Brock grad bringing insight from world-class museum to campus

An internationally recognized research specialist in trauma awareness and the arts will give a public lecture as part of Brock’s Walker Cultural Leader Series.

Presented by the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture (STAC), the virtual talk will be delivered by Brock graduate Jackie Armstrong (BA ’00), Associate Educator, Visitor Research and Experience at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12.

Armstrong’s talk, “Trauma-informed inquiry, facilitation and the visitor experience: Jackie Armstrong presents the 21st century museum,” will explore the principles of trauma awareness with a focus on healing practices in relation to cultural programming and curation.

She will focus on how museums, galleries and other arts organizations could benefit from integrating trauma-informed principles into all aspects of their work.

A graduate of Brock’s Classics program in the Faculty of Humanities, Armstrong’s research journey into the world of museum curation led her to work in the field at various cultural organizations, including the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Carol Merriam, Professor of Classics and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, said it’s always exciting to see where the skills and competencies developed in a Humanities education can lead graduates.

“Jackie Armstrong was an active and committed student in Brock’s Classics, now Classics and Archaeology, program, and this naturally led her to museum work,” she said. “Her development of expertise in trauma and its impacts on cultural experiences demonstrates the flexibility and human awareness, and the curiosity to explore new paths, that we value so highly in Humanities programs and their graduates.”

Topics of discussion based on Armstrong’s research will include defining trauma and its impact on individuals, including physical harms to one’s nervous system, identifying what trauma-informed practices and values are, and presenting ways in which this knowledge can inform and cultivate an environment of safety and trust in museum settings.

The community is invited to view the virtual presentation via Zoom or at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in MWS 156 along with students in STAC 3P42 Methods and Principles of Curating.

Founded through the generosity of the late Marilyn I. Walker, the Walker Cultural Leader Series invites recognized cultural leaders, top researchers, scholars, professionals and visiting artists from all disciplines to the MIWSFPA, contributing to the intellectual and creative life at the University and throughout the Niagara region. This is a free event and open to the public.

To participate online via Zoom, please register ahead of time. There is no requirement to register if you will be attending in person. For more information, please visit the STAC website.

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