• new-top-banner-photo.jpg
  • Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts To Host Smithsonian Exhibition Exploring Implicit Bias

    • Share:
    May 31, 2023

    On view this June, The Bias Inside Us unpacks and demystifies the concept of bias and helps visitors understand what they can do to counter their implicit biases.
    Montgomery, AL, May 30, 2023 – The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts will host The Bias Inside Us from June 3 through July 2. The community engagement project from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) will raise awareness about the social science and psychology of implicit bias, the impact of this bias, and what people can do about it.
     The Bias Inside Us features Spanish photographer Angélica Dass’ Humane project, which reflects on the color of skin that challenges the concept of race. Photograph by Science Museum of Minnesota.

    The Bias Inside Us features a traveling exhibition that serves as the centerpiece for local programs and activities. Through compelling images, hands-on interactives, and powerful testimonials and videos, the exhibition unpacks and demystifies the concept of bias. The exhibition features six sections: Introduction, The Science of Bias, Bias in Real Life, Serious Consequences—Bias is All Around Us, #RetrainYourBrain, and Personal Reflection.
    Visitors will explore the foundational blocks of bias, the psychology of how it forms, and how it
    influences behaviors both consciously and unconsciously. Interactive elements display how implicit and explicit bias show up in the world and how bias influences systems and policies that have consequences for many people and communities. One interactive experience invites visitors to think about how bias is reflected in product design, advertising, architecture, and technology. Among the videos in the exhibition is a series that features eight voices from diverse perspectives sharing personal experiences with bias.
    The exhibition also features Spanish photographer Angélica Dass’ Humanae project, which reflects on the color of skin that challenges the concept of race. In this work, Dass documents humanity’s true colors through portraits, rather than the labels “white,” “red,” “black,” and “yellow.”
    “Bias is part of being human,” said Myriam Springuel, director of SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations. “Our goal through The Bias Inside Us is to help individuals understand and counter their implicit bias and help communities thrive through conversation and greater understanding.”
    The Bias Inside Us draws from the scientific research and educational work by psychologists Mahzarin
    R. Banaji of Harvard University and Anthony G. Greenwald, professor emeritus at the University of Washington. They defined the term “implicit bias” through their work on unconscious and conscious mental processes. Their book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (Delacorte Press, 2013) explores the biases people carry based on their exposure to cultural attitudes on areas such as gender, race, social class, and disability status.

    Bias in Our Everyday Lives

    Friday, June 9, 2023; 5–6 PM
    Free | At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
    Accompanying the exhibition, this panel explores the innate human trait and considers such questions as: What does bias look like? How does it shape our perceptions of others? And how do those perceptions affect our community? Professor Dr. Kimberly Brown Pellum will moderate the panel, composed of the Dean of the School of Education for Auburn University of Montgomery, Dr. Sheila Austin, New Orleans-based artist Shannon Anderson, and Dr. Melvin Brown, Superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools. Following the discussion, drinks and light snacks will be provided.

    Featured Artist Program: Bias Inside Us

    June 12–17, 2023; 10 AM to Noon
    Free | At the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
    Working with the MMFA's teen summer camp, Atlanta-based artist EL Chisolm will create a community mural that addresses the beauty and uniqueness of being human. Teen campers will engage in the topics presented in The Bias Inside Us, participate in guided conversations led by Southern Poverty Law Center staff, and work with EL Chisolm to create their own artworks. The mural, developed collaboratively with the teens, will serve as an entry point into conversations around bias and misconceptions of identity and be displayed at the MMFA through August 2023.



    In October 2021, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was awarded a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to create a comprehensive practice to address diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) within the organization. Now in our second year of this institutional development program, the MMFA remains committed to achieving the goals laid out in this initiative:
    • increasing cultural awareness and empathy in staff, board members, and docents;
    • creating training and engagement opportunities for underrepresented museum professionals;
    • developing an industry guidebook that documents our process and highlights the necessity of this type of introspective work; and
    • building more meaningful relationships between the MMFA and the underrepresented communities that we serve


    Series Support
    This exhibition and program series is funded by a grant from Alabama Humanities Alliance in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    Bias Inside Us Support
    The Bias Inside Us is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
    Major support is provided by The Otto Bremer Trust.
    Additional support provided by Acton Family Giving, Anonymous donors, The Beverly Foundation, Steve and Sheri Lear, Target, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation, Thomson Reuters, Alabama Power Foundation, Allianz of America, Valerie E. and William A. Anders, Atlanta Gas Light Foundation, Julie and David Burton, the Dreier Family, Lennart Ehn and Ginger Lew, Expedia, Trevor and Melissa Fetter, the Roger S. Firestone Foundation, Brenda J. Gaines, Myra Hart and Kent Hewitt, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, Judy and Bob Huret, Dr. Christine C. Jenkins and Mr.
    Pierre A. France, KNOCK, inc., Sarah Lawer and Frank Guanco, Leaders Forum, Kathleen Mason, Elyse Rabinowitz and Jim Porter, Dr. Philip S. and Alice Hoolihan Randall, Gloria del C. Rodriguez, the Family of Leona Roen, and Naoma Tate.
    Based on an original concept developed by Tolerance in Motion: Steve Lear, Laura Zelle, and Elyse Rabinowitz, founders; Ellen Glatstein, Laura Lipshutz, Alice Randall, Joanne Jones-Rizzi, and Susan Shapiro, directors; Don Shelby, founding advisor; and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, Steve Hunegs, executive director.

    General Support

    Annual support for exhibitions is made possible by the following sponsors and grantors. Lead sponsors and grantors Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama Power Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Barrie H. Harmon III, Lamar, Medical Properties Trust, Inc., MGMWERX, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Regions Bank, and Rheem Manufacturing, with additional support from sponsors Dr. and Mrs. Mark H. LeQuire, PowerSouth, The S. Adam Schloss Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Ken Williams, and Laurie J. Weil, D.V.M. and Dr. Tommy Wool, and co-sponsors AmeriFirst Bank, Balch & Bingham, LLP, Barganier Davis Williams Architects Associated, AIA, Captrust, Nick Drollette Photography, Ms. Camille Elebash-Hill, Mrs. Ann Hubbert, Jernigan & Jernigan, LLC., Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Mr. and Mrs. L. Daniel Morris, Jr., Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc., Dr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Newman, Jr., River Bank & Trust, Russell Construction of Alabama, Inc., Sabel Steel Services, Inc., Ms. Micki Beth Stiller, Thompson Insurance, Inc., Valley Bank, and Warren Averett, LLC.
    Annual support for programs is made possible by the following sponsors and grantors. Lead sponsors and grantors Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama Power Foundation, Ms. Caroline J. Crook, Copeland Franco Screws & Gill, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, The Ford Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Barrie H. Harmon III, Lamar, Medical Properties Trust, Inc., MGMWERX, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and Regions Bank with additional support from sponsors Mr. John A. Caddell, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC, Drs. Gerri and Struart Hendon, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Runkle, and Cathy Caddell and Charlie Warnke, and co-sponsors Dr. and Mrs. Robert A. Avery, Dr. and Mrs. Sanders M. Benkwith, Goodwyn Mills and Cawood, Inc., and Hodges Warehouse + Logistics.



    The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1930 by a group of local artists as a place for both exhibiting art and a space for art education. The founders’ original intentions—to exhibit and teach—continue to inspire and inform every action and activity at the Museum. Since 1988, the MMFA has shared the 175-acre Blount Cultural Park with partners across the lake at the celebrated Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
    Today’s MMFA visitors stroll through art-studded grounds and permanent collection galleries. They see compelling changing exhibitions and learn about art by playing in the interactive gallery, ArtWorks; making art in the bustling studios, and participating in other engaging events and programs. In addition, MMFA visitors can relax and recharge in the serenity of the Museum’s stunning three-acre John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden.
    While the Museum’s collection is still home to the art of many of the regional artists who first established it, it has become known for its strengths in American art and Old Master prints. Recent important acquisitions of art made by African American and Asian American artists and works inspired by images and themes related to the experiences of these groups represent the breadth and depth of the lives and concerns of those who call Montgomery and the River Region home. Through the exhibition of these works and the programs and events that help connect our communities with them, the MMFA has become recognized as a leading arts and cultural resource here in the state and the Southeastern region.
    The MMFA is a department of the City of Montgomery and is supported by funds from the City of Montgomery, with additional funds from the Montgomery County Commission and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association. Programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.



    WHAT:                          The Bias Inside Us
    WHEN:                         June 3 through July 2, 2023
    WHERE:                       Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park

    One Museum Drive Montgomery, AL 36117
    INFORMATION:            mmfa.org 334.625.4333
    HOURS:                        Galleries, ArtWorks, Sculpture Garden, Terrace, and Shop Mondays, Closed
    Tuesdays–Sunday, 10 AM–5 PM Last entry at 4:45 PM
    ADMISSION:                 Free! With ample, free parking. ###


    Stephen Hayes: shayes@mmfa.org | 334.625.4347
    Stephen Hayes, Director of Communications
    shayes@mmfa.org, (334) 240-4347
  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

  • Receive the latest announcements and updates.

iStock-499134200 [Converted]