The ongoing revolution in philanthropy: An open-ended reading list

Deborah Elizabeth Finn

Deciding Together Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking. Empowering Communities: Participatory Grantmakers Say We Must Go beyond Feedback. Evaluating a Culture. Cultural Organizing Needed for Equity: A Framework of Belonging.

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. This post focuses on one aspect of the exhibition: its participatory and interactive elements.


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The Participatory Museum, Five Years Later

Museum 2.0

This week marks five years since the book The Participatory Museum was first released. I wrote The Participatory Museum for two reasons: to explore the "how" of participatory design in museums, cultural centers, libraries, and science centers to create a version of this blog that was more "shareable" with organizational leaders and trustees By many measures, the book has been a success. I''m curious to know: has The Participatory Museum played a role in your work?

What I Learned from Beck (the rock star) about Participatory Arts

Museum 2.0

Beck''s project is unusual because he deliberately resurrected a mostly-defunct participatory platform: sheet music for popular songs. In his thoughtful preface to this project, I reconnected with five lessons I''ve learned from participatory projects in museums and cultural sites. In my experience, the best participatory experiences are as constrained and clear as possible in the invitation offered, and as open-ended as possible in the outcome generated.

Participatory Moment of Zen: Diverse Visitor Contributions Add Up to Empathy

Museum 2.0

This person is writing about a participatory element (the "pastport") that we included in the exhibition Crossing Cultures. Crossing Cultures features paintings by Belle Yang that relate to her family''s immigration experiences. Response mail art after the visit. design exhibition Museum of Art and History participatory museum usercontent Whoever wrote this comment card: thank you. You made my month.

Balancing Engagement: Adventures in Participatory Exhibit Labels

Museum 2.0

In our quest to make the public areas of the museum more reflective of Santa Cruz culture, we moved these boards from a comprehensive display in the history gallery into a main stairwell, prominently visible from the lobby and throughout the building. We decided to approach the label-writing for these boards in a participatory way. exhibition participatory museum interactivesWe’ve been doing a little experiment at our museum with labels.

Participatory Internships in Santa Cruz this School Year

Museum 2.0

At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, we take our interns seriously, give them real responsibility, creative challenges, and meaningful work opportunities. I'm particularly excited about two internships that relate to participatory exhibition design. First, there is the Participatory Exhibit Design Internship. These interns work with our curatorial team to develop interactive and participatory components for upcoming exhibitions.

Fundraising as Participatory Practice: Myths, Realities, Possibilities

Museum 2.0

As a designer, I'm always trying to ensure that participatory activities, however casual, impact both the participant and the organization. If fundraisers are so keen on relationships, why weren't they the first into social media and participatory projects on behalf of their organizations? Interestingly, in the participatory design model I'm more familiar with on the Web and in collaborative project design, the fundamental issues are different.

Personal Stories – Arts Orgs Need Not Apply?

Connection Cafe

Working with arts organizations there are often concern that your constituent stories aren’t as impactful. million likes surely someone touting the effect of music and art on their lives can get just as many. If a mother or counselor calls you to express gratitude for that after school program, that summer art camp that kept her child off the streets or the guitar class in the gym on Saturdays, dig in. Annual Fund Fundraising Arts & Cultural museum

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Ancient Greece 2.0: Arts Participation before the Industrial Age

Museum 2.0

When we talk about making museums or performing arts organizations more participatory and dynamic, those changes are often seen as threatening to the traditional arts experience. Audience commentary, comfortable spaces for eating and talking, opportunities for amateurs to contribute to professional work: these are often considered intrusions into formal, classical settings for enjoyment of arts. But what if the "traditional" arts experiences is a myth?

Book Announcement: The Participatory Museum is now available!

Museum 2.0

As many of you know, I've been working for the past year+ on a book about visitor participation in museums, libraries, science centers, and art galleries. The Participatory Museum is a practical guide to visitor participation. The Participatory Museum is an attempt at providing such a resource. I hope it opens up a broader conversation about the nuts and bolts of successful participatory projects. Tags: participatory museum Quick Hits Hey kid!

The Art of Gathering: A Fabulous Book to Help You Host Better Meetings and Events

Museum 2.0

Priya Parker's wonderful book The Art of Gathering shares the core principles of how to drive. Here are my three big takeaways from The Art of Gathering : Hosting is an exercise in courageous leadership. Creating event-specific rules can level the playing field, make the implicit explicit, and create a specific culture for the event. The Art of Gathering expanded my understanding of what it means to build a powerful culture of participation.

The Art of Facilitating Virtual Meetings with Sticky Notes

Beth Kanter

Here’s what I learned about facilitating online meetings with sticky notes and incorporating standing/walking into video meetings: This diagram is one that Andrea adapted from Sam Kaner’s book, Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making that gives you the anatomy for a productive meeting – whether it is face-to-face or virtual. Designing A Participatory Hook for a Virtual Meeting.

Goodbye Consulting, Hello Museum of Art & History!

Museum 2.0

As of May 2, I will be the executive director of the Museum of Art & History at McPherson Center in Santa Cruz, CA (here's the press release ). Because of the increased workload I expect in the months to come, as well as the likely possibility that we will start a Museum of Art & History blog, I'm lowering my Museum 2.0 The best way I can really push my own participatory practice and thinking is to operate an institution and work with a community I care about over time.

Art Brings People Together: Measuring the Power of Social Bridging

Museum 2.0

Earlier this fall, I read this headline: "Stanford study: Participation in a cultural activity may reduce prejudice." When the music video was focused on Mexican culture, the researchers found that the white and Asian participants demonstrated a decrease in prejudice against Latinos, both immediately after the activity and six months later. When the music video was not focused on Mexican culture, no such change occurred.

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Are the Arts Habit-Forming?

Museum 2.0

Imagine this situation: You go to an arts event, one of a type you rarely or never take part in. There's been a lot of innovation in arts programming in the last few years. Museums and other venues are offering special programs for teens, for hipsters, for people who want a more active or spiritual or participatory experience. But I'm interested in a more basic question: what does it take for a person--a visitor/audience member--to form an art or museum habit?

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A City and an Art Center Design the Future: Reflections on the Market Street Prototyping Festival

Museum 2.0

"The arts are future-making." I wrote this down when Deborah Cullinan said it at a meeting of arts leaders about a year ago. We were discussing the potential for cultural organizations to have significant impact across communities: on planning, health, education, and quality of life. Deborah''s vision for the arts leading the way to stronger future inspired me. But I couldn''t fully imagine how a museum or an arts center could embody it.

Building a Pipeline to the Arts, World Cup Style

Museum 2.0

And it''s got me thinking about how we build energy and audience for the arts in this country. Barry Hessenius recently wrote a blog post questioning the theory that more art into the school day will increase and bolster future adult audiences for art experiences. Like Barry, I feel that more art in schools is always better. I also share Barry''s skepticism that there is a direct, premier line between art in schools and adult audiences for art.

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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.

Is Wikipedia Loves Art Getting "Better"?

Museum 2.0

It's rare that a participatory museum project is more than a one-shot affair. Wikipedia Loves Art, Take One The first version of Wikipedia Loves Art first took place in February 2009. The Wikimedians asked if the museum would coordinate a project in which people could photograph artworks in cultural institutions to illustrate Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia Loves Art, Take Two In June of 2009, Dutch Wikimedians tried again. Did Wikipedia Loves Art get better?

Where's the Community in the Crowd? Framing and the Wall Street Journal's "Everybody's a Curator"

Museum 2.0

I''m glad to see coverage about art museums involving visitors in exhibitions. I meet them doing research in the archives, collaborating on cultural festivals, and contributing stories to exhibitions. The whole process of being interviewed for the story made me question the stories we tell and words we use to describe participatory work. The metaphor for traditional art museums is the temple. What is the metaphor for participatory arts?

Platform Power: Scaling Impact

Museum 2.0

This argument became one of the foundations of The Participatory Museum. Traditionally, museums and cultural organizations offer programs. This is the participatory platform model. Now that we've opened Abbott Square , we have a goal to offer free cultural programming almost every day of the week. design exhibition inclusion institutional change Museum of Art and History participatory museum programs relationships

Building Community: Who / How / Why

Museum 2.0

These are the slides and notes for the talk I gave at the American Alliance of Museums conference on Monday, April 27 about the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. When I became the director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History four years ago, I took this work with me. We had incredible success transforming our institution into a vibrant cultural center. At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, our community starts with geography.

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Participation, Contemplation, and the Complexity of "And"

Museum 2.0

We need translators within each cultural context. Our museum in Santa Cruz has been slammed by those who believe participatory experiences have gone too far. We always knew that the inclusion of participatory and community-centered practices in arts institutions was controversial. To me, the backlash against participatory and community-centered experiences is not surprising. I''ve always understood that participatory experiences are not for everyone.

The Art of the Social Web

Have Fun - Do Good

It is an art form completely dependent upon the creative potential of each audience member in relation to the events on stage. The receiver completes the circle with his/her own experience, imagination, and creativity--Ann Bogart The quote above is from Andrew Taylor's post, "The Rise of the Active Audience," from his blog, The Artful Manager. Or are we working along a spectrum of cultural opportunities that demands we focus even more narrowly on our point in that spectrum?

Guest Post: Community and Civic Engagement in Museum Programs

Museum 2.0

Visitors bond and bridge through participatory experiences at MAH. Writing my masters thesis for Gothenburg University’s International Museum Studies program while also working four days a week as the Director of Community Programs at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History this spring was certainly a challenge but also an incredible opportunity. There were times when coordinating a fire art festival while researching social capital theory made me want to burn my computer.

Yes, Audience Participation Can Have Significant Value

Museum 2.0

For years, I'd give talks about community participation in museums and cultural institutions, and I'd always get the inevitable question: "but what value does this really have when it comes to dollars and cents?" I can't say that any one experience--working on a collage with other visitors, swinging on a hammock, discovering a participatory display for pocket artifacts in the bathroom--directly contributed to increased attendance and giving.

Opening Up Museums: My TEDxSantaCruz Talk

Museum 2.0

We can change that by embracing participatory culture and opening up to the active, social ways that people engage with art, history, science, and ideas today. Museum of Art and History Core Museum 2.0 Ideas participatory museum social bridgingI'm just home from a whirlwind of speaking engagements--Oslo, Denver, Charlotte, Roanoke.

Traveling Couches and other Emergent Surprises Courtesy of an Open Platform

Museum 2.0

To that end, our exhibitions are full of participatory elements. Riding the art couch through downtown Santa Cruz with two visitors and a dog while blasting the Jackson 5 was one of the highlights of my year. It's not unusual for me and our public programming staff members to have several short interactions every week with newcomers who walk in the door with idiosyncratic visions for cultural engagement. How do community members make your institution better?

Engagement, Distraction, and the Puzzle of the Puzzle

Museum 2.0

It's a little living room in a lobby area that invites people to lounge on comfortable chairs, leaf through magazines and books related to art and Santa Cruz history, and generally hang out. The area that houses the Creativity Lounge also shows art. She was less thrilled about the Creativity Lounge--or very specifically, the art jigsaw puzzle in the middle of the coffee table. For me, the goal is for people to have an enjoyable, educational, cultural, social experience.

Four Unusual Professional Development Events in 2013

Museum 2.0

The Arts Dinner-vention Project - date TBD. This one was cooked up by Barry Hessenius, former director of the California Arts Council and public art blogger extraordinaire. Barry is asking the universe to send him names of "unheralded arts sector leaders" to be considered for an all-star dinner party in 2013. We would love to share that conversation with anyone in the museum/arts/culture world who has an interest.

A Community-Driven Approach to Program Design

Museum 2.0

At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH), we've started experimenting with a "community first" approach to program development. There are many amazing community representatives from business, arts, education, and social services who connect us to powerful ideas and partners. We asked the whole group to brainstorm communities/constituencies who they thought could make a stronger connection with art, history, and culture.

The Great Good Place Book Discussion Part 1: Can Cultural Institutions Be Third Places?

Museum 2.0

Like many museum and library professionals, I am enamored of the idea of cultural institutions as “third places” – public venues for informal, peaceable, social engagement outside of home or work. Here are four surprising things Oldenburg describes about third places—characteristics I think would be quite difficult for cultural institutions to assume: The primary attraction of a third place is the patrons, not the décor, the hosts, or the activities provided by management.

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Case Study: A Participatory Road Trip takes the SJMA on a Wild Ride

Museum 2.0

Reason #258 I'm glad to live in California: Cultural Connections. Cultural Connections is a group of museum professionals who meet up a few times a year and host excellent programs on a variety of topics. I was captivated by Chris Alexander 's story about participatory online/onsite efforts at the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA). After all, as naysayers of participatory design often remind me, the museum is not a popularity contest.

Four Models for Active User Engagement, by Nina Simon

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Nina has written a fantastic book engagement called The Participatory Museum. A third argues that the project won’t be truly participatory unless users get to define what content is sought in the first place. I’ve been using these participatory categories to talk about how we’d like users to participate in different projects. Participatory projects are most successful when you can find the right model for your staff culture, your users, and your goals.

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The Novice Interpreter and the Art of Conversation

Museum 2.0

After listening to this clip a few times, I wondered: what if museums dropped the authoritative voice, the cultural voice, the friendly teacher voice, and adopted a novice voice? Tags: participatory museum Unusual Projects and Influences This week, I listened to the new podcast episode of Radiolab , my favorite NPR show. The podcast featured the two hosts, Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad, speaking to a crowd about their unique partnership.

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Quick Hit: My Work with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Museum 2.0

I've now been the Director of The Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz for two months. The Museum of Art & History is now in the hands of internationally known innovator Nina Simon, while the community eagerly awaits what happens next By WALLACE BAINE Posted: 06/30/2011 01:30:40 AM PDT Click photo to enlarge Museum of Art & History Director Nina Simon.

Which New Audiences? A Great Washington Post Article and its Implications about Age, Income, and Race

Museum 2.0

One that has found remarkable success is California’s Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. We said, if we’re going to make this museum successful, if we’re going to make it meaningful in the community, we’ve got to increase the number of people we’re reaching and we have to diversify who they are,” says Simon, who explores the concept of audience engagement and participation in her books “The Participatory Museum” and “The Art of Relevance,” as well as on her blog, Museum 2.0.

New Power & Social Good: Thoughts from Jeremy Heimans

Connection Cafe

Now, this might seem absurd and on some level it is, but what they succeeded in doing here was creating an experience that was so richly participatory that actually the experience of imagining the game was more important than the game itself. Advocacy Arts & Cultural Companies Faith Communities Foundations Healthcare Higher Education K-12 Schools Nonprofit Social Good Social Media

Game 25

Temple Contemporary and the Puzzle of Sharing Powerful Processes

Museum 2.0

Looking closer, I saw that each seat had its own handwritten label, telling the story of the Philadelphia cultural institution from which it originated. The chairs were cast-off art, reclaimed as art, available for people to take off the hooks and use. What kind of an art institution is this? It encourages process-driven performances and art projects. It takes the kind of risks that a university art gallery should take. design participatory museum

Introducing Community Participation Bootcamp at the MAH

Museum 2.0

For the past five years, each summer, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History has hosted MuseumCamp. Develop compelling, powerful participatory offers and promises for your prospective partners. Tour MAH participatory exhibitions and shadow MAH community events. While we will tour some of the MAH’s participatory programs and exhibitions, this bootcamp is not museum-centric. We welcome campers from diverse community, civic, and cultural sites.

But What About Quality?

Museum 2.0

Scene: a regional workshop on arts engagement. A funder is speaking with conviction about the fact that her foundation is focusing their arts grantmaking strategy on engagement. Engaging people actively in the arts. The word "quality" is often code for aesthetic quality, as judged by a specific set of cultural expectations and preferences. Here, in no particular order, are ten different kinds of quality in arts experiences: AESTHETIC: is it beautiful?

From Community Arts To Community of Online Learners: Janet Salmons, Ph.D

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I met Janet Salmons many years ago while I working on various arts and technology projects in New York State for the New York Foundation for the Arts. I started in the Cornell University Center for Theatre Arts , where I founded and directed two programs: Cornell Theatre Outreach and the Community-Based Arts Project. These programs involved cultural, educational and training efforts that used interactive theater and storytelling.