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.

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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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 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. At one point in the discussion last week, someone from the audience asked a question about whether "nontraditional" audiences really need a different kind of mediation than other museum visitors.

Blending Old and New Tech to Make History Come to Life - Social Philanthropy - The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs, and ideas

AFP Blog

Blending Old and New Tech to Make History Come to Life - Social Philanthropy - The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs, and ideas : "The site has been in an open test for the past year and won the 2011 Webby Award for the best site for a charitable organization. In that early test period, the site collected 50,000 photos–half from organizations like museums and libraries and half by about 20,000 individuals.

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. People talk about the museum in terms of then and now, old versus new.

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. When anyone asks me who's doing great work blending online and onsite experiences in museums, I send them to Beck Tench at the Museum of Life and Science. When anyone asks me who's being thoughtful and analytical about social media in museums, I send them to Beck Tench. The Museum of the Future.

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.

Mixing Digital and Physical: The Holocaust Museum's Handwritten Pledge Wall

Museum 2.0

On a recent trip to DC, an old friend showed me around a new exhibit at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide. I've seen several museums experimenting with inviting visitors to take action, make promises, and join communities of intentionality (here's a post with examples from 2007 ), and the USHMM effort is particularly compelling for some specific design choices made in the development of the pledge wall.

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. Museum of Art and History programs social bridgin

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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.

17 Ways We Made our Exhibition Participatory

Museum 2.0

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 museum members and a few community members/organizations to create small exhibition components about unique love experiences with family, friends, teammates, romantic partners, and pets. We see it as a long-term investment for the museum.

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. Pocket Museums in bathrooms.

Adventures in Participatory Audience Engagement at the Henry Art Gallery

Museum 2.0

This is less true of Dirty Laundry, which required a blend of friendly invitation to participate and private spaces to contribute secrets.) As one participant said, "the museum feels friendly in a way it usually doesn't." People make the museum friendly, not activities. There were 168 secrets contributed during the weekend this activity ran (a weekend in which 250 people visited the museum). exhibition Museums Engaging in 2.0 Projects participatory museum

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?

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Boosting Your Association's Revenue with Attractive Microcopy

Association TV

Have you ever been to a restaurant, museum or shopping mall and needed to use the bathroom? If you’ve ever worked on a single project long enough, you know that elements start to blend together over time.

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

Museum 2.0

How did the authors come up with the intriguing blend of curatorial, interpretative, and inventive opportunities shown in the Audience Involvement Spectrum's Venn diagrams? participatory museum usercontent business modelsLast month, the Irvine Foundation put out a new report, Getting In On the Act , about participatory arts practice and new frameworks for audience engagement.

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

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.

Giving Tuesday #Inspo: 14 Donation Pages That Know What They’re Doing


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Holocaust Memorial Museum has a clean and effective donation page and does something incredibly powerful—it tells a story. From the bright color scheme to the punny tagline, this page is the perfect example of blending a bit of humor with perfectly executed design for a great donation page. Kicking off with #GivingTuesday, year-end fundraising season will be in full swing.

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. The World Beach Project does not exist in the V&A Museum. It doesn't involve visitors coming to the museum at all. Maybe that's where all great museum experiences live.

Thou Shall Not Paint the Concrete: Guest Revelations by Don Hughes

Museum 2.0

I started my museum career as an exhibit designer. But I reserve for Don Hughes that particular blend of admiration and fear that comes when encountering uncompromised brilliance. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a giant in our field, just as Don himself is a giant in the world of museum design. Six: Thou shall look like a museum and behave like an attraction. We look more museum-like than Disney-like, and that makes us unique in a world of attractions.

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.

Lead or Follow: Arts Administrators Hash it Out

Museum 2.0

Adam and I first met in 2008, when we were part of a National Academies think tank-ish thing on the future of museums and libraries. All the participants were asked to write one-page position papers about museums and libraries in the 21st century. Adam argued for museums to become "less visitor-oriented," and I argued the opposite. He said museums were too spineless to project their own voices and so were misguidedly searching for direction from audiences.

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. This is a good lesson for museum talk-back design. Tags: evaluation exhibition design participatory museum usercontent

Are Participant Demographics the Most Useful Single Measure of Community Impact?

Museum 2.0

At the MAH, our goal is for museum participants to reflect the age, income, and ethnic diversity of Santa Cruz County. This argument encourages organization to strive for a demographic blend that over-indexes younger, lower-income, more racially diverse participants. Let's say you want your organization to be rooted in your community. To be of value to your community. To reflect and represent your community. To help your community grow stronger.

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? Our museum is becoming increasingly community-driven in our programming and the way we engage with visitors on a daily basis.

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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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.

Next Book Club: Sustaining Innovation in Nonprofits and Government Organizations

Museum 2.0

There were so many fabulous recommendations for the next Museum 2.0 This book, suggested by Susan Wageman, looks like a fabulous, off-beat, and highly pertinent read for librarians, museum folk, and cultural professionals of all sorts. It appears to blend high-level recommendations with specific case studies. You don't need to be a museum or library professional to be eligible--just a good writer with an interesting perspective to share.

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.

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.

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.

What Does it Really Mean to Serve "Underserved" Audiences?

Museum 2.0

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. When Diane started running community partnerships at the Science Center in the 1990s, she decided not to start with programs to bring more black and economically-disadvantaged families to the museum as visitors.

50 Silent Auction Basket Ideas to Bring In the Big Bids


Coffee lovers will jump at the chance to try new coffee blends or brewing methods for their morning, afternoon, or evening cup of joe. Silent auctions are a great way to fundraise and encourage donors to get involved with nonprofits.

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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. Machine Project is a gallery/educational program space with a focus on blending art and technology in craft workshops. Let me know if you end up using it for a museum event or exhibit! conference for museum and library professionals in D.C.

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.

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. Maybe it’s the Creation Museum. How would YouTube do a museum?”

A Starting Exercise for Designing Online/Onsite Engagement

Museum 2.0

Several of the projects I'm working on these days relate to the concept of "extending the museum experience." It's easy to (erroneously) extrapolate the linear, fixed experience of the museum visit to create comparably linear experiences that happen before the visitor shows up (in the plan a visit section of the website) and after the visitor leaves (when he or she might receive an email with a photo snapped at the museum).

Groundswell Book Club Part 2: Talking

Museum 2.0

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? Both are museum-run forums for visitors to post their own content and opinions.

Tools for 2.0: User-Generated Exhibits Made Simple

Museum 2.0

Many in-museum 2.0-style projects are major initiatives require a somewhat complicated blend of physical exhibit and digital capabilities. Many museums have created short-term mapping or timeline projects that are post-it based. The Swedish Västernorrlands Läns Museum mounted a show last year, The Post-it Project , in which visitors were solicited to write down comments—about anything in the museum—and post them wherever they wanted. It’s a sad irony that Web 2.0—whose

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.

Designing Effective Technology Learning Experiences

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I've been doing a Webinar for N-TEN called "Designing Effective Technology Learning Experiences" -- basically about how to make technology trainings more interactive -- which includes designing participant interactivity - either in small groups as well as blended into presentation/lecture.

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Guest Post: Participation Rocks!

Museum 2.0

While this post is not about museums, it tells the story of how a performance group developed participatory elements as an integral part of their show. For our band, blending of audience members into the show (and the show into the audience) reinforces the idea that the show is “for kids of all ages” and that older guys onstage doing the Hokey Pokey or young kids coming up and doing the Hand Jive is something that is entertaining for everyone.