For three years from 2010–2012, I represented the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region as a member of Art:21’s International Council:
Art:21 – Art in the 21st Century is a Peabody Award winning PBS series, educational resource, archive, and history of contemporary art. It premiered in 2001, and is now broadcast in over 50 countries worldwide. Premiering a new season every two years, Art:21 is the only series on United States television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists. It is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to make contemporary art more accessible to the public, and to document 21st-century art and artists from the artists’ own perspectives. The overall goal is to raise the profile of major players in the world of contemporary art and to encourage creativity. The main office is located in New York City.
Art:21 has four advisory councils that specialize in different aspects, but who all work to further the aspirations of the organization:
The Curatorial Council (a nationally based group that helps to set the basis for each of the Art:21 seasons), an Education Advisory Council (a group of nationally recognized educators in K-12, higher education and museum education that contribute insight in strategic planning to support Art21’s core education mission), the Humanities Advisory Council (a group of Humanities scholars who aim to help establish a relationship between visual art and humanities disciplines), and the International Council (an international group of scholars, arts professionals, museum directors, critics and curators that supports Art21’s global commitment to education and access).
There are currently nine seasons of Art:21 and my time with the International Council was mainly affiliated with Season 6 and Season 7, featuring artists Marina Abramović, Ai Weiwei, David Altmejd, El Anatsui, assume vivid astro focus, Lynda Benglis, Rackstraw Downes, Glenn Ligon, Robert Mangold, Catherine Opie, Mary Reid Kelley, Sarah Sze, and Tabaimo and the themes Chance, Boundaries, History, and Balance in Season 6 and artists Tania Bruguera, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Leonardo Drew, Omer Fast, Katharina Grosse, Thomas Hirschhorn, Elliott Hundley, Graciela Iturbide, Joan Jonas, Wolfgang Laib, Trevor Paglen, and Arlene Shechet and the themes Legacy, Fiction, Investigation, and Secrets in Season 7, respectively.