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MCA Chicago renounces future contracts with police until changes are made

Museums calls for policies that “respect black communities”

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago © Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Taking a leaf from museums in Minneapolis, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA} Chicago pledged today not to engage in future contracts with the Chicago Police Department “until we see meaningful changes that respect black communities implemented in our city”.

The move follows recent actions by the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Art to cease contracting with the Minneapolis Police Department for crowd services supplied by off-duty police officers. Both had previously contracted with the police department for such services.

The MCA noted that is not currently engaged in any “current or ongoing contracts, special services, or funding of the Chicago Police Department”, which makes its action largely symbolic. Nonetheless, it said, "We stand united against racial injustice alongside those who are using their voices to hold authorities and institutions accountable for their actions.”

Museums have been under growing pressure to not only express solidarity with demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis but to take more aggressive steps to promote changes in police tactics. Since Floyd’s death, massive protests have arisen in scores of American cities, including Chicago, against police violence and racial inequities.