EXPO CHICAGO Announces 2024 Initiatives to Convene Curators, Museum Leaders, and Arts Professionals

Curatorial Exchange 2023, Ryan Learning Center at Art Institute of Chicago. Photo by Faith Decker


CHICAGO — EXPO CHICAGO today reveals curatorial initiatives for the 11th edition (April 11- 14, 2024) returning to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. In partnership with Independent Curators International (ICI), EXPO CHICAGO will host its tenth annual Curatorial Forum — ninth co- organized with ICI. This year’s forum will feature for the first time a curatorial conference, “Curating and The Commons,taking place on-site at Navy Pier with a keynote by Miguel A. López, co-curator for the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art.

EXPO CHICAGO also announces the third edition of the annual Directors Summit, a three-day program that brings together art museum leaders from across the country. The summit is in partnership with museum consultant Jill Snyder and features a keynote lecture at the University Club of Chicago by Dr. Louise Bernard, Founding Director of the Obama Presidential Center Museum (The Obama Foundation).

“The expansion of our curatorial initiatives continues to reach further each year, bringing together curators from across the world to forge new and exciting partnerships during our yearly multi-day convening,” said Kate Sierzputowski, Artistic Director of EXPO CHICAGO. “This year’s curatorial conference is a natural extension of the program that will continue the initiative’s reach and impact beyond the selected cohort.”

The Curatorial Forum is an annual program that offers mid-career and established curators working independently or with an institutional affiliation the opportunity to engage with their peers and explore significant issues in the field. The conference provides an opportunity for the Curatorial Forum to expand its reach to a broader arts audience for two days of panels and a keynote by Miguel A. López, co-curator for the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art.

"The Curatorial Forum is an important platform for curators to meet, exchange, and address someof the biggest challenges in the field,” said Renaud Proch, ICI’s Executive and Artistic Director.

“This year, we have conceived a more public Forum, with opportunities for a broader audience to hear from independent thinkers from around the world who have created new approaches to engaging with communities, shaping collective memory, and imagining a different future through art. "

The newly formed conference, “Curating and The Commons,” will expand beyond the annual convening of 80+ national and international curators. Three panel discussions: Common Knowledge, Common Space, and Common Future have been conceived around key questions and organized on a loose temporal framework. Common Knowledge will reach into the past, and explore how archives, collections, and libraries can shape a collective memory. Common Space is invested in how communities physically shape the present. And lastly, Common Future will examine the civic role that the arts can play in not only imagining, but actively creating a better future.

“I'm truly honored to contribute to the 2024 Curatorial Forum convened by ICI and EXPO CHICAGO to think collectively about the challenges and possibilities of today," said Miguel A. López, co-curator for the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art and Keynote of the 2024 edition of Curatorial Forum. “In a moment where art power structures and the traditional role of the curator are being redefined radically, it is vital to keep creating more spaces for pause, self- reflection, and listening to what our previous and current engagements are teaching us. I look

forward to joining the conversation around ‘Curating the Commons’, which I feel offers a great opportunity to tackle the normalization of neoliberal values within art institutions while considering the power of non-formalized ways of understanding curatorship—a constellation of strategies and models that arise from the specificity of localized needs and the urgency of establishing new dialogues with a place.”

The program invites global curators, museum directors, foundation leaders, and Chicago’s creative community to participate in the initiative. The curatorial conference’s audience will join invited curators from the Curatorial Forum, found here, alongside participants from the international Curatorial Exchange, found here. The Curatorial Exchange is one of the nation’s only dedicated initiatives focused on funding global curator convenings that fosters future collaborations for curators on the local, national, and international level.

The fifth annual Exchange is developed in partnership with foreign consulates and cultural agencies from countries around the world including the Danish Arts Foundation and the Consulate General of Denmark in New York; Villa Albertine General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago and the Lithuanian Culture Institute; the Australian Consulate-General Chicago; and the Consulate General of France in Chicago; Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Chicago; Consulate Consulado General de México en Chicago; Dutch Culture USA, a program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York; Instituto Cervantes of Chicago; the Taipei Cultural Center in New York; and the Québec Government Office in Chicago.


The 2024 Curatorial Forum is co-produced by EXPO CHICAGO and ICI, and made possible, in part, by the generous support of sponsors 21c Museum Hotel Chicago and the Joyce Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Hartfield Foundation; with additional support by Gallagher. It is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities.

In 2024 EXPO CHICAGO will also celebrate the third edition of the annual Directors Summit, an initiative that gathers an emerging generation of art museum leaders from across the country for a three-day program of conversations around civic responsibility and advancing organizational growth and change in response to the call for an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future. Facing the profound challenges of an election year, the 2024 Directors Summit offers a forum for museum leaders to share how their institutions offer an invaluable "third space" to explore civic discourse and foster common ground.

Shaped in partnership with museum consultant Jill Snyder, the Directors Summit is centered on two public roundtable discussions that take place on the /Dialogues stage at EXPO CHICAGO, a brunch at the Chicago Cultural Center hosted by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and a keynote lecture at the University Club of Chicago by Dr. Louise Bernard, Founding Director, Obama Presidential Center Museum (The Obama Foundation). Participants in the Directors Summit may be found here.

The 2024 Directors Summit is made possible by the support of Sotheby’s, Bloomberg Connects, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the University Club of Chicago.

Further details about /Dialogues and other programming will be released in the coming weeks.