Black Lives Matter at the Museum of Fine Arts

A Message to the Community –

The heart-breaking event of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent anguish have made it clear that American society is fractured.

In Hagerstown, Maryland, where the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County (MFA-WC) is located, we can be proud that our City Police Chief and Community Police Officers condemn the George Floyd murder and actions of the police officers in Minneapolis involved in his death. Over last weekend, protestors in Hagerstown spoke with strength and resolve, and remained peaceful.

The Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County joins other voices near and far to affirm that Black Lives Matter.

People say they trust museums. They say museums provide solace and respite from difficulties in the world, and help heal. They say museums help teach tolerance and understanding of the differences that exist between people, groups, nations, religions.

The American Alliance of Museums, which serves some 20,000 museums across our nation, and has accredited the MFA-WC, is deeply dedicated to diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI), and actively provides resources on equity and social justice, as well as workshops and seminars for museum professionals.  This week, many museums and arts organizations have released statements concerning the danger of remaining silent in the face of injustice.

The mission of the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County is to provide access and programming to all, and the MFA-WC talks and walks its commitment to diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI). For example, MFA-WC is proud to have hosted the landmark exhibition, “The Blues and the Abstract Truth,” which opened its doors wide to new audiences, volunteers and museum members, many from the regional Black community who have joined the MFA-WC in our commitment to telling diverse stories through exhibitions, artistic and educational programs, and performing arts.

The museum’s core values address our role in serving all and in bringing diverse art, people, and voices to exhibitions, and programs, and actively advancing DEAI through the Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors and the volunteer Singer Society.

The MFA-WC is committed to Artistic Quality, providing barrier-free access to a nationally recognized art collection of lasting quality and to national and regional exhibitions through its policy of free admission to the public.

MFA-WC provides Creative Access through positive, enjoyable, and productive artistic outlets for youth and adults alike through varied educational programs and events, many of which are free.

MFA-WC provides opportunities for Personal Growth through the stimulating experience of encountering works of art, participating in artistic activities, learning from others, and fostering one’s own creativity.

Situated in Hagerstown’s beautiful City Park, the MFA-WC is Community-Centered and is an integral part of the community fabric; it is known and enjoyed by people of different age groups, origins, backgrounds and experiences.

The MFA-WC provides a Safe Place where visitors may find engaging, stimulating, and peaceful artistic surroundings, and welcoming and helpful staff and volunteers. The MFA-WC provides a trained staff of security personnel whose goal is to protect the valuable art collections while providing visitor-friendly access.

The MFA-WC embraces Public Access and prohibits discrimination in employment and volunteer service, artistic and educational programs, and other activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. MFA-WC affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to its facilities.

From this basis, we work daily to fulfill our commitment to the people of our region and those who visit the museum from afar so that all may experience the transformative power of art.

 

Rebecca Massie Lane, Director, Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County

Hagerstown, MD

James Voshell
Portrait of Two Boys
Oil on canvas
50″h x 33″w
Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County, Gift of the Artist