4 Important Membership Trends Every Museum Needs to Consider

Connection Cafe

It’s 2019, and a whole lot is changing in the museum and nonprofit world. That’s not to mention how strained museums already are in terms of resources. According to the American Alliance of Museums, the average museum has 6 volunteers for every paid staff member , a ratio which s oars to 18:1 in museums with budgets under $250,000. Adding to this equation, more museums are starting to unionize.

Museum 159

Goodbye Consulting, Hello Museum of Art & History!

Museum 2.0

Dear 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 ). I am closing down my consulting business at the end of April, but the Museum 2.0 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

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Trending Sources

The Matter of Museums

Museum 2.0

This month we’ve been thinking about “What is a museum?” (I'm I’ve been visiting museums my whole life. Does that make me the best judge of museums? People are the defining characteristics of museums. I’ve worked with and at plenty of museums that can sometimes feel empty. When the galleries are quiet, with my clipclop shoes the only sound, the museum feels dead. Her answer is what many a museum professional would want people to say. Museum matter.

Center for the Future of Museums: Khan Academy & Cultural Understanding

AFP Blog

Center for the Future of Museums: Khan Academy & Cultural Understanding : Smarthistory at Khan Academy is used by museum visitors, independent learners, professors, teachers and their students. There are nearly 600 short-form art history videos created from conversations recorded on-site (in urban spaces, archeological sites, museums, churches and mosques), as well as hundreds of essays on art and art history.

Top #GivingTuesday Takeaways for Arts & Cultural Organizations

Connection Cafe

While we’re still calculating how much of that total cultural organizations raised, here are some campaigns that stood out: . Taking a different approach, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature , the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, partnered with a local couple who are matching donations dollar for do llar up to $25,000 given before December 31. . The results are in – and this year was the biggest # GivingTuesday yet!

Arts 122

Doing Museum Work: Your Thoughts

Museum 2.0

This month, we're thinking about the way we do work in museums. As someone texted me recently, Art History grad school didn't teach us anything about working with others in museums. Sharing articles that work is a great reason to stay on Museum Twitter by the way. Exposure to all sectors of museum work is important. Museums are "no" cultures, often for good reason. But that no culture also often translates into a no culture in the workplace.

Finding Data Management Solutions for Arts and Culture Organizations


Arts and culture organizations such as media companies, magazines, public radio stations, museums, theaters, and arts advocates have unique needs when it comes to data management. Database and CRM systems for arts and cultural organizations should offer the capability for several key tasks: 1. Keep your work funded Exposure to arts and culture educates, builds community, broadens horizons, and enriches lives. CRM arts and culture

Arts 107

Generational Giving at Arts & Cultural Organizations – A Donor Story

Connection Cafe

You gravitated toward the museum, zoo, gallery, symphony, cultural management organization because of your roots. Instead of an event, create a little scavenger hunt for kids to complete as they walk through your historic mansion or art museum, to make it fun for kids to explore and learn. Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh created a Summer Adventure program. Individuals with a giving history spanning five years get 10% off a membership for two years.

Apply Now for the World's Best Museum Job: Mine.

Museum 2.0

It's time to make your dreams a reality and apply to become the next executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH). When you check out the job description , you'll see the MAH is not looking for museum-director-as-usual. Santa Cruz County is a open-hearted, generous community--a great place to be a cultural leader. It's a place where people strive to bridge cultural differences and fight for equity--even when it isn't easy. Hey, you.

Personal Mission and Renewed Motivation: Thoughts from the South Carolina Federation of Museums Conference

Connection Cafe

I recently had the pleasure of attending the South Carolina Federation of Museums Conference in Florence, SC. Here’s what I learned: At the core of each museum is a personal mission. I wasn’t familiar with many of the museums who were in attendance at SCFM, even though I’ve lived and worked here for 40 years now! And that’s the core of a successful museum – personal mission. Being at the conference made me so proud to say I work in the arts and cultural industry.

Perspectives from the Charitable Giving Report: National World War II Museum

Connection Cafe

At The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, fundraising is all about data and their data is all about their donors. The Museum uses their data to get know their donors at a deeper level: what they care about, what motivates them, and how to keep them engaged with their organization. “We The Museum is extremely precise in their message to ensure their mission is breaking through the noise and remaining relevant with their donors. “If

Museum 159

Museum Verbs and Defining Who are We.

Museum 2.0

After the International Committee on Museums spent some time debating the definition of museums, many folks took up the charge on social media to give their own definitions. ICOM2019 #ICOMKyoto2019 — Dan Hicks (@profdanhicks) September 7, 2019 But this week I want to focus on a tweet by Dan Hicks who suggested instead of a definition we need museum verbs. I know I’m missing early innovators of interaction in museums; feel free to tell me who in the comments.)

Blueprint Book Club Part 1: How Do You Create a Future-Thinking History Museum?

Museum 2.0

Imagine you've just been tasked with developing an innovative, future-thinking national museum for your country's history. Blueprint is the story of a group of people who tried to create a Dutch Museum of National History (INNL). The staff was fired, the digital projects divvied out to other institutions, the plans for the physical museum shelved. The Museum directors released Blueprint as a showcase for these plans. Hooks based on popular culture.

Opening Up Museums: My TEDxSantaCruz Talk

Museum 2.0

It gave me a chance to really think about how we have been opening up our museum and what it means for our community. Museums can be incredible catalysts for social change. 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. We're doing it in Santa Cruz and it has absolutely transformed our museum into a thriving community institution.

The Event-Driven Museum?

Museum 2.0

This is the casual attendance data from my first full month as the Executive Director of The Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz. This graph is making me change the way I think about what our museum is for and how we should market it. First Friday is not just a Museum event; it happens all over Santa Cruz and has grown tremendously over the past few years. More people come to the event who don't casually visit the museum than the other way around.

Building a Culture of Experimentation

Museum 2.0

Last week, I sat down on a toilet in our museum and found myself looking at an interactive station intended to test a “Legends of the Stall” sign concept for the restrooms. Some of my happiest moments as a director come when I encounter awesome things in our museum that I had absolutely nothing to do with. I’m starting to really appreciate the difference between being an individual agent and creating a culture of agency. What does a culture of experimentation look like?

Year Three as a Museum Director. Thrived.

Museum 2.0

I''ve now been the executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History for three years. We talk a lot at our museum about empowering our visitors, collaborators, interns, and staff by making space for them to shine. We work hard to name and build our culture in many ways. Institutional culture is something I never really understood before and I am now completely fascinated by how it can shape work. Naming our goals and our culture.

The Event-Driven Museum, One Year Later

Museum 2.0

A year ago, I wrote a post speculating about whether events (institutionally-produced programs) might be a primary driver for people to attend museums, with exhibitions being secondary. Now, a year later, I've seen the beginnings of how that question has borne out at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) , as well as hearing from folks around the museum industry about the interplay of exhibitions and events at their own institutions.

Audience Engagement Conversation at Western Museums Association

Museum 2.0

The Western Museum Association was kind enough to invite me to speak on a panel about engagement at their annual meeting in Boise. Phillip’s early remark about museums was an invocation for everyone. As an outsider, he immediately saw that museums were operating “under a business model that doesn’t work.” He then went on to note that we run museums with the hopes of being supported by philanthropy, when in fact we could have a product that people want.

Inside a Museum Website Redesign

Museum 2.0

When I started at The Museum of Art & History (MAH) in May, one of my priorities was redesigning our website. We made two key decisions that I think are somewhat unusual in doing this work: We tried to create a single message that clearly defines what the museum is about and put that front and center. We are rebranding our museum in the community--not with marketing dollars, but with a singular message about being a thriving gathering place around art and history.

Guest Post: Community and Civic Engagement in Museum Programs

Museum 2.0

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. I chose to focus my thesis on Community and Civic Engagement in Museum Programs. Furthermore, how can museums and communities work together to share strengths in the community?

Year One as a Museum Director. Survived!

Museum 2.0

Today is my one-year anniversary as the executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. A year ago, I put my consultant hat on the shelf and decided to jump into museum management (a sentence I NEVER would have imagined writing five years ago). It is, as Kathleen McLean puts it, “museum as prototype,” and it is exhilarating, thoughtful work for all of us. The possible determinism of cultural geography.

Dreaming of Perpetual Beta: Making Museums More Incremental

Museum 2.0

When I started this blog in 2006, I made a multi-media introduction to the concept of "museum 2.0" Venue as content platform instead of content provider: the museum becomes a stage on which professionals and amateurs can curate, interpret, and remix artifacts and information. Visitors' interactions allow them both to personalize their museum experiences and to engage with other visitors through their shared interests. The museum gets better the more people use it.

Year Five as a Museum Director: Good to Grow

Museum 2.0

Five years ago, I left the consulting world to take the helm at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) at a time of crisis and change. We have spent the past three years planning and raising money for a project to build a creative town square for our city on the front porch of the museum. Abbott Square will include free outdoor public seating, a public food market, and several areas for free art and cultural activities.

Embracing the Rush: Preparing for the Arts and Cultural Busy Seasons

Connection Cafe

Last week Ginny Fitzgerald, the Director of Visitor Services and Membership at Chicago History Museum, joined us to host a webinar about how she prepares her team for peak attendance times. Chicago History Museum defines their summer season as June 1 through August 31. Members are the first to receive the quarterly program brochure, and they use the member pricing benefit to upsell membership to the museum all year long.

Arts 146

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. Simon is a remarkable "get" for the museum.

Women of Color Leading Essential, Activist Work in Cultural Institutions

Museum 2.0

Each of these women push the boundaries of cultural institutions in different ways, with digital and physical manifestations. Ravon Ruffin and Amanda Figuero - Claiming Space for Brown Women in the Digital Museum Landscape Based in Washington DC, Brown Girls Museum Blog is a new-ish site led by graduate students Ravon Ruffin and Amanda Figueroa. Ravon and Amanda are using several social media channels to explore and share museum exhibitions, programs, and projects.

On White Privilege and Museums

Museum 2.0

I write this piece in good faith about the organizations I know best: museums. The vast majority of American museums are institutions of white privilege. They tell histories of white male conquest. The popular reference point for what a museum is--a temple for contemplation--is based on a Euro-centric set of myths and implies a white set of behaviors. I never saw comparable adjectives used in the European art labels at the museum.

5 Steps to Content Marketing Success for Arts and Cultural Nonprofits

Connection Cafe

How can arts and cultural organizations start leveraging content marketing? Surely this doesn’t apply to zoos, museums, and theaters does it? There are 5 steps to start a content marketing program at your arts and cultural organization. This is one of the places where arts and cultural organizations have an advantage because they have ticket sales data. Look at your purchase history and see if there are any trends.

Arts 155

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. I was surprised by the extent to which reality TV culture imprinted on the experience. We did it.

Learning Cultural Competency through Social Media

Museum 2.0

Earlier this spring, I decided to go on a mission to use social media to increase my cultural competency around Latino experiences, issues, and interests. At our museum, we''re making a big effort to increase our engagement with local Latino families. Blog posts like this one --which I probably never would have seen in my old news diet--have informed conversations at our museum about how we ask visitors to identify in demographic surveys.

Games and Cultural Spaces: Live Blog Notes from Games for Change

Amy Sample Ward

Ruth Cohen – American Museum of natural History. Jason Eppink – Museum of the Moving Image. Ruth Cohen – American Museum of natural History. For years we have been producing digital media to fulfill our mission of educating the public about science and history. We are trying to change the visitors’ experience at the museum as well as ownership of what is in the museum, break down the walls between the public and the museum.

Game 127

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?

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

Museum 2.0

The Washington Post covered the MAH's transformation as part of an article about museums engaging new audiences. The whole second half of the article was dedicated to our work: Smaller museums can be especially scrappy in finding ways to connect with the community. One that has found remarkable success is California’s Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. Museum attendance was at about 17,000 a year, and primarily made up of retirees and schoolchildren.

Museum Work Today: All the Feels All the Time

Museum 2.0

We've morphed ourselves into an alternate history. The museums of the world are collaborating to bring you #MuseumGames every Sunday, with a new crossword puzzle each week featuring clues from all sorts of museums. ??: While donations are going down, global interest in museums seem a boom industry. Ed Rodley (with Koven Smith) have a wonderful idea, a global drinking about museums. Do we refer to Mar a #museum social media guru, maven, connoisseur?

Doc 42

How Different Types of Museums Approach Participation

Museum 2.0

Recently, I was giving a presentation about participatory techniques at an art museum, when a staff member raised her hand and asked, "Did you have to look really hard to find examples from art museums? Aren't art museums less open to participation than other kinds of museums?" In my travels and research, I've seen all kinds of museums be incredibly successful--and incredibly uncomfortable--with visitor participation. Projects participatory museum

ISO Brilliant, Business-Oriented Professional Who Wants a Job in a Museum

Museum 2.0

want to move to Santa Cruz and work at my museum? We are looking for an obsessively detail-oriented, highly resourceful, financially savvy, culture-loving individual to be the Administrative Manager of The Museum of Art & History. You will work as the direct assistant to the Executive Director and manage the finances for the museum. Museum of Art and HistoryOr do you know someone who might be perfect for this job?

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

Museum 2.0

Two weeks ago, my museum was featured in a Wall Street Journal article by Ellen Gamerman, Everybody''s a Curator. I''m thrilled that our small community museum is on the map with many big institutions around the country. I''m glad to see coverage about art museums involving visitors in exhibitions. It''s the work we feel driven to do to build a museum that is of and for our community. I meet them everyday in our museum. Core Museum 2.0

Joint Statement from Museum Bloggers and Colleagues on Ferguson and Related Events

Museum 2.0

When basketball players are offering more cogent commentary on racial issues than cultural institutions, you know we have a cultural relevance problem. Gretchen Jennings convened a group of bloggers and colleagues online to develop a statement about museums'' responsibilities and opportunities in response to the events in Ferguson, Cleveland and Staten Island. Museums are a part of this educational and cultural network. Where do museums fit in?

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 invited community members in, to be active contributors, collaborators, and co-creators in our museum space. culturally curious but maybe not inclined to walk into a museum.

Build 87

A Long Interview as I say Goodbye to the MAH (and Thoughts on the Privilege of Leading Change)

Museum 2.0

I was proud to work with amazing colleagues to lead major change at the museum. Geoffrey wrote: Some of the changes you imposed on the museum, including Abbott Square, generated criticism, mostly from some of the old guard types who wanted more traditional explorations of art and history. For a museum to survive and thrive today, it must be relevant and meaningful for many people from many backgrounds. We made it our mission to open the museum up.

Guest Post by Seema Rao: How Museums Can Resist Racism and Oppression

Museum 2.0

Like Seema, I've been looking for ways to increase active resistance of racism, hate, and bigotry--both as an individual and as the leader of a museum. Seema and I have started an open google doc to assemble ideas for specific things museums and museum professionals can do to resist oppression. I had the extreme pleasure of being part of this year’s MuseumCamp hosted by Nina Simon at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Museums are ideas.

Doc 67

A Different Story of Thanksgiving: The Repatriation Journey of Glenbow Museum and the Blackfoot Nations

Museum 2.0

One of the most powerful books I read while doing research was We are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence ( read it free here , great appreciation to Bob Janes for sharing it with us). The book is a deep account of repatriation of spiritual objects from museums to native people, written by museum people and Blackfoot people together. The Blackfoot mostly live in what is now the province of Alberta, where the Glenbow Museum resides.