The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) recently announced the creation of the Art and Togetherness Committee. Its role will be to assist the Museum in fulfilling its mission of becoming a universally accessible gathering place for dialogue and cultural exchange. Through its daily interactions, the Museum is confronted with the challenge of knowing and understanding the Other. With the addition of this committee, the MMFA hopes to strengthen its educational and community work aimed at fostering social harmony, together with its many partners.
The Art and Togetherness Committee's mandate is to encourage the Museum's reflection and actions aimed at enhancing accessibility and reaching out to the community. It will promote the implementation of projects that foster diversity and inclusion, as well as bring partner organizations together on intercultural issues.
The Committee, which will meet three times a year, comprises three members of the MMFA and seven specialists on intercultural issues:
- Michel de la Chenelière, Chair of the Board of Trustees, MMFA
- Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA
- Moridja Kitenge Banza, artist and Educational Programs Officer – World Cultures and Togetherness, MMFA
- Marie Houzeau, Executive Director, Groupe de recherche et d'inervention social (GRIS) de Montréal
- Mohammed Makhfi, artist, calligrapher and art educator
- Cécile Rousseau, Pediatric Psychiatrist, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University and Director of the RAPS team (research and action on social polarization)
- Moussa Sène, President, Conseil interculturel de Montréal
- Nadine St-Louis, founder and Executive Director, Ashukan Cultural Space
- Bob W. White, Director of the laboratoire de recherche en relations interculturelles (LABRRI) and head of the Montréal ville interculturelle partnership
- Cathy Wong, President, Conseil des Montréalaises, Ville de Montréal
"Following the creation of the Education Committee in 2010 and the Art and Health Committee in 2017, this Art and Togetherness Committee completes the foundation for the MMFA's humanist vision,” stated Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA, about the initiative. “We believe that museums are a tool for cultural diplomacy, a place for dialogue among cultures. Learning to live together harmoniously can only be achieved through cultural exchanges. People are too quick to build walls instead of bridges. Our perspective is therefore intercultural rather than multicultural. Together with our experts, we want to promote learning about others under the inclusive and unifying marquee of the MMFA. If Quebecers coined the term réseautage [networking], it's because we don't want to live in a society fragmented like a mosaic, but be engaged in cultural exchanges."
—Montreal Museum of Fine Arts