Beka Economopoulos is the Founding Director of The Natural History Museum, a mobile and pop-up museum that highlights the socio-political forces that shape nature. The museum is a project of Not An Alternative, an art collective that works at the intersection of art, activism, and critical theory. Not An Alternative was named in the NY Times and ArtNet’s “Best in Art in 2015” round-ups. The group’s projects have been featured within museums around the world, and in the public sphere, where they collaborate with community groups and social movements.
Some projects: we've been working with top scientists around the world to encourage science and natural history museums to cut ties to fossil fuel interests. More recently, we released a letter signed by 2000+ museum directors and staff, archaeologists, anthropologists and historians in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and decrying the recent destruction of cultural heritage and Native American burial grounds by the Dakota Access Pipeline company. In the last 2 years we've held exhibitions at museums in Queens, NY and Houston, TX in collaboration with community groups on the front lines of the climate crisis that explore the intersections of climate change, racial and environmental justice, science, and public health. Upcoming initiatives: we are in the process of developing a consortium of museum professionals, scientists, and local community groups aimed at transforming science and natural history museums into institutions that advance social and environmental justice. And we are developing a pilot project at 3-5 science / natural history museums around the country in partnership with local Native communities to develop content and programs that lift up the pressing contemporary issues and environmental justice concerns those communities face. Finally, we're building a collection and series of essays that re-interpret the history of natural history museums, connecting past to present to offer tools to shape the future.
The Natural History Museum
Museum, Consortia and Networks, Other NGO or Non-Profit