From the Field

Art museums as "human-centered problem solvers"

December 14, 2017

"I think we can build more inclusive, more creative, more empathetic, more vibrant, more entrepreneurial communities that will lead us into the future, and I think we can do it through the arts."  In his TEDxFargo talk, Plains Art Museum director Andy Maus describes how in an increasibly polarized society, art museums can be "human-centered problem solvers." From Pérez Art Museum Miami's Art Detectives program, which uses art as a catalyst for conversations on police brutality, to the Honolulu Museum of Art's Warriors Eyes on Art program, which provides therapy and resources to military and veterans, to Maus' experience as a child born with spina bifida who found solace and confidence in drawing, as examples of how the arts are poised to address entrenched problems in an increasibly binary society. In 2016 the Plains Art Museum was awarded the Bush Prize, for "organizations that respond to complex social challenges by making great ideas happen."

 Photo of Andy Maus by Milestones Photography, Courtesy of Plains Art Museum