20 episodes

Join Paula Santos, a podcast addict and lover of everything arts and culture, in conversation with other museum and cultural workers, educators, artists, activists, and leaders about how we work with our communities and the public at large. She is particularly interested in how the work we do is informed by larger questions of race and inequity in society.

Cultura Conscious Paula Santos

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 38 Ratings

Join Paula Santos, a podcast addict and lover of everything arts and culture, in conversation with other museum and cultural workers, educators, artists, activists, and leaders about how we work with our communities and the public at large. She is particularly interested in how the work we do is informed by larger questions of race and inequity in society.

    Building a Community Museum with Chelsea Ridley and Jonathan Kelley

    Building a Community Museum with Chelsea Ridley and Jonathan Kelley

    In community organizing work, there are no shortcuts or gimmicks, only relationships built on trust and continued investment. The Lawndale Pop-Up Spot is a community-led museum located in a shipping container at the Spaulding Memorial Garden, a community garden in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Chelsea Ridley and Jonathan Kelley, the museum’s founders, trace the evolution of this project from an idea seeded in the classroom to a living space rooted in a collective vision. Along the way, they highlight moments of uncertainty, talk about forging authentic partnerships, and offer thoughts on museums of the future.
    Learn more at lawndalepopupspot.org or reach out to them at lawndalepopupspot@gmail.com. Follow Lawndale Pop-Up Spot on Twitter @lawndalepopup, Instagram @lawndalepopupspot, and on Facebook.
    Follow Chelsea on Twitter @ckridley and Jonathan @jk_museums
    Show Notes
    The Museum As Soup Kitchen: a paper about Museums, Responsiveness to Community Need and Social Service by Elaine Heumann Gurian http://www.egurian.com/omnium-gatherum/museum-issues/community/the-museum-as-soup-kitchen-a-paper-about-museums-responsiven
    Museu de Favela https://www.museudefavela.org/
    Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project https://p-nap.org/
    Gardeneers https://gardeneers.org/
    Men Making a Difference https://www.austinweeklynews.com/News/Articles/2-6-2018/N.-Lawndale-group-reclaims-lots-and-lives-/
    National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated https://naefimentor.wixsite.com/naefi

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Welcoming Collaboration

    Welcoming Collaboration

    In this mini-episode, Paula talks with Gwendolyn Fernandez, a recovering museum educator and fellow Museum Workers Speak organizer, about embracing collaboration and breaking up with your career. Gwen will be joining the Cultura Conscious team to produce a series of new episodes featuring inspiring museum and culture workers. Look for fresh conversations on the first Wednesday of every month. 
    Gwen has a long fascination with what goes on behind the scenes to transform ideas into experiences that enrich our lives. As a museum educator, she focuses on developing programs, designing interpretive strategies, and fostering diverse teams to serve audiences of all ages and abilities. In 2020, she began organizing with Museum Workers Speak and collaborating with Paula. Gwen holds a B.A. in Art History and French from Hollins University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University. She has held positions at the Supreme Court of the United States, the National Gallery of Art, and Phoenix Art Museum. Gwen fuels her podcast obsession with distance running, gardening, and walks with her three dogs around Phoenix, Arizona.

    • 19 min
    Personal and Collective Grief with Diane Exavier

    Personal and Collective Grief with Diane Exavier

    Loss has been a constant over the past few weeks. Writer, educator and theatermaker Diane Exavier joins me to talk about personal and collective grief during a pandemic. We talk about how coping in our current moment requires some of the resiliency we’ve built through other experiences of loss, and yet those well-trodden maps still fall short of helping us navigate the present. Diane discusses how she’s processing being a writer right now, especially since she defines poetry as being about the encounter and being obsessed with the truth. Plus we finally get to talk about 90 Day Fiance, the best show on television. 
    Diane Exavier creates performances, public programs, and games that challenge and invite audiences to participate in an active theater that rejects passive reception. Her work has been presented at The Lark, No Longer Empty, Bushwick Starr, Haiti Cultural Exchange, Westmont College, The Flea Theater, Bowery Poetry Club, West Chicago City Museum, New Urban Arts, and more. Her writing appears in The Atlas Review and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind, amongst other publications online and in print. Diane lives and works in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter where she tweets about basketball, poetics, and grief.
    Twitter: @peacheslechat
    Literature and Television for the Covid-19 Age
    Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
    Poetry is Not a Luxury by Audre Lorde 
    The Leftovers 
    90 Day Fiance
    Dispatches from Elsewhere 
    Supernova Era by Cixin Liu
    My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Our Need to Connect with Mayra Cecilia Palafox

    Our Need to Connect with Mayra Cecilia Palafox

    Mayra Cecilia Palafox shares with me why connecting with people and meeting their needs is so important to her. We discuss why humility is a useful practice for the present moment. When dealing with the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, what strengths do we have as cultural workers that prepare us to weather challenges as they present themselves? We also welcome a special guest, José Alfredo Guerrero, a musician and educator who reminds us of the strength and joy we gain from music. 
    Show Notes: 
    Instagram: @mayraceciliapalafox 
    Instagram: @josealfredochicago
    Facebook: Madera Once
    Met Museum Prepares for $100 Million Loss and Closure Till July
    No Tengo Dinero - Juan Gabriel 

    • 58 min
    Storytelling Through Exhibits with Jackie Peterson

    Storytelling Through Exhibits with Jackie Peterson

    Jackie Peterson, a Seattle-based exhibit developer and independent curator, is passionate about the ways exhibits can tell important stories in ways that are compelling to the public. Jackie grounds her practice on the trust she develops with communities whose stories she’s working to tell. Her research and development process adds another layer to the necessity of community engagement in cultural work. In particular, Jackie is invested in telling stories that benefit the black community and add nuance to the public’s understanding of African-American history. Like many of us invested in cultural organizations and museums, this work is deeply personal to her. 
    After spending much of her early career in nonprofit fundraising and working with the NYC Department of Education and teacher certification, Jackie realized that she truly belonged in a creative industry. She landed in the museum field mostly by luck, but ultimately discovered that it combined all of the things about which she was truly passionate: lifelong learning and education, social history and storytelling, and creativity. Jackie holds undergraduate degrees in English and History from Georgetown University (Washington, DC), and has pursued graduate-level coursework in Museum Studies from New York University. 
    Conversations Notes
    Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West, performance by Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco (1992) 
    Northwest African American Museum's Voices of the Manhattan Project 
    Follow Jackie on twitter @jp_exhibitsvcs

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Economic Development at the Border with Cristina Garza

    Economic Development at the Border with Cristina Garza

    Cristina Garza, Director of Social Impact at Mission EDC, shares the journey that led her to leave her small town in Texas for New York City, to her various roles in museums, and then back to her hometown area working in local government. She reflects with candor on all the reasons it was important and necessary for her to move on from museums, including the skills she has developed in her new career that were once out of her reach. Through her work at Mission Economic Development Corporation, she is committed to improving the financial mobility of area residents and fostering community and economic development through technology and art. 
    Among the programs she founded are Web of Women, an initiative to teach technical skills to women professionals, and Career Readiness and Empowerment of Women (CREW), a multidisciplinary internship that trains young high-school women to serve as leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship. She is  2017 Next City Vanguard and named by CityLab Latino one of the Top 20 Young Civic Leaders of 2017. Before her career in economic development, Cristina worked in several museums in New York City including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin of Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Museum.
    Twitter @programsEDC and Instagram @cristinajgp
    For questions or feedback contact Paula Santos at culturaconscious@gmail.com. 

    • 1 hr 23 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

hellodarakatrina ,

An invaluable resource for art workers, advocates, and more!

I’ve been a non profit arts worker for over 5 years at varying capacities, and I’m so thankful for this podcast! Navigating the complexities of the arts sector can be intimidating and isolating, especially when you have a social justice/community oriented lens that’s in opposition to many institutions.

This podcast continues to ground me and my practice, and has become an invaluable resource for emerging, mid career, and established arts workers (however you decide to define those terms). Thank you Paula addressing the needs for transparency, connection, and honesty in the field.

liztheflynn ,

I love this podcast!

This podcast is such a great resource and source of inspiration for museum educators. Listening to these conversations gives me motivation and sustenance on my way to and from work!

de_hart ,

Finally, the needed conversations around museums

A great chance to hear about how museums are evolving to be more responsive, relevant, and inclusive!

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