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Broad Museum interim director seeks to embed arts and culture across campus

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Michigan State University
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Steven Bridges is the interim director and senior curator and director of curatorial affairs at MSU's Broad Museum. The Broad is celebrating 10 years of being open to the public this fall.

“On November 10 the museum will turn 10 years old. When the museum opened and was founded in 2012, there was a great outpouring and show of support and excitement. That’s continued through the years, and we’ve softened some of the hard angles, if you will, of the museum to bring in a better diversity of audiences and build a sense of inclusivity. The museum is on this campus in service to MSU and to the broader mid-Michigan region that we serve. We offer a wide range of exhibitions, and we promote faculty and student engagement with the museum. But these are also areas I think we can really lean into further and develop more. We want to bring out the collection formally known as the Kresge Art Museum Collection and make sure that it's a pivotal hallmark piece of who we are as an institution.”

Bridges discusses the September 17 (B)road to Ten fundraising event benefitting the new Open Storage Center—a project designed to bring major parts of the collection out of private, offsite storage and into the museum for public enjoyment. And he highlights other exhibits and events at the museum.

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Russ White | MSU Today
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Steven Bridges

“There’s a great opportunity for us to continue to embed ourselves and integrate ourselves across campus. We're a part of the university arts and culture and collections unit on campus now. And this integration of arts across campus is really important. While we hope that people always come and visit us, I want to make a concerted effort to get the arts into classrooms and into other areas of campus and make those connections to make sure that all students and all faculty understand the importance of working arts into the curriculum and into the experience more generally at the university.

“Where we’re located on campus is a huge benefit to us being at the gateway between the university campus and our greater communities, but there's a lot more campus that sits to the south of us and all around us. Breaking down some of those barriers, shortening those distances, and making sure that people understand that we exist here for them and in the service of them is important to me. That takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of outreach, a lot of communication, and a lot of relationship building. It’s an opportunity to work with a wide range of people. Asserting the role of the arts on campus and the importance of arts as a tool for research within a research context is a way for the artist to think about things differently. That is something that I'm passionate about, and I hope to bring others into the fold.

“Ten years have been incredible. These anniversary years are always great moments for reflection, but it's also about the future. We've set a great groundwork for this institution in the past 10 years, but the next 10 years are going to be even more exciting. We have new projects and new ideas coming forward. Our strategic planning will open new ideas and room for growth and expansion. And most importantly, we want to make sure that everyone understands that we exist for them. We are free. We are now open Wednesday through Sunday. Whether you're interested in contemporary art or ancient art and antiquities or looking for family day programs or other kinds of educational opportunities, the museum has so much to offer. We hope that you come for one thing and you experience so much more.”

MSU Today airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 5 a.m. on WKAR News/Talk and Sundays at 8 p.m. on 760 WJR. Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.