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Adventures in Participatory Audience Engagement at the Henry Art Gallery

Museum 2.0

In 2009 , students built a participatory exhibit from scratch. Thirteen students produced three projects that layered participatory activities onto an exhibition of artwork from the permanent collection of the Henry Art Gallery. The guiding principle is uncovering relationships between the works of art themselves rather than explicating information or theoretical concepts. Projects participatory museum

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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. It is multi-disciplinary, incorporates diverse voices from our community, and provides interactive and participatory opportunities for visitor involvement.

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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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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. This exhibition represents a few big shifts for us: We used a more participatory design process. Our previous big exhibition, All You Need is Love, was highly participatory for visitors but minimally participatory in the development process.

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

Museum 2.0

blends sculpture, repetition, and ritual performance in a political statement about the genocide of animals in factory farms. I thought about all of this when reading about the recent incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami, where artist Maximo Carminero smashed a vase by Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei in an unauthorized act of visitor participation. It is not acceptable to walk into a museum and destroy another artist''s work of art. But art museums are coming back from the dead.

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Lead or Follow: Arts Administrators Hash it Out

Museum 2.0

Last week, Douglas McLellan of artsJournal ran a multi-vocal forum on the relationship between arts organizations and audiences, asking: In this age of self expression and information overload, do our artists and arts organizations need to lead more or learn to follow their communities more? Sixteen arts administrators, journalists, and researchers weighed in on the question over a series of posts.

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

Museum 2.0

At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History , we''re approaching this challenge through a different lens: social bridging. Family Art Workshops" suffer from anemic participation whereas multi-generational festivals are overrun with families. I don''t have the answer to how we can incorporate bridging across the various ways we work with intact and blended communities. Museum of Art and History programs social bridging

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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. The “we” isn’t always staff; in most cases, our staff work with community partners in a participatory, co-creative model. FLEXIBLE OPTIMISM + HARD CRITERIA Real estate developers blend optimism and flexibility with clear-eyed assessment of what external conditions make a project go.

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The World Beach Project: A Creative Contributory Project that Shines

Museum 2.0

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. It's a project that requires people to do four things that are both simple and complex: go to the beach (anywhere in the world), make a piece of art using stones, photograph it, and then send the photos to the museum via the Web. The act of making art, and the recognition on a simple website, are the only rewards.

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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. In Praise of the Post-It There's lots of post-it-powered art on the web these days (like this and this ). The previous exhibit in this space was a very provocative art exhibit about sexual violence, and yet in our brief site survey in April we saw almost no one stop to look at the art.

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New Models for Community Partnerships: Museums Hosting Meetups

Museum 2.0

On 8.16.08, the Museum of Art and History (Santa Cruz, CA) hosted FreelanceCamp, a free unconference that brought 150 designers and techies from the south bay area together to talk shop. This art and history museum, despite having a great downtown location and some pretty excellent art, appears not to attract the software programmers and landscape architects of Santa Cruz. Projects participatory museum

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AAM Conversations: Want to Talk?

Museum 2.0

Participatory history programming. Over the past year, we've found it fairly easy to invent and sustain participatory art and craft projects. How do we deal with the blending of personal and institutional goals when it comes to contributing to efforts to improve the whole community? (No relation to AAM. Just cute.) I'm heading this weekend to the American Association of Museums conference in Minneapolis.

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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. In this full-time role, you will be responsible for interactive exhibition development, project management of all our site-specific work, and you will lead the redevelopment of our permanent History Gallery into a more dynamic, participatory, and flexible space. What opportunities might that open up for participatory and community projects that evolve over time in the space?

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Wandering Down the "Don't Touch" Line

Museum 2.0

Art, however, does not come to museums pre-hardened. At the museum of art and history where I work, we are grappling with the question of how to help people enjoy themselves while keeping the art and artifacts safe. The level of touching, especially of art, has increased. While it's great that people feel comfortable here, it's not great that they are (presumably unwittingly) endangering the art.

Museum 39
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Building Community Bridges: A "So What" Behind Social Participation

Museum 2.0

For a long time, I knew I cared deeply about designing from "me to we" --inviting visitors to form social connections through participatory experiences--but I couldn't express a clear reason why. We tailor the programming blend to diverse ages, making sure no activity is just for kids or adults, no matter how much glue or fire is involved. Last Friday, I witnessed something beautiful at my museum.

Museum 34
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The Great Good Place Book Discussion Part 5: Oldenburg on the LAM

Museum 2.0

Nina's research keeps finding that the right kind of constraints work to produce a better participatory museum experience. There's a nice overlap to be found here blending the traits of Oldenburg’s third place with the mission of the institution. It was a collaborative library/design/art/community-building project. This is the fifth installment of a book discussion about Ray Oldenburg’s book The Great Good Place.

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