As the Interim Director of ICA, I have been in constant internal dialogue with our staff and leadership over the last two days as we have prepared this statement. That dialog has taken significant time but it was critical to me to have those conversations. We are actively discussing our action steps for moving forward and we will be sharing those in the coming days.
The devastating events of the past week have been a reminder to all of us that ICA as an institution has an obligation to acknowledge the traumatic experiences of black communities. We unequivocally condemn racist actions and violence. We honor the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and other victims, their families, and the countless lives of far too many others before them.
Moments like this make us painfully aware of both the limits of our reach and the greatness of the needs in our communities. These needs include justice and support. Despite our limits, ICA can advocate for access to opportunity and for the lack of fear that should be everyone’s right and has been due black people for too long.
As an art institution, ICA is committed to justice and equality. We are proud to showcase and support the work of black artists and makers and we have benefited immeasurably from black cultural production.
ICA is also committed to making art and culture free and accessible to all. Our efforts must align with equality and justice for the many communities of which we are a part, not only to artists, but to the many publics with whom we are in solidarity against anti-black racism and discrimination. We pledge to use the platforms we have available to us to listen and we welcome your suggestions on how to build a better, more equitable institution and a more just society.
Interim Daniel Dietrich ll Director
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania