National Museums, Local Artists: A Discourse

While Washington, D.C. is home to a broad scope of national museums addressing a wide range of topics, local artists and practitioners face a decreasing number of spaces to cultivate and display their work. National museums have been long considered inaccessible to these artists since the museums maintain that they are mandated to serve a national contingency rather than a local one. But when does a museum acknowledge its responsibility as an entity benefitting from the local attributes of the District? How can a national museum mutually benefit with its local community by engaging in its immediate environment? In this session, we will discuss some of these elements and brainstorm common grounds for national museums and local creators.


Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell is a curator, writer, and activist who specializes in audience engagement, participation, and outreach for art museums. She contributes to ongoing discourse on the role of museums and social change through a specialized program with the Minnesota Institute of Art, Museums As Sites for Social Action.


Adriel Luis is a self-taught musician, poet, curator, coder, and visual artist who believes imagination is key to transforming cultural paradigms. Adriel is the Curator of Digital and Emerging Media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and is also a part of digital funk band iLL-Literacy. Prior to his work at the Smithsonian, Adriel helped pilot OneBeat – a U.S. State Department initiative that engaged artists from dozens of countries to convene in cultural diplomacy through music, and Bombshelltoe – an online platform dedicated to bridging nuclear issues with pop culture.


Sheldon Scott, a native of Pawley’s Island, SC, began his professional life as a Psychotherapist in Washington, DC in 2000. In 2005 he became a creative storyteller, and later focused on Performance and Fine Art, creating an entire body of work. Scott mines his experiences growing up in the Gullah/Geeche South and his years in Mental Health practice in order to examine the black male form and expectations of usability and expendability as they relate to constructs of Race, Economics and Sexuality.




Adriel Sheldon Kayleigh

Adriel Luis

Musician; Artist; Curator of New Media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Washington DC, USA


Sheldon Scott


Washington DC, USA


Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell

Public Programs Coordinator at National Museum of Women in the Arts

Washington DC, USA