Friday, October 21, 2016

Update on Toe River Arts Council exhibit controversy

I've posted before about the controversy over an artwork being removed from an exhibit at the Spruce Pine Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) gallery. Denise Cook, Executive Director of TRAC, said that TRAC would hold a forum on the controversy and that they would everyone know when the forum was scheduled. This week I received an email from Denise saying TRAC would not hold a forum after all. Here's the text of her email:

Dear Amy,

I am writing you to let you know that the TRAC Board is developing an exhibit policy so that artists will feel confident about TRAC's display parameters. TRAC serves a wide constituency: from local school students, families, local residents, and visitors to the area. The TRAC goal for its galleries is that they be places where individual expression is valued, and where all members of our community are welcomed and respected.

I would like to ask for your patience as we seek to engage in a process of determining a policy that is both inclusive and respectful. We hope for your participation in that process through feedback once we have a draft policy to work with. Though initially a forum seemed like a way to do it, upon further reflection it doesn't seem like a really effective way to do it.

I would like to stress that the TRAC Board is taking seriously its responsibility to develop an inclusive, respectful policy the membership can use.



Toe River Arts Council

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