• Stephen Best

Black Futures: On Race in Art, Curation, and Digital Engagement with Kimberly Drew and Stephen Best

Kimberly Drew has been dubbed an “international tastemaker in contemporary art” on account of her Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art and her Instagram @museummammy. As social media manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she has been pivotal in moving that venerated institution in directions both democratic and dialogical. Drew will discuss curation, social media, race, and institutions with UC Berkeley professor Stephen Best.

Kimberly Drew is a writer and curator based in New York City. Drew received her BA from Smith College in art history and African-American studies, with a concentration in museum studies. Drew first experienced the art world as an intern in the director’s office of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her time at the Studio Museum inspired her to start the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, sparking her interest in social media. Her writing has appeared in Glamour, W, Teen Vogue, and Lenny Letter. She also serves as a board member for Recess Activities, Inc. Drew was honored by AIR Gallery as the recipient of their inaugural Feminist Curator Award and selected as one of Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100.

Stephen Best is an associate professor of English at UC Berkeley. He is the author of The Fugitive’s Properties: Law and the Poetics of Possession, a study of property, poetics, and legal hermeneutics in nineteenth-century American literary and legal culture. He co-convened a research group at the University of California’s Humanities Research Institute on “Redress in Law, Literature, and Social Thought.” His work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Hellman Foundation, the Humanities Research Institute, and the Ford Foundation.

Participating units at UC Berkeley: Arts Research Center; Department of English; and The Black Room.