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?

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.

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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.

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Who Counts? Grappling with Attendance as a Proxy for Impact

Museum 2.0

When you count attendance to your museum, do you include: people who eat in the cafe? It''s about museum attendance and how the five big, free museums in St. Summertime concerts at the history museum? Outdoor movies at the art museum? The only form of engagement lacking in the article is online participation--which for many museums, could yield the highest numbers of all. If a kid gets dragged to a museum with their parents, do they count?