An Interview with Marie Vickles

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] South Florida Caribbean News shares a “Cultural chat with Marie Vickles, Museums Association of the Caribbean conference presenter.” Independent curator Marie Vickles is the Director of Education at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and she is currently the Curator-in-Residence at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Here are excerpts of the interview:

Marie Vickles, Director of Education at Perez Art Museum will be one of the conference presenters at the upcoming Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) Conference scheduled for March 1-5, 2023 in Nassau, Bahamas. MAC continues to create a network that aids museums and cultural organizations across the Caribbean to share and benefit from their common skills and experiences.

South Florida Caribbean News had the opportunity to have a ‘Cultural Chat’ with Marie Vickles to get her perspective on the upcoming MAC conference.

Tell us about your background in the arts

I have worked in the field for over 20 years as an educator, curator, and community organizer – this is my work as a cultural practitioner. However, I have always considered myself an artist, as making and creating visual work has been something I have done since I was a young child. After secondary school, I studied the commercial aspects of design and worked in New York as a textile designer while continuing to pursue a visual arts practice. Upon moving to Florida, 18 years ago, I became reinvested in art education, returned to higher education, and pursued a degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with a focus on education, specifically Arts Education.

You are set to speak at The Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) conference next month in Nassau, Bahamas. Please share with us the focus of your presentation.

Our presentation and hands-on workshop will include fellow educators and me from the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Anita Braham, Darwin Rodrigue, and Yeimi Valdes. We will present a selection of our community-centric programs developed that serve a cross-section of audiences ranging from adults to youth, including intergenerational and family audiences and especially audiences typically considered “non-traditional” due to economic, educational, or other demographic markers that have created systemic barriers. 

The collaborative aspects of how these programs have been developed will be shared and explored – showing both the successes and challenges of this intentional work. Special consideration and thought will be given to address the unique needs, resources, and realities of institutions operating across the Caribbean – especially in terms of access to funding, community/ audience engagement, and governmental/philanthropic support. In this presentation, the importance of community building in non-traditional spaces outside of the organization and meeting the community where they are will be further explored and demonstrated as successful paths for engaging the community in long-term and sustainable ways. 

The second half of the presentation will invite conference attendees to participate in hands-on exercises and idea mapping to provide space for communal sharing, feedback, and support of the participating attendees’ current projects and programmatic goals.

What do you think or how do you see the future of arts and museums in the Caribbean?

I see the future of arts and museums in the Caribbean as leading the way in how contemporary art speaks to the history of our region – and the world at large. The Caribbean in many ways, represents our collective futures of how to survive and thrive in places that are challenging to live in due to environmental factors, the ever-present socio-economic issues due to systemic racism stemming from the industrialization of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the ongoing challenges and lack of recognition to the indigenous populations of the Caribbean.  These very important and complicated issues are being addressed, studied, and presented throughout the various art and cultural institutions across the region.  Museums and cultural institutions influence our educational systems, both formal and informal, and the knowledge of our past, present and possible futures is critical to the growth of a successful society. [. . .]

Marie Vickles is the Director of Education at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and administers programs at the museum that directly serve over 100,000 youth and adults annually. Marie has organized arts educational programs and exhibitions across the United States and the Caribbean for over 20 years.

She is currently the Curator-in-Residence at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex and maintains an active practice as an independent curator. In her work as an arts educator and cultural practitioner, she is concerned with the relationship between creativity and community engagement – with the goal of supporting equity, sustainability, and access for all through the arts.

For additional information about the Museums Association of the Caribbean conference, click here.

For original article, see

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