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Is it OK to Smash That? The Complications of Living Art Museums

Museum 2.0

Every day for the past two months, a man has entered the largest gallery in my museum. blends sculpture, repetition, and ritual performance in a political statement about the genocide of animals in factory farms. It also complicates the question of what is acceptable in a museum. If an artist can come into a museum and smash stuff, what does that tell visitors? It is not acceptable to walk into a museum and destroy another artist''s work of art.

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Hack the Museum Camp Part 2: Making Magic, Reality TV, and Risk as a Red Herring

Museum 2.0

Last week, my museum hosted Hack the Museum Camp , a 2.5 day adventure in which teams of adults--75 people, of whom about half are museum professionals, half creative folks of various stripes--developed an experimental exhibition around our permanent collection in our largest gallery. Here''s what I got out of Hack the Museum Camp. People talked about the camp as Project Runway for museums. Those are risky decisions in the broader museum context.

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Adventures in Participatory Audience Engagement at the Henry Art Gallery

Museum 2.0

Thirteen students produced three projects that layered participatory activities onto an exhibition of artwork from the permanent collection of the Henry Art Gallery. Background: Why They Did What They Did The Henry Art Gallery exhibition we worked with, Vortexhibition Polyphonica , was intended to explore three big ideas: Different voices “intervene” or add new points of view to the exhibition at periodic intervals. People make the museum friendly, not activities.

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Take a Seat: Beautiful, Casual Areas at the Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts

Museum 2.0

When I was in Taiwan, I heard again and again from museum professionals: "We are very conservative in Taiwanese museums. But I did see something that inspired me quite a lot: a gorgeous, innovative setting for visitors to sit, chat, explore art, and rest. This post is a photo essay focusing on an area at the Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts called the Digiark. The Digiark is a connected but separate building that showcases media art.

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Getting in on the Act: New Report on Participatory Arts Engagement

Museum 2.0

Last month, the Irvine Foundation put out a new report, Getting In On the Act , about participatory arts practice and new frameworks for audience engagement. Authors Alan Brown and Jennifer Novak-Leonard pack a lot into 40 pages--an argument for the rise of active arts engagement, a framework for thinking about ways to actively involve audiences, and lots of case studies. Excellent case studies, especially from the performing arts sector.

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Participation, Contemplation, and the Complexity of "And"

Museum 2.0

"The words we use in attempting to change museum directions matter. And a good thing, too." --Elaine Heumann Gurian, The Importance of "And" Recently, I''ve been embroiled in local and national conversations about the relationship between active participation and quiet contemplation in museums. Our museum in Santa Cruz has been slammed by those who believe participatory experiences have gone too far. Some people commune with the art. Core Museum 2.0

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Museum 2.0 Rerun: What Does it Really Mean to Serve "Underserved" Audiences?

Museum 2.0

This August/September, I am "rerunning" popular Museum 2.0 This post is even more relevant today to the broader conversation about audience diversity in the arts than when it was published three years ago. Diane is both visionary and no-nonsense about deconstructing the barriers that many low-income and non-white teenagers and families face when entering a museum. Most large American museums are reflections of white culture.

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Using Social Bridging to Be "For Everyone" in a New Way

Museum 2.0

Like a lot of organizations, my museum struggles with two conflicting goals: The museum should be for everyone in our community. At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History , we''re approaching this challenge through a different lens: social bridging. Visitors now spontaneously volunteer that "meeting new people" and "being part of a bigger community" are two of the things they love most about the museum experience.

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Six Museum-Related Blogs You Might Not Know About That Are Really Good

Museum 2.0

I believe that the museum blogosphere is still underdeveloped and there's lots of room for people to share their inspiration, experience, and ideas. For a year now, Peter Linett and his friends at Slover-Linett Strategies have been blogging thoughtfully about connecting with arts audiences in new ways. This is a new blog written by Diane Ragsdale as part of the Arts Journal suite. The Museum of the Future. Need some new inspiration in your feed reader?

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17 Ways We Made our Exhibition Participatory

Museum 2.0

It made me think in ways that I haven't before about the relation of art--as expressive culture--to democracy. Helene Moglen, professor of literature, UCSC After a year of tinkering, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History is now showing an exhibition, All You Need is Love , that embodies our new direction as an institution. We invited a private art school to fill a very public wall with paintings made by students in response to the question, "How would you depict love?"

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12 Ways We Made our Santa Cruz Collects Exhibition Participatory

Museum 2.0

In the spirit of a popular post written earlier this year , I want to share the behind the scenes on our current almost-museumwide exhibition at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz Collects. Because we wanted a really clean design and a personal feel, we interviewed all the collectors to capture their stories, creating labels that blended their first-person quotes with our curatorial commentary about the "why" behind their collecting.

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New Models for Community Partnerships: Museums Hosting Meetups

Museum 2.0

I've long believed that museums have a special opportunity to support the community spirit of Web 2.0 If museums get involved in these online-offline partnerships, we can bring new audiences through our doors, familiarize them with museum-going in a comfortable way, and reap the benefits of their online musings about their real-life experiences. The event brought hundreds of hip, young professionals to the museum for lots of booze and partying.

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Think Like a (Real Estate) Developer: Introducing Abbott Square, Part 9

Museum 2.0

This is the ninth in a series of posts on the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History ( MAH )'s development of Abbott Square , a new creative community plaza in downtown Santa Cruz. FLEXIBLE OPTIMISM + HARD CRITERIA Real estate developers blend optimism and flexibility with clear-eyed assessment of what external conditions make a project go. Abbott Square creative placemaking design Museum of Art and History professional development

Artist 20
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Self-Identification and Status Updates: Personal Entrypoints to Museum Experiences

Museum 2.0

I've become convinced that successful paths to participation in museums start with self-identification. The easiest way to do that is to acknowledge their uniqueness and validate their ability to connect with the museum on their own terms. Who is the "me" in the museum experience? Museums are surprisingly poor at allowing visitors--even members--to self-identify and relating to them based on their unique identities. Not so at museums.

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What Cross-Platform Gaming is Doing for Books. and Can Do for Museums

Museum 2.0

This problem is analagous to the repeat visit problem for museums. Museum visits, like book reading, can be an intense and wonderful experience. But is one museum visit enough to compel a second visit? If exhibits are organized by different staff members on different topics at different times, how do you build allegiance to the museum rather than a specific exhibit? How do you encourage visitors to have a sense of pervasive experience with the museum?

Game 22
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Institutional Blogs: Different Voices, Different Value

Museum 2.0

Nik inquired as to how I feel about museum blogs. what's your take on museums that keep blogs? In general, yes, I think that museums maintaining blogs is an effective, cheap way to get changing content out to the public frequently. With a nod to Seventeen magazine, here's a flowquiz to help you figure out what kind of blog might be right for your museum. At the basic level, these are little more than an alternative mouthpiece for the museum's calendar of events.

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The World Beach Project: A Creative Contributory Project that Shines

Museum 2.0

There are lots of museums (and organizations of all kinds) looking for ways to inspire users and visitors to produce their own content and share it with the institution online. The World Beach Project is managed by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London with artist-in-residence Sue Lawty. It launched in October of 2007 with a very simple and understandable idea: to produce a global map of pieces of art made with stones on beaches. design participatory museum usercontent

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Wandering Down the "Don't Touch" Line

Museum 2.0

How do you help visitors know what they can and cannot do in your museum? Most museums have this figured out: they have signs, they have guards, they have cases over the objects. I grew up professionally in the science and children's museum field, where touching is guaranteed and floor staff spend more time helping visitors learn and ensuring their personal safety than they do protecting the objects. Art, however, does not come to museums pre-hardened.

Museum 39
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Advice: An Exhibition about Talking to Strangers

Museum 2.0

Facilitated/Unfacilitated Blend When we started this course, I really pushed the students to think about ways to induce unfacilitated interactions among strangers. They reminded me of street vendors or great science museum cart educators, imparting an energy to the space without overwhelming it. In Praise of the Post-It There's lots of post-it-powered art on the web these days (like this and this ). This is a good lesson for museum talk-back design.

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AAM Conversations: Want to Talk?

Museum 2.0

I'm heading this weekend to the American Association of Museums conference in Minneapolis. Here's what I'd love to explore at AAM this year: Event-driven models for museums. About 85% of visitors to our museum attend through a program/event. What's the chicken and what's the egg when it comes to events, exhibitions, and museum hours? Over the past year, we've found it fairly easy to invent and sustain participatory art and craft projects. (No relation to AAM.

Museum 35
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Weekend Reading: 2012 Trends and Young Adult Programs

Museum 2.0

The folks at the AAM Center for the Future of Museums have been experimenting with sharing ideas in several ways over the past couple of years--through their blog , their weekly newsletter , and a series of research reports. It's tight, clear writing on seven big ideas on their radar: crowdsourcing, shifting non-profit tax status, pop up museums, online fundraising, creative aging, augmented reality, and education reform.

Museum 28
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ASTC Recap: Questions, Colors, and Reflective Research

Museum 2.0

Exhibit labels in science centers ask more questions than any other kinds of museums, and yet the questions are often awful--teacherly, overly rhetorical, and totally meaningless. asked by a cop or mother, garners the full attention of asker and askee alike, museum questions like "what is nanotechnology?," IMLS also wanted to help museums and libraries improve their skills, both for audiences and for their own professional communities.

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Three Exhibition-Related Opportunities in 2013

Museum 2.0

We're looking for an Exhibitions Manager to join our team here at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. This is a highly collaborative role, and we are looking for the perfect blend of strong design skills with a generous enthusiasm for amateur and professional co-creation. You Can't Do That in Museums Camp is filling up. You do not have to be a museum professional to be part of this--we'd like a diverse mix of participants.

Museum 28
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Two Tagging Projects that Make Sense

Museum 2.0

But over the last couple of months, I've learned about two tagging projects that actually get me excited-- CamClickr at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Posse at the Brooklyn Museum. When museums embark on collections-tagging projects, they are almost entirely focused on this secondary benefit. When I view a museum collection online, I'm not thinking, "how could I make this easier for someone else?" I raised this fear with Shelley Bernstein at the Brooklyn Museum.

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Building Community Bridges: A "So What" Behind Social Participation

Museum 2.0

Last Friday, I witnessed something beautiful at my museum. I've been documenting lots of small bridging incidents at our museum over the past few months. It could have been the attitude of the museum that supports participation and conversation. At museums, we mostly bond with the friends and family with whom we attend. If we can make our museum a place that intentionally encourages and inspires bridging, we will make a powerful impact on our whole community.

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50 Silent Auction Basket Ideas to Bring In the Big Bids

Qgiv

Coffee lovers will jump at the chance to try new coffee blends or brewing methods for their morning, afternoon, or evening cup of joe. If there are candy-making classes in your area, a gift certificate will come in handy for beginners looking to master the art of sugar confections.

Gift 83
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Quick Hits: Projects, Workshops, Tools, and a Job

Museum 2.0

Museum Projects COSI has done a lovely job aggregating all of their social media efforts into one "Share" tab on their website. The Brooklyn Museum is offering a new "socially networked" membership called 1stfans starting Jan 3. LACMA has recently opened their grounds to two pretty unusual art groups, Machine Project and The Public School. Machine Project is a gallery/educational program space with a focus on blending art and technology in craft workshops.

Museum 20
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The Great Good Place Book Discussion Part 5: Oldenburg on the LAM

Museum 2.0

We share an abiding interest in exploring the community-enhancing roles of libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs), especially in terms of the practice of hospitality and service within the institution. Suzanne: After reading The Great Good Place , I can't see a way that a museum or library could be a third place without sacrificing its mission. Nina's research keeps finding that the right kind of constraints work to produce a better participatory museum experience.

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The Cirque De Soleil Model: “Entertaining” Doesn’t Have to Mean Low-Brow

Museum 2.0

Heck, sign me up for a ticket to the zombie museum. But when I took off my “entertainment” glasses and put on my museum eyes, my reaction wasn’t amusement. I imagined museum folks reading the article and snapping the paper closed with smug smiles on their faces: "See. Ripley's is just a small symbol of the growing challenge for museums to compete for audiences in a growing experience economy. It’s not just eye candy; it’s art that isn’t afraid to pull punches.

Museum 20
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Groundswell Book Club Part 2: Talking

Museum 2.0

In this post, a discussion about the art of conversation in the groundswell. Many museums have jumped into the middle level—producing their own content—without starting with commenting. Consider the path of the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Jennifer Caleshu, their director of communication, is a museum talker extraordinaire. What does it look like when a museum goes all the way to the top level and creates its own community for discussion?

Museum 20
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Game Friday: Lovely, Quirky Amanita

Museum 2.0

This week, Game Friday pays homage to Amanita Design , the funky game and animation design firm behind the award-winning Samorost series and several flash-based corporate games that blend lush imagery, surreal storytelling, and surprising little puzzles. I often treat games like this as interactive art and use the cheat sheet walkthroughs as a way to explore the world of the game.

Museum 20
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The Triple Bottom Line in India: Software, Quality Education, and Early Learning

Beth Kanter

One of things that struck me about India and it still resonated during my last visit – is how businesses, individuals, and nonprofit blend their strategies for making social change. Rufina’s new job is working for an education software start up that is developing operational software for schools It is called: EnTeEf: “Enabling Teachers’ Effectiveness “ in classrooms. At the Sujaya School, I visited a second grade art class. Visiting the Sujaya School with Rufina Fernandez.

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10 Holiday Gifts That Give Back

Have Fun - Do Good

Do Artisans a World of Good For many people, art and craft-making is their livelihood. For example, A Green Mountain Coffee Roasters sampler of Organic Breakfast Blend, Organic French Roast and Organic Sumatran Reserve is $26.95. Babatunde Olatunji" Full disclosure: New Mexico Creates is related to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, where my dad works.

Gift 58