posted by Allison Walters — Dec 02, 2020
With your support, I would be pleased to join the CAA Board of Directors and contribute to increasing the organization’s diversity and inclusivity during this challenging time. Improving opportunities for artists and scholars of color has been a central priority during my career as an art historian specializing in contemporary Native American art. I was one of the first tribally enrolled individuals to receive a PhD in art history, and know how difficult the field is for students without financial resources and from groups underrepresented in the field. I have experience at a variety of institutions. I was faculty at a public liberal arts college for 8 years, and have been at a tribal college art school for the past 8 years. Because there are so few specialist in this area, I have worn many “hats,” sometimes simultaneously: faculty teaching art history and studio art courses, curator, artist-in-residence program director, Department Chair, Associate Academic Dean, grant administrator, and now also the founding director of a new research center for Native arts. I have found myself doing things I never imagined, things that have created real changes for the Native and First Nations communities I work with. Navigating through the dynamics of various institutions and working with diverse communities is a completely normal and necessary foundation of my work with students, artists, and colleagues and other educational institutions and museums. I listen, observe, and keep an eye out for ways I can serve to build relationships and opportunities. I am particularly attentive to designing programs that actively counter the structural barriers that prevent participation by underrepresented groups. It may occasionally get annoying, but I ask questions about the established “norms.” I consider how they may produce exclusion, rather than inclusion, and get creative with possible solutions.
Thank you for considering me for service to the CAA Board of Directors.