Laura Raicovich, copyright Michael Angelo

MA announces first keynote speaker for Belfast conference

Simon Stephens,
US-based writer and art worker Laura Raicovich will address activism and neutrality in museums
Laura Raicovich, a champion of socially engaged art practices, will be a keynote speaker at the Museums Association (MA) Conference & Exhibition in Belfast.

Until recently, Raicovich was the president and executive director of the Queens Museum in New York, where she oversaw an ambitious programme of exhibitions, events and activities.

She is currently engaged in research for a book about neutrality in the cultural context, particularly exploring the ways in which museums and other cultural institutions adopt positions of so-called neutrality which belie legacies of colonialism, racism, misogyny, and other biases inherent in society. 

At the Belfast conference, which takes place on 8-10 November, she will discuss the importance of confronting this myth of neutrality in order to achieve greater equity within museums.

“We are delighted that Laura Raicovich can join us in Belfast as she is the perfect person to address the conference theme of dissent,” said Simon Stephens, the head of publications and events at the MA.

“Her interest in the civic role of museums and how institutions and artists can address social, political, and ecological issues will create a compelling keynote.”

Prior to Queens Museum, Raicovich was the director of Global Initiatives at Creative Time, which commissions and presents public art projects worldwide.

Raicovich also spent a decade at Dia Art Foundation, where she was the deputy director. Prior to that, she worked at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Public Art Fund, and New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

Raicovich is also a writer and her books include Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production, which addressed the role of activism in culture.