KEYNOTE: A Museum for the path ahead: New York City’s Climate Museum

A Museum for the path ahead: New York City’s Climate Museum
Presented at Sidney Myer Asia Centre at The University of Melbourne
1 May 2019

Speaker: Miranda Massie, Director, Climate Museum, New York City (USA)

Moderator: Bronwyn Johnson, Director, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019

This program was produced and created by festival Director Bronwyn Johnson with Catriona Black Dinham for CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 festival.

ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 festival is presented by CLIMARTE: Arts for a safe climate

This keynote will address why we need a cultural shift in response to the climate crisis, and why dedicated climate museums are a necessary, though not sufficient, component of that shift. Massie will situate the initiative within its national and local contexts, discussing the public’s response and presenting work from the Museum’s first year of public programming, in particular its two main art exhibitions. This work illustrates the promise at the intersection of institution building and cultural transformation, and it also spotlights questions, challenges, and tensions that lurk within. How to recognise the transformative power of art without instrumentalising it? How to celebrate individual creativity while pulling toward the collective? How to mobilise a culturally conservative form—the museum—for the radical change we need? Before launching the Climate Museum, Miranda Massie was a civil rights impact litigator, in which capacity her honours included Fletcher Foundation, W.E.B. Dubois Institute and Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowships, as well as a Mentorship-in-Residence at Yale Law School. In 2014, she left this career in the law of social justice and equality to start laying the groundwork for the Museum, in the belief that the climate crisis was at once the greatest intensifier of inequality and an existential threat superseding all other jeopardy to civilization and humanity.

This keynote is presented by CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 festival in association with The Ian Potter Museum of Art at The University of Melbourne.

Video recorded by Tree for Man Productions.
Podcast recorded by Mark Spencer from CLIMATIC FM.
Listen here.