Engaging Public Engagement

The core activities of art museums and galleries—collecting, exhibiting, preserving, interpreting, and fostering awareness and understanding of art—have always been “public” in nature. But there is no question that discourse and practice have changed dramatically in recent years. We are increasingly connected to the communities we serve, and committed to finding more effective ways to engage and involve them. Our panelists will consider key questions around engagement in the visual arts, including: What are the forces shaping the current emphasis on engagement? What does it mean to be “visitor-centered?” How are bricks and mortar institutions that present and care for real art in real time adapting to a society in which culture is so easily consumed online? How are we participating in the shift from passive viewing of art to interactive and collaborative learning, making, and sharing? How is the focus on engagement influencing programs, resource allocation, partnerships, and administrative structures? Finally, how do we measure success beyond the numbers?


Peter Dykhuis, Director/Curator, Dalhousie Art Gallery; Virginia Eichhorn, Director & Chief Curator, Tom Thomson Art Gallery & Owen Sound Museums; Sylvie Fortin, Executive/Artistic Director, La Biennale de Montréal; Anthony Kiendl, Executive Director and CEO, MacKenzie Art Gallery


Sandra Dyck, Carleton University Art Gallery


Tuesday, November 11


10.30 a.m. to noon.


Canadian Centre for Architecture