Excellence and Equity: 25 and Still Alive

“Museums must become more inclusive places that welcome diverse audiences, but first they should reflect our society’s pluralism in every aspect of their operations and programs.”  Excellence and Equity.  1992 This sentence on the first page of Excellence and Equity makes it the prescient and seminal publication that it was in 1992 and that it remains today.…

The Idea of Museum Neutrality: Where Did it Come From?

Where is Part 2? In a post written on March 2, 2017, Stayin’ Alive, Part 1: Advocacy, I described efforts by the American Alliance of Museums, on behalf of the larger US museum community, to advocate for continued government funding of museums and cultural institutions in the face of a proposed Trump budget.  As implied…

The Naive* Display of Cultural Symbols

I know when someone that’s not you tries to tell your story, especially when you don’t look like the person who’s telling your story, they’re gonna screw it up!  And the only way to have it right is to have them as closely involved as possible. Comedian and writer Aziz Ansari, Master of None I…

Stayin’ Alive, Part 1: Advocacy

And now it’s alright, it’s okay And you may look the other way We can try to  understand the New York Times’ effect on man. Stayin’ Alive.  The Gibbs Brothers Monday, February 27 was training day for the 9th annual American Alliance of Museums Advocacy Day program; two days when museums from all over the…

Can Museums Be Empathetic? Yes!

In a December 6, 2016 post Museum Geek blogger Suse Cairns asked this question: Can institutions be empathetic?  My EM colleagues and I have been discussing the many thoughtful  questions Suse has raised.  Following is our response.  We believe that it is possible for institutions such as museums to be empathetic, and below we outline…

Joint Statement on Museums and Ferguson: First Anniversary

On December 11, 2014, and in the days following a number of us posted a joint statement expressing our concern about museums’ lack of recognition of the underlying causes of the events in Ferguson (writ large). The statement has had both immediate and continuing impact, so I think it’s worth republishing it, and reflecting on…

Everything that rises must converge: Reflections on AAM2015

Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who, from every direction, have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.  1942.   I’m not sure why this phrase “Everything that rises…

Front Page Dialogues: Museum Resources for Timely Responses

Guest Post by Sarah Pharon, Senior Director, Methodology and Practice, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience I travel frequently for my work. I spend more time than I would like at airports eating an embarrassing amount of “bad food” from food courts.  While waiting for my order from one of the airport fast food chains…

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

  The recent series of events, from Ferguson to Cleveland and New York, have created a watershed moment. Things must change. New laws and policies will help, but any movement toward greater cultural and racial understanding and communication must be supported by our country’s cultural and educational infrastructure. Museums are a part of this educational…