Academy Museum to Open With Extensive Programming that Emphasizes Diversity

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Chris Lindahl
·3 min read
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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Wednesday revealed an extensive slate of programs it will offer to the public. Virtual programs kick off next month leading up to its grand opening September 30, when the museum will begin in-person screenings, talks, and events. The rich lineup has a strong emphasis on diversity, with events focused on the work of Black VFX artists and retrospectives of global filmmakers’ work.

“We have been hard at work preparing the Academy Museum and are ready to welcome visitors first virtually and then in person in September,” said Jacqueline Stewart, chief artistic and programming officer of the Academy Museum. “The programs we are rolling out for our opening are dynamic, diverse, and deeply grounded in the history and artistry of filmmaking. Whether they are recognizing Hollywood legends, delving into the working process of film professionals, or addressing issues of race, gender, sexuality, and inequity that run through film history, these programs will use the power of movies and stories of filmmakers to open eyes and minds.”

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The pre-opening programs are meant to serve as “digital prologues” to the museum’s core exhibition, Stories of Cinema, and coincide with the Oscars next month. These programs kick off April 22 with “Breaking the Oscars Ceiling.” Hosted by museum trustee Diane von Furstenberg and moderated by Stewart, the event will include conversations with women who achieved historic Oscars milestones, including Sophia Loren, Whoopi Goldberg, Marlee Matlin, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Additional pre-opening online programs will include screenings of Dee Rees’ “Pariah” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Y Tu Mamá También,” followed by conversations with the directors and their collaborators, as well as conversations with Spike Lee, composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, and one centered around activism and film. The dates of those conversations have yet to be announced.

Pre-opening workshops will include ones titled “How to Use Film as a Teaching Tool to Have Difficult Conversations,” “The Work of Black VFX Artists,” and “Hayao Miyazaki Family Day.” The museum is set to open on September 30, when screenings, conversations, and youth/family programs will begin in person.

Screenings will take place in the museum’s two main theaters — the 1,000-set David Geffen Theater and the 288-seat Ted Mann theater. Celebrating global cinema, screening series will include ones programmed by each of the Academy’s 17 branches that represent breakthroughs in the evolution of respective crafts, films inspired by museum exhibitions, Sunday screenings of Oscar-nominated and winning films, selections chosen by notable filmmakers, preserved films, retrospectives, and shorts.

Conversations, lectures, and other events will include talks with family members of Hollywood legends; ones centered around social issues such as #MeToo, pay equity, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and labor relations; information about the arts and sciences of cinema; conversations with filmmakers; scholarly discussions around cinema; and lectures on iconic movie objects such as the ruby red slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Family programs will include ones made for and by teens, hands-on filmmaking workshops, monthly “Quiet Mornings” for young people with sensory processing disorders, family/community days, and twice-weekly school tours. Those tours will be provided at no cost, with the expense of bus travel reimbursed. Programming is being developed with the help of teachers from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Additionally, visitors will be able to join themed, interactive 45-minute guided tours throughout the week, offering information on the museum’s collection, installations, exhibit, and architecture. Family tours and ones for the deaf and blind communities will be scheduled regularly. Audio tours will be available in English, Spanish, and Korean.

A full overview of the museum’s programming is available here.

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