The Hoffman Forum

Challenging Topics. Brilliant Minds. Civil Discourse.

The Hoffman Forum is supported by generous gifts from Larry J. Hoffman, J.D. ’54, and Debi Hoffman, J.D. ’83.  Committed to the civil exchange of ideas for the benefit of our university, our community, and the wider world, the Forum provides an annual opportunity to have collaborative and interdisciplinary programs related to issues at the intersection of law, public policy, the arts, and social justice with programming that responds to evolutionary (and, perhaps, even, revolutionary) developments among visual and performing artists and arts institutions as they confront and cope with unexpected new norms and realities. 

Speakers include leaders from the worlds of the arts, sciences, law, politics, entertainment, sports, and business to meet in a structured setting to discuss timely and important issues and unexpected events and opportunities. The Hoffman Forum operates under the Arts Law Track in Miami Law's Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law LL.M. Program. Prior to this, the Hoffman Forum was hosted in collaboration with The Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI.

Past Events

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  • 2022

    October 20, 2022 - Civil Conversation, Cultural Patrimony and the Kingdom of Benin: Critical Considerations

    In recent years, museums and other cultural institutions have begun examining their collections through the lenses of decolonialization, legal compliance, and ethical best practices. They have also increased the frequency with which they have returned works to source nations, including Nigeria, within whose borders regal and ceremonial artifacts were looted from the ancient Kingdom of Benin in 1897. Dr. Sarah Clunis, Director of Academic Partnerships and Curator of African Collections, Harvard University Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, served as moderator focusing on Benin, its cultural patrimony, and the complex web of factors collecting institutions consider when deciding how to responsibly steward materials from the Kingdom. Joining Dr. Clunis was Dr. Sylvester Ogbechie, Professor, Arts and Visual Cultures of Global Africa, University of California Santa Barbara; Enotie Ogbebor, Artist, Fellow of the University of Cambridge, Creative Director, Edo Global Art Foundation; Kevin Gover, Under Secretary for Museums and Culture, Smithsonian Institution; and Dr. Ana Vrdoljak, UNESCO Chair in International Law and Cultural Heritage, University of Technology Sydney.

    April 7, 2022 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Discussion with Women Leaders in Entertainment & Sports

    The Hoffman Forum sponsored this panel discussion that was part of the Global Entertainment and Sports Law + Industry Conference. The moderator was Ivy Kagan Bierman - Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP and director of Miami Law's Entertainment Track, Miami Law Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law LL.M. The panel speakers included: Christine Simmons - COO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences; Ruth Riley - TV Studio & Radio Analyst, Miami Heat; Niza Motola - Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, Employment and Litigation at Univision; Erika Estrada Boden - Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises; and Victoria Croy - Director of Culture and Inclusion, Jacksonville Jaguars.

    April 8, 2022 - A Conversation with Oscar's COO: Christine Simmons

    The Hoffman Forum is proud to sponsor these panels at at the Entertainment and Sports Law + Industry Conference hosted annually at the University of Miami School of Law. 

    Entertainment and sports have the power to shape and inform society’s values on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and show us what is possible for the future. Discussions surrounding diversity in these industries distinctly lack the perspectives of women that contribute to the success of professional athletes, teams, and creative talent. These panels of women leaders will share their perspectives and experiences on making diversity, equity, and inclusion an important part of the entertainment and sports industries.

    The panels will bring together Ivy Kagan Bierman (Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP and Director of UM Law’s EASL Entertainment Law Track) to moderate a discussion between Christine Simmons (COO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences), Niza Motola (Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, Employment and Litigation at Univision), Erika Boden (Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises), Angela Reddock Wright (Employment Mediator, Arbitrator & Investigator, Reddock Law/Judicate West, DEI Expert), Victoria Croy (Jacksonville Jaguars, Director of Culture and Inclusion) and Christine Simmons (COO Oscar's).

    Civil Conversation: NFTs – Changing the Game or Gaming the System?

    This Forum discussed how the rise of NFTs has sent shock waves into the art market, causing the art world to wonder if this phenomenon is merely a speculative bubble or something more enduring. NFTs have attracted established and new artists with promises of unprecedented sales prices and, given NFT’s underlying blockchain technology, resale royalties and provenance assurances. These guarantees provide artists with new opportunities unavailable from traditional gallery and other secondary market purchase and sale agreements. Artists are also expanding their audiences as NFT marketplaces have introduced new collectors into the primary market and increased demand for contemporary artists’ creative work in this developing medium. This next “Civil Conversation” addressed two primary questions:

    (1) does the emerging NFT marketplace encourage or facilitate greater access to the primary market for historically underrepresented artists, and
    (2) has the emergence of NFTs encouraged visual artists to cross-over into new mediums of creative work?

    The program brought together Vivek Jayaram, Esq. (Founder & President, Jayaram Law) to moderate a conversation among Steve Krause, Esq. (Vice President, Head of Commercial Legal, Dapper Labs), Jen Stark (Fine Artist), and Nicole McGraw (Co-Founder & CCO, Jupiter Group NFTs).

  • 2021

    Civil Conversation: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion – Art Museums & Universities: Similar Goals – Divergent Paths?

    Although art museums and universities are vital educational institutions in the United States, they differ in their governance, traditions, programs and activities, and many other factors. This Conversation addressed how these differing educational organizations might address and make progress on their shared goals of achieving a greater degree of social justice in their own institutions and in the society at large. The unprecedented events of 2020-21 motivated these educational, tax-exempt organizations’ commitments to: Expand diversity in their governance, professional ranks, programs and activities, and among their stakeholders; assure equitable treatment not only of all members of their communities (professional, administrative, staff, and students/visitors) but also of suppressed artistic and scholarly histories, viewpoints, and expression; and include formerly muted or excluded voices, stakeholders, and the public in all aspects of their organization and operations. An example of this awareness was the establishing at the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC) of its inaugural Chief Officer for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and at the University of Miami (Miami, FL) of its Law School’s first Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Community and the university’s first Vice-Dean Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

    This program brought together Stephen K. Urice and Jill Deupi of the University of Miami for introductory remarks and panelists Daniel Weiss, President & Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Mikka Gee Conway, Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer and EEO Director, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Osamudia James, Esq., Former Professor of Law, and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, and Associate Dean, Diversity, Equity, and Community, and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, University of Miami School of Law and University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

  • 2020

    "Daccessioning in American Museums Today"

    Amid economic fallout resulting from the pandemic, many institutions sell works from their holdings to raise capital. The practice, known as deaccessioning, is both necessary and controversial. This thought-provoking panel discussion on deaccessioning, was part of the inaugural “Civil Conversations Program” and took place on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017

    In 2017 the event was hosted at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

  • 2016

    In 2016 the forum took place at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.

  • 2015

    The first Hoffman Forum was held on October 30, 2015 and hosted by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.  This invitational symposium brought together senior leaders of foundations endowed by visual artists, such as the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and Joan Mitchell Foundation, and scholarly experts, artists and thoughts leaders to discuss key issues and innovations influencing the field’s charitable impact. The day’s keynote discussion was a conversation among Darren Walker, President, The Ford Foundation; artist and MacArthur Fellow Mark Bradford, co-founder of LA’s Art + Practice Foundation; and Christine Vincent, AEFI Project Director.