I am a huge believer in the power of participation to transform museums for the better. But, over and over, I’ve seen well-intentioned museum staff make lots of small decisions that they feel will protect their institutions, but add up to undermine their community engagement processes.
Designing for Engagement: Five Steps for Co-Creating Exhibits and Programs with Your Communities
Museums are changing how they interact with the communities they serve, adopting practices that are more inclusive and engaging for all. One of the practices they are increasingly turning to is co-creation: forming an equal partnership with one or more stakeholders to design and execute a mutually beneficial project, such as an exhibition or program.... Continue Reading →
Contextualizing Historic Spaces
Review of Darger as Reader, Writer and Bookmaker at Intuit Darger as Reader, Writer, and Bookmaker (open June 11–July 18, 2021) is the first is a series of three exhibits about the Henry Darger Room at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Henry Darger (1892-1973) was a Chicago-based illustrator and author who was... Continue Reading →
Refocusing Museums on People
Or, my dreams for museums in a post-COVID world As I watch museums lay off thousands of highly qualified underpaid staff during this pandemic, I have been asking myself why I keep investing in museums. Museum staff are overwhelmingly white, straight, and able-bodied and museum leaders are overwhelmingly male. For centuries museums have told stories... Continue Reading →
Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion: How Change Starts
Can a ragtag group of exhibit people inspire Chicago museums to become more diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive?
Nevermore Park and the Art of Experience Design
Hebru Brantley’s Nevermore Park schools both museums and instagrammable pop-ups on experience design.
What’s a Museum?
On September 9, 2019, The International Council of Museums (ICOM) will vote on whether to adopt a new definition of “museum.” With 40,000 professionals in over 141 countries, ICOM is well positioned to foster a new international consensus on the definition of a museum.
LGBTQ+ Inclusion for Chicagoland’s Museum Professionals
An interview with leaders of Chicagoland Alliance of Museums with Pride (CAMP) When I first moved to Chicago and started pursuing a career in museums, I questioned whether I would be embraced for my whole identity in my workplace. The more I engaged with the Chicagoland Alliance of Museums with Pride (CAMP), the more I... Continue Reading →
How to Center Marginalized People in Exhibit Text
The back entrance to Art of Native America On my last visit to NYC to see my parents, my mom and I headed to the Met to check out the Art of Native America. I was particularly excited to see this exhibit because it is the first time that the Met has displayed Native American... Continue Reading →
The Activist Museum vs. The Activist
In the past few years, I have observed an increasing number of museums reinvent themselves as activist museums. Activist museums espouse an explicit agenda and offer visitors concrete ways to create social change. While I am heartened by the trend of activist museums, museums still have a long way to go to gain the trust... Continue Reading →