January 2021 - December 2022
Our Stories, Our Voices: 50 Years of The Bronx Museum of the Arts
To mark the 50th anniversary of The Bronx Museum of the Arts, we celebrate the cultural wealth of our communities and bring to light the stories, voices, and visions of artists seeking a more just and equitable world.
For 50 years, we have championed the people of the Bronx, dedicating ourselves to sharing the rich, local culture that has influenced contemporary artists and audiences across the city and beyond. Founded in 1971 by community leaders and activists at a time when the borough was in crisis — in our 50th year, we recommit to our founding ethos and renew our investment in the Bronx, people of color, women, LGBTQIA, and belief that art and culture are essential on the path to achieving social justice and equity.
In our anniversary year, we embrace artistic voices of the past, present, and future to facilitate visibility, encourage criticality, and celebrate diverse perspectives in contemporary art. At the heart of our programing is the foundational idea that visibility is the primary tenet of social justice — that to be truly seen is the first step in forward movement towards equity.
Nuestras Historias, Nuestras Voces: 50 años del The Bronx Museum of Arts
Para conmemorar el 50º aniversario del The Bronx Museum of Arts, celebramos la riqueza cultural de nuestras comunidades y sacamos a la luz las historias, voces y visiones de los artistas que buscan un mundo más justo y equitativo.
Durante 50 años, hemos defendido a las personas del Bronx, dedicándonos a compartir la rica cultura local que ha influenciado a los artistas contemporáneos, la audiencia de la ciudad y más allá. EL museo fué fundado en 1971 por líderes comunitarios y activistas en un momento de crisis para el municipio. En nuestro 50º aniversario, volvemos a comprometernos con nuestro espíritu fundador y renovamos nuestra inversión en el Bronx; las personas de color, las mujeres, LGBTQIA y la creencia de que el arte y la cultura es fundamental en el camino hacia la equidad y la justicia social.
En nuestro aniversario adoptamos las voces artísticas de el pasado, el presente y el futuro para facilitar la visibilidad, fomentar el pensamiento crítico y celebrar las diversas perspectivas del arte contemporáneo. En el corazón de nuestra programación está la idea fundamental de que la visibilidad es el principio elemental de la justicia social — que ser realmente visto es el primer paso hacia la equidad.
About the Museum
Founded in 1971 in the Bronx County Courthouse, in 1982 the Museum moved to its current space on the Grand Concourse, managing to grow in programming and community impact at a time the borough was struggling with extreme poverty, redlining, and racist and anti-immigrant urban development policies. In 1986, the Museum began collecting works on paper by artists of African, Asian and Latin American ancestry to reflect the borough's dynamic communities, a policy that was adapted in 1992 to include works in all media. Recognizing the Bronx’s cultural heritage—including the birth of artistic movements such as hip hop, graffiti art and Latin Jazz, that served as inspiration to many contemporary artists—in 1999 the Museum expanded its collecting practice to include works by artists for whom the Bronx has been critical to their artistic practice and development. Currently the Museum owns over 1,500 contemporary artworks in all media, including drawings, paintings, sculpture, installation, photography, and video.
In the last two decades, the Museum has embraced its role as the sole contemporary art museum in the borough - prioritizing programming reflective of the Bronx’s dynamic communities, engaging culturally diverse artists, developing inclusive programming, and providing underserved residents access to the arts. More than half the Museum’s annual visitors are Latino (primarily Puerto Rican and Dominican) and African American, with a growing percentage of visitors from immigrant communities from Central America and West Africa. Situated in communities faced with systemic economic struggles, the Museum prioritizes access and inclusion. In 2012 we launched our Universal Free Admission Policy and expanded our Bronx-focused programs. The Museum remains one of the only cultural institutions in New York City that has removed economic barriers to entry and participation in programs.