MSU Museum to Open New Exhibit for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
EAST LANSING - In the aftermath of the Larry Nassar abuse, and during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Michigan State University Museum is opening a new exhibit focusing on the hundreds of survivors.
Just a little over a year after victim-impact statements were made at Nassar's trial, the museum is opening the exhibition giving the girls and women who were abused a voice.
"We've been working with Sister-Survivors for much of this past year to develop an exhibition in which they can tell their story," Mark Auslander, Director of MSU Museum said.
Auslander said the exhibit is a community co-curated exhibition. It was created by the Sister-Survivors, the group started by women who were victims of Nassar's abuse, with help from an advisory counsel and the museum itself.
"And they have chosen the main story lines, the wording itself, the objects that we use including the extraordinary art that you see behind you," Auslander said.
Auslander said visitors will begin the exhibition looking at a 21-foot painting by a Michigan artist and Sister Survivor. Visitors will then move down the stairs passing under the teal prayer flags made by the mothers of the survivors on their way to the main part of the exhibit.
"So the main part of the exhibition is a chance to meet all 505 of the known Nassar survivors," Auslander said.
And although the exhibit has come together after several months of work, Auslander said the exhibit is not accepted by everyone.
"Many people are worried, I think, that this is too much, too soon," Auslander said. "Maybe we should first have internal conversations on campus, people say, before we show everything. But, the whole world knows what happened at MSU."
Despite push back, Auslander said the exhibit will give people an opportunity to learn the story of these survivors.
"It presents a kind of vision for all of us of what a world free of sexual violence might be like, and what a world would be like when there were, those who have been assaulted, those who have been abused, were not disbelieved but were honored, listened to, and worked with together to create a better place," Auslander said.
Auslander said there has never been an exhibit quite like this. The exhibit is set to open Tuesday, April 16 and will be in the museum for one year.