The Citizen Curator Project is a joint venture between representatives of the John C. Hitt Library, the Texts & Technology program, the School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), and the Department of History. Our goal is to promote public discourse and civic engagement through community-curated exhibits. As public crises emerge, such as those affecting civil rights, the environment, public health, and the economy, we need citizens to participate in discussions about these crises. Such participation requires citizens to access and make use of the unique materials available at our local museums, libraries, and archives. We facilitate these efforts with an eye toward highlighting new and overlooked perspectives on a wide array of issues that we use as unifying themes.
Planning for our first exhibit began in the fall of 2016 when we were awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) implementation grant. We chose "Resilience: Remembering Pulse" as our inaugural theme with the Pulse nightclub attack serving as our primary focal point. We invited local artists, activists, educators, and other members of the community to curate exhibits. We provided as much freedom as possible and encouraged our curators to experiment with the theme and with the idea of what an exhibit could be. The resulting exhibits, which were displayed at the Art Gallery, the John C. Hitt Library, and online, were part of UCF’s official response to the anniversary of the Pulse tragedy on Thursday, June 8, 2017.
About the projects
The Citizen Curator Project invited participants to curate exhibits on the themes of "Eliminationism and Resilience." A particularly potent example of eliminationism, defined as discourses, actions, and social policies that seek to suppress, exile, or exterminate perceived opponents, is the Pulse nightclub attack, whereas the Orlando United campaign may be viewed as an act of resilience. The call for participation resulted in several separate, but related, exhibitions.