment and gender inequity in the arts. This public engagement was prompted by the ROM’s upcoming presentation of Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs, and an allegation of sexual harassment made against the deceased artist. #MeToo & the Arts seeks to encourage a larger conversation on how museums, and the public, are engaging with art within the context of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
“In the ROM’s role as a vital civic hub, we have a responsibility to take on important and challenging topics that are shaping our society today,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “The issues of power dynamics, sexual misconduct, and gender inequity raised by #MeToo are transforming the way we think about art. Museums everywhere are grappling with these issues and we believe that by creating public space for debate and discourse, we have an opportunity to advance the discussion on a critical issue of our time.”
The #MeToo & the Arts display will be located adjacent to the entrance to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal and will be open free to the public. The display will focus on how museums are engaging with issues raised since October 2017 when the #MeToo movement gained momentum in the wake of allegations made against a number of powerful men in the film industry. The display will consist of graphic elements, a video installation, and a contemplative space that invite audiences to learn, reflect, and consider their own questions and answers on the issues.
The programming component of the engagement includes:
Select Friday evenings in August and September, 2018 – A series of documentary and feature films that explore the global dimensions of #MeToo, with discussions to follow each screening. Free with reservation.
September 18, 2018 – A ROM Connects panel discussion with leaders in the arts on the role of cultural institutions in displaying art within the context of gender and power dynamics in the #MeToo and Time’s Up era. Free with reservation.
September 29, 7:00 pm to September 30, 2018, 7:00 am – As part of Nuit Blanche Toronto, the ROM invites visitors to view the #MeToo & the Arts display and experience a live art performance that explores the #MeToo movement. Free city-wide festival.
October 9, 2018 – A ROM Speaks moderated conversation on gender and power dynamics in photography and photo journalism. Ticketed.
This engagement is the result of extensive consultation with many individuals, including an advisory council consisting of leaders in the Greater Toronto Area’s arts, cultural, and advocacy communities.
Sally Tindal, Communications
Amanda Fruci, Communications