Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism

Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism

This traveling exhibit has returned to the museum until the fall 2019. Visit and view the panel to explore the key lessons it provides on racism in our community. 

We're also excited to announce the Engaging Communities Award our exhibits team received at this year's MANY Conference for their work bringing this exhibit to life. See below for further details about the award. 

 

About the Exhibit: 

What is racism and how can it hide in plain sight? Explore the story of one local carousel panel and join in the meaningful dialogue it encourages on individual, institutional and structural racism.

In 2016, a panel featuring racial "pickaninny" artwork was removed from the Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park in Rochester, NY, after being on display for over 100 years. This issue generated controversy in our community and activists have created an exhibit around the piece to show how pickaninny art perpetuates racism by denying the humanity of black children.

Presented in partnership with the City of Rochester, this exhibit is an important opportunity to learn from the past and work together to promote social justice for all. Join in the conversation by viewing the panel at one of its future community locations or participate in one of the partner programs. 

Download Exhibition Brochure


A New Panel for the Dentzel Carousel

deluca carousel panel

After a period of community submissions and voting, a new carousel panel has been selected to replace the one featured in this exhibition. 

Artist Michael DeLuca submitted the selected panel rendering, pictured here, and the panel is scheduled to be created and installed by the time the carousel reopens in mid-summer.

Photo Credit: Michael DeLuca

 

 

 

 

 


2019 Museum Association of New York (MANY) "Engaging Communities" Award

At this year's Museum Association of New York (MANY) conference, our exhibits team and Take it Down Planning Committee received the Engaging Communities Award for their work on the Take It Down: Organizing Against Racism exhibit and related programs. This award is a part of MANY’s Awards of Merit series and recognizes outstanding and innovative programs, staff, and volunteers who have enriched New York State museums with new and remarkable projects.

Collaboration with the Take It Down Planning Committee was critical to the exhibit’s success. Their leadership and dedication to the project were integral in bringing the exhibit to life and challenging our community to examine the ways in which structural racism influence and inform institutional norms. Through our partnership, the Take It Down Planning Committee, City of Rochester, and RMSC were able to transform a racist object into an ongoing anti-racist educational dialogue and process for our community. Importantly, this work has moved the RMSC toward a model for more authentic community collaboration, including shared authority and decision-making. 


Past Programs 

Carousel Panel Exhibit Educational Programs
Thursday, March 7 | 6:30–8:30pm
Central Church of Christ, 101 S. Plymouth Avenue

Working Towards Racial Justice in Rochester 
Wednesday, Jan. 23 | 6:30–9pm
Community of the Savior, 4 East Henrietta Road (College Town)

Sunday, April 29 | 2–4pm 
Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave.

Community Opening and Reception
Saturday, Jan. 19 | 2–4pm
Community of the Savior, 4 East Henrietta Road (College Town)

Working Towards Racial Justice in Rochester
Monday, Jan. 8 | 5–7pm
Phillis Wheatley Community Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

Working Towards Racial Justice in Rochester
Wednesday, Jan. 17 | 5–7pm
Phillis Wheatley Community Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

Working Towards Racial Justice in Rochester
Wednesday, Dec. 13 | 5–7pm
Phillis Wheatley Community Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

Community Opening and Reception
Thursday, Nov. 9 | 4–6pm
Phillis Wheatley Community Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

Community Opening and Reception
Friday, Sept. 8 | 6-8pm
First Unitarian Church of Rochester, 220 Winton Road South

Working Towards Racial Justice in Rochester
Thursdays, Sept. 14 and 28; Oct. 19 | 7–9pm
First Unitarian Church of Rochester, 220 Winton Road South


Interested in Future Program Partnerships?

If your organization is interested in being a future program partner, please submit your information here and we will contact you to discuss program plans.

 

Contact Us


 In the News

Date
Source 
Title 
May 20, 2018 13WHAM Panther-themed painting set to replace offensive carousel panel
May 19, 2018 News 8 Public votes on artwork to replace 'racist' carousel panel
May 19, 2018 Democrat & Chronicle New black panther panel selected to replace 'racist' image for Ontario Beach carousel
May 19, 2018 News 10 Winning image announced to replace controversial carousel
July 16, 2017 News 8 Controversy behind Dentzel Carousel panel comes to an end
July 11, 2017 WXXI News Connections with Evan Dawson: Discussing the future of the racist carousel panel
March 2, 2017   Democrat & Chronicle  Thumbs up, thumbs down 
April 28, 2017 News10NBC Racist artwork on display to start a conversation
Feb. 28, 2017 Spectrum News Controversial Carousel Panel Becomes Racism Exhibit
Feb. 28, 2017 Monterey Herald Jim Crow-era art removed from NY carousel becomes exhibit
Feb. 27, 2017 Democrat & Chronicle Controversial carousel panel going on display
Feb. 27, 2017 WXXI News Rochester develops traveling exhibit on controversial carousel panel
Feb. 27, 2017 13WHAM Group that took down carousel panel in Rochester holding exhibit
Feb. 27, 2017 News 8 WROC The Denzel Carousel art panel has new home in RMSC exhibit
Feb. 27, 2017 YouTube: Chris Fien Mayor Lovely Warren on controversial carousel panel
Feb. 27, 2017 Minority Reporter City, RMSC Unveil Educational Exhibit Featuring Controversial Image
Feb. 16, 2017 Spectrum News Controversial Carousel Panel Included in Upcoming RMSC Exhibit

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