Globalizing the Museum

Chicago Collection Curatorial Global Staff

Omar Kholeif hopes to bring a global perspective to the museum's programs and activities.

I see the work that I do in terms of thinking about globalizing the museum's purview, which is something that I do through my role as director of global initiatives as well as a curator, is very much rooted to thinking about who are the communities that are here in Chicago and how do I bring voices who represent those communities internationally into the conversation. So, for example, the focus of our Global Visions Initiative as a starting point is very specifically focused around Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America and Africa, bearing in mind that those are large populations that live here in Chicago but also in Illinois—and specifically because those are spaces of artistic adventure and formal ingenuity and really art that is groundbreaking that has rarely been showcased in the United States. So I see what I try to do is to bring those artists here, but also to create context around them so that they can be not only understood and engaged with by our local audience, but that there's a context around them art historically that positions them in a broader canon of art and its history.

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Video still, Behind the Scenes at an Art Museum. © MCA Chicago.

Behind the Scenes

MCA staff members are interviewed in 1997 about their work. Interviews include Torri Johnson, security officer; Margaret Farr, assistant director of education; Pablo Helguera, coordinator of public programs; Dominic Molon,. . . more
1990s Community Education Staff