#iSTANDfor #Museums at the Antigone Now Festival

Storytelling at its best can change the world.

This weekend, the ancient Greek tale Antigone is at the heart of an important dialogue about activism and empowerment. The Onassis Cultural Center in New York hosts the Antigone Now festival from October 13 -16, inspired by Sophocles’ tragic story of a young woman’s fatal choice between her personal ethics and the rule of law. Premiering a new performance by Carrie Mae Weems, Antigone Now explores contemporary resonances with this classical figure through visual and performing arts, family programs, and digital media. Antigone’s struggle puts our own Civil Rights movement and today’s interrogation of the judicial system and the role of law enforcement in American society into a human context that is millennia old. Her story reminds us that our own stories are part of a deep tradition of making a world for ourselves in which we don’t just survive, but we thrive.

The Festival also brings the much-needed “light and the warmth of stories authentically told and shared,” as Seph Rodney has written, in the form of a digital activism initiative called #iSTANDfor. Drawing from Antigone’s famed courage in standing for what she believed, #iSTANDfor encourages people around the world to share stories of what matters to them via their social media channels and a dedicated web site (http://www.istandfor.net). #iSTANDfor celebrates people around the globe whose individual and collective acts of heroism and bravery are changing our world for the better.

For those of us at the MuseWeb Foundation, the new initiative from the international Museums and the Web Conference, not only does the festival affirm our belief in the power of storytelling, it also reminds us of the importance of visual and performing arts in expressing those stories. At MuseWeb, we stand for many things—for inclusion, innovation, and democratic access to culture; for creativity, participation, and free and open data; for libraries, galleries, archives, public monuments and community cultural centers. We stand for museums and the people their collections and cultural knowledge are here to serve both today and for the millennia to come. MuseWeb is joining the #iSTANDfor campaign by showing our support and our belief that museums, both big and small, matter.

Please help us tell the world you stand for museums. Use the #iSTANDfor #museumshashtags on social media and tell us why museums are so critical to you in today’s rapidly changing world. Get our attention @museweb on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, if you’re in New York later this week, the Antigone Now is free and open to the public at the Onassis Cultural Center New York (645 5th Avenue, New York, NY). Visit the festival website at http://www.onassisfestivalny.org. Find out more about the MuseWeb Foundation at http://www.museweb.us/about.

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About Nancy Proctor

Nancy Proctor is Director of The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture and of the MuseWeb Foundation, the new non-profit initiative of Museums and the Web, as well as Co-chair and Co-editor with Rich Cherry of MW’s international conferences and publications. Previously Nancy was Deputy Director of Digital Experience and Communications at the Baltimore Museum of Art (2014-2016), Head of Mobile Strategy and Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution (2010-2014), and Head of New Media Initiatives at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum (2008-2010). With a PhD in American art history and a background in filmmaking, curation and art criticism, Nancy lectures and publishes widely on technology and innovation in museums, in French and Italian as well as English. Nancy Proctor created her first online exhibition in 1995 and went on to publish the New Art CD-ROM and website of contemporary art in the UK in 1996. She co-founded TheGalleryChannel.com in 1998 with Titus Bicknell to present virtual tours of innovative exhibitions alongside comprehensive global museum and gallery listings. TheGalleryChannel was later acquired by Antenna Audio, where Nancy led New Product Development from 2000-2008, introducing the company’s multimedia, sign language, downloadable, podcast and cellphone tours. She also directed Antenna’s sales in France from 2006-2007, and worked with the Travel Channel’s product development team. Nancy served as program chair for the Museums Computer Network (MCN) conference 2010-2011, and co-organized the Tate Handheld conference 2008 & 2010. She started MuseumMobile.info, its wiki and podcast series in 2008. She was Digital Editor of Curator: The Museum Journal from 2009-2014, and is now on the Journal's editorial board, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Omnimuseum Project.

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