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Exploring ideas and issues impacting the arts and cultural sector. www.devonakmon.com | Twitter: @DevonAkmon
Image Source: @OpenYourLobby Twitter account.

Red Doors: Museums as Sanctuaries During Civil Unrest

Over the past year, protests have erupted in cities across the nation. Demands have ranged from calls for greater social justice to the lifting of pandemic restrictions. In several instances, protests have led to property damage and/or the intimidation of people with…


Source: University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

The global pandemic has not been kind to museums. By now you’ve probably heard of the mass layoffs of museum professionals and the possibility of approximately 1/3 of museums closing due to the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic. For some, a combination of emergency grants and the Paycheck…


It’s been over seven months since the global coronavirus pandemic took root here in the United States. Arts and cultural organizations, similar to other types of businesses, are struggling to navigate the myriad challenges brought on by the pandemic. Theatres, concert halls, and other performing arts venues remain closed in…


This past Saturday, Dharma and I travelled to Grand Rapids for the opening weekend of ArtPrize10. It’s remarkable to think this experimental, citywide art competition has been in existence for a decade. For those unfamiliar with ArtPrize, it is a three-week art competition that takes place throughout the city of…


2017 Forum on Community, Culture & Race at the Arab American National Museum

Independence Day #242. On this day, our nation celebrates the founding of our democratic experiment — the United States of America — with fireworks, parades, and barbecues. It’s meant to be a festive occasion, yet I can’t help but feel a sense of deep concern. As imperfect as our nation…


As part of our capstone for the 2016–17 American Express NGen Fellows program with Independent Sector, our crew created a series of podcasts and blogs on emerging issues in the nonprofit sector. The first blog post, which I had the privilege to write, and the corresponding podcast by three of…


On March 16, President Donald J. Trump put forth his budget proposal and it calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), among other governmental agencies. These vital government programs have been pillars of cultural and intellectual production…


I’m immensely excited to be in Miami for CityLab 2016. Over the next few days, attendees will explore both challenges and innovative approaches to creating more sustainable and vibrant cities. I have the honor of serving on a breakout session on Monday, October 24 called Community Building with Arts and…


On October 1, 2016, the Arab American National Museum proudly opened the exhibition Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community’s Life & Legacy at our nation’s most storied institution on immigration, the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration. This exhibition presents the rich history of the earliest concentrated Arab immigrant community in…


How do museums and libraries catalyze communities? More specifically, how do they serve as “enablers of community vitality and co-creators of positive community change?” These are fundamental questions the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is asking as part of the Community Catalyst Initiative. IMLS launched the initiative, in…

Devon Akmon

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