Recorded Session: An Interview with Dr. Ariana A. Curtis

Recorded On: 09/25/2020

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Session Description

An Interview with Dr. Ariana A. Curtis is a recorded general session of the 2020 AASLH Online Annual Meeting.

Speaker: Dr. Ariana A. Curtis, Curator, Latinx Studies, National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, DC
Interviewer: Omar Eaton-Martínez,Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Upper Marlboro, MD


RECORDED DATE: September 25, 2020


ACCESS: You will be provided with instructions on how to access the recording upon registration.

Dr. Ariana A. Curtis

Dr. Ariana A. Curtis is the first curator of Latinx Studies at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. In this role she leads museum research and collectionsdevelopment related to: U.S. Latinx, U.S. Afro-Latinx, African American & Latinx, AfricanDiaspora, and African American migrations to and engagement with Latin America. She servesas a curatorial advisor to the history exhibition in the Molina Family Latino Galleries, the firstpermanent Smithsonian exhibition space dedicated to Latinx history and culture. Additionally,Ariana serves on multiple committees for the Smithsonian-wide American Women’s HistoryInitiative, and is a founding member of the academic collective, the Black Latinas KnowCollective. Her TED talk about women’s representation has over 2.8 million views. She has published in The Public Historian, the anthology Pan African Spaces: Essays in Black Transnationalism and served as both author and editorial committee member for the publication Smithsonian American Women: Remarkable Objects and Stories of Strength, Ingenuity and Vision from the National Collection. Previously, Ariana was curator of Latino Studies at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. In addition to leading Latinx-centered public programming, she curated two bilingual exhibitions: Gateways/Portales, which received honorable mention in the 2017 Smithsonian Excellence in Exhibition Awards and Bridging the Americas, which was exhibited in both Washington, D.C. and in Panama City, Panama. She also organized Revisiting Our Black Mosaic, a 2014 symposium about race and immigration in the Washington, D.C. metro area, cosponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Ariana is a Fulbright scholar with a doctorate in Anthropology from American University, an MA in Public Anthropology from American University, and a BA from Duke University.

Omar Eaton-Martínez

Omar Eaton-Martínez (Interviewer), the 2020 AASLH Annual Meeting Program Chair, leads the Prince George’s County Parks & Recreation Historical Resources, which include historical house museums, an aviation museum, the Black History Program, and archaeological parks. In 2019, he was selected to be an American Alliance of Museums Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Senior Fellow. Eaton-Martínez is the national board chair for Museum Hue, an arts and humanities organization committed to the advancement of people of color in the field, and he has held a leading role on the steering committee for Museums and Race: Transformation and Justice, a movement to challenge institutional policies and systems that perpetuate oppressions in museums. He has also contributed to the Museum as Site for Social Action project, which seeks to align museums with more inclusive practices. Eaton-Martínez has worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where he managed the interns and fellows program, as well as at the National Park Service, the Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, and NASA. He received a BA from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing a PhD in American studies there. Eaton-Martínez served as an Exhibitions & Public Interpretation panelist at the Center in 2019.

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