As part of the launch of TMA’s IDEA Plan, the museum has compiled a brief timeline of key milestones in TMA’s journey to becoming a more inclusive and equitable institution. Many programs, exhibitions, community partnerships, and individuals have helped lay the foundation of the where we are today.
Arizona Biennial begins as a way to amplify the artistic diversity of the state.
TMALearn! Docents develop an outreach program to bring art-making experiences to childhood cancer patients in hospitals.
Art of Memory, a partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter, starts to offer art-making programs for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers.
The museum partners with Owl & Panther, which evolves into the Museum as Sanctuary initiative, an expressive arts program, serving refugee and immigrant families residing in Tucson. The partnership continues to this day and Museum as Sanctuary has grown to include over 5 additional long-term collaborations.
TMA launches its first verbal descriptive and touch tours for visually impaired audiences to students from the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.
Borderlandia: Cultural Topographies by Einar and Jamex de la Torre explores history, politics, immigration, identity, religion, popular culture, food and Meso-American symbols. The exhibition was on view during enforcement of and resulting widespread backlash against Arizona’s strict anti-illegal immigration law, SB 1070.
Community Voices labels are integrated within permanent collection galleries, positioning the museum’s interpretation as a place for active conversation and dialogue, where multiple voices are sharing knowledge and partaking in meaning making. Over 50 labels have been used in 10 exhibitions since.
TMA receives a Museums for America Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-20-16-0268-16) to position the museum as community anchor offering increased resources for immigrant and refugee audiences throughout Southern Arizona.
The inaugural Free First Thursday program is held, a program about people rather than objects with interactive admission-free evenings that reflect the diversity of the community, making art accessible and relevant to all. These programs have continued to this day and have been transitioned online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TMA begins to present all exhibition wall text, labels and related materials bilingually (Spanish-English).
The Casa Cordova—the oldest adobe home in downtown Tucson—is restored and renovated, exploring the Cordova Family and urban renewal and showcasing a commitment to community-based exhibitions and culturally relevant narratives.
30 Americans opens, showcasing works by some of the most significant African American artists of the last four decades. In support of this exhibition, TMA develops its first Community Advisory Committee in order to make stronger and more relevant connections between local communities and the exhibition.
TMA receives a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MG-50-19-0044-19) to develop an adaptable framework and toolkit to support museums in becoming responsive, relevant, and welcoming spaces through community-based approaches to curation, interpretation, and programming.
The museum launches its land acknowledgement statement in conjunction with The Western Sublime: Majestic Landscapes of the American West.
The Kasser Family Wing opens, showcasing artwork spanning 3,000 years of art, culture and creativity from Latin America.