Curatorial Forum

2016 Curatorial Forum Symposium at the Graham Foundation

The Curatorial Forum, presented by EXPO CHICAGO in partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), brings together 30-45 mid-career and established U.S.-based curators, working independently or with an institutional affiliation, the opportunity during the annual fair to engage with their peers and generate conversations around the civic responsibilities of museums, accessibility, regionalism, and race and representation. In 2017, for the first time since the inception of the program, the Curatorial Forum featured a series of sessions focused on critical questions relevant to contemporary practice and context, led by internationally recognized leaders in the field. This format has since informed the core of the program,

This year has brought the issue of racial equity to the forefront of institutional and curatorial fields. In response, EXPO CHICAGO and ICI will host a special virtual convening of the Curatorial Forum on Thursday, September 24 to generate new conversations on how museums and institutions can both respond and commit to long-term, meaningful change. The online discussion, composed of three peer-led Zoom sessions with past participants and new Chicago-based leaders, will center on racial equity in US museums and institutions and promote the Forum’s two main goals—advancing civic-minded practice and the role of curators in empowering local art scenes; and promoting regional collaborations and knowledge-sharing across the US. This virtual program revisits past Forum sessions on “Race and Representation,” hosted since 2017, and coincides with EXHIBITION Weekend (September 25–27, 2020). 

2020 Participating Curators (to date)

Kaytie Johnson | John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Tanya Zimbardo  | San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Abigail Winograd  | Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago
Marcela Guerrero | Whitney Museum of American Art
Katie Pfohl | New Orleans Museum of Art
Lauren Schell Dickens | San José Museum of Art
Wassan Al-Khudhairi | Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Julie Rodrigues-Widholm | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Naima Keith | Prospect.5
Heather Nickels | Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Orianna Cacchione | Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago
Janet Dees | Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
Hendrik Folkerts | Art Institute of Chicago
Carmen Hermo | Brooklyn Museum
Srimoyee Mitra | Stamps Gallery, University of Michigan
Rachel Adams | Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Allison Glenn | Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Maria Elena Ortiz | Pérez Art Museum Miami
Laura Burkhalter | Des Moines Art Center
Marcela Guerrero | Whitney Museum of American Art

2020 Session Leaders

C. Ondine Chavoya | Williams College
Kimberli Gant | Chrysler Museum of Art
Candice Hopkins | SITE Santa Fe


Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.