Hamann Village 2018

Equity in Collecting

Presented by Oakland Art Murmur

Date & Time:

Sunday, April 24, 2022
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM



Systemic barriers to equity in the arts are increasingly gaining a spotlight. This panel brings together a group of arts professionals–curators, gallerists, arts entrepreneurs, and a museum director–who are all actively responding to the need for equity in collecting. The panelists will discuss issues including responsibilities to constituencies, advising collectors, making art accessible, just compensation to artists, equity in whose art is being collected, and equity in who is doing the collecting. This panel is presented through Oakland Art Murmur, an organization that seeks to amplify the voices of Oakland’s artists and arts workers and seeks to connect the public to the eclectic and incredible art of Oakland.


Ashara Ekundayo is an independent curator, artist, cultural theologian, creative industries entrepreneur and organizer working internationally across cultural, spiritual, civic, and social innovation spaces. Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners she places artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement-building. Her intersectional worldview offers both an Afrofuturist and radical Black feminist framework to the public sector by centering the lives, traditions, and expertise of Black womxn of the African Diaspora. She sits on the Advisory Boards of the Global Fund for Women “Artist Changemaker Program,” San Francisco MoMA SECA Committee, and the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. In 2019 she founded and currently stewards Artist As First Responder, an organization and 6-point philanthropic, interactive arts platform that reifies artists whose practices heal communities and save lives. She also serves as Co-Founder of Black [Space] Residency and is the Cultural Strategist for Chef Bryant Terry’s 4Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press. www.Ashara.io

Randolph Belle is an Oakland-based artist, entrepreneur, and activator of community-based initiatives.  His career in the creative sector spans over 30 years. He is the owner of RBA Creative, a design, communications, and public affairs firm, the co-founder of Creative Development Partners, a boutique real estate development and consulting company, founder of Support Oakland Artists, a non-profit arts marketing and management organization, and a founding organizational partner of the East Oakland Black Cultural Zone Collaborative. Randolph operates out of an East Oakland co-working space for creative professionals, also called RBA Creative, which he runs with his wife Erica.

Christa Cesario is an arts worker, Ph.D. anthropologist, and Program Director at Mills College Art Museum in Oakland. With a primary interest in the intersection of art and community, Christa is animated by the belief that culture and the arts are indispensable tools in building resilient communities and creating lasting change. She has a deep interest in the ways in which people make meaning in the world and a passion for translating their stories for others. Before MCAM, Christa served as Program Production and Outreach Coordinator for Future IDs at Alcatraz, a social practice project focused on social justice and second chances after incarceration. She was also a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and Community Organizing Manager at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where she engaged Bay Area residents and community-based organizations in co-designing and participating in YBCA exhibitions and public programs. Christa holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, where her work centered on cultural production and social movements.

Stephanie Hanor is Assistant Dean and Director of Mills College Art Museum. She received her doctorate degree in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin with the dissertation Jean Tinguely: Useless Machines and Mechanical Performers, 1955-1970. Prior to joining the Mills College Art Museum, she was the Senior Curator and Curatorial Department Head at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. At MCASD she curated over 40 exhibitions and projects, including a series of site-specific installations featuring major works by Tara Donovan, Raymond Pettibon, and Nancy Rubins. She also organized major traveling exhibitions, including the retrospective of San Diego painter and film critic Manny Farber, the focus exhibition Jasper Johns: Light Bulb, and an exhibition featuring the Latinx holdings of the Museum, TRANSactions: Contemporary Latin American and Latino Art. At Mills College Art Museum, she oversees an active exhibition program that emphasizes site-specific commissions and supports contemporary women artists, including projects with Sarah Oppenheimer, Karen Kilimnik, Frances Stark, Hung Liu, Diana Al-Hadid, Catherine Wagner, and Maria Elena Gonzalez.

Image Details: Shana Harper, Untitled, 2017, Letterpress and ink on paper, 13 in. x 20 in. Museum Purchase, Selected by Olivia Olson-Roberts, Susan Prier, Mollie Schottstaedt, and Jenny Varner, students in the Mills College Fall 2021 Museum Studies Workshop