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How can museums honor both the extraordinary and the everyday?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Leaving a Mark. Check out Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4.

Museums are full of artifacts left by "the first and the famous," says curator Ariana Curtis. Museums can better represent diverse stories, she argues, if they also include stories of everyday life.

About Ariana Curtis

Ariana Curtis serves as the first curator for Latinx Studies at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. As a curator, she researches, collects, exhibits and promotes Latinx- and Black-centered narratives to more accurately represent the history and culture of the Americas.

From 2020 to 2022, she was also the Director of Content for the Smithsonian's 'Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past' initiative. Curtis is also a member of multiple committees for the Smithsonian's American Women History Initiative.

Curtis earned her bachelor's from Duke University and her doctorate in anthropology from American University. She is a Fulbright scholar.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Rachel Faulkner White and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

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Rachel Faulkner is a producer and editor for TED Radio Hour.
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.