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…

Museum Educators Next, Part III: Incorporating Visitor Voices

In my first two posts regarding what’s next for museum educators (September 17 and October 1) I promised to take a look at some of the skills educators should be cultivating so that they can contribute more effectively to the museum’s role as an informal space for learning and engagement.  It happens that I’ve been talking with Allison Wickens, an energetic…

Increasing Museum Transparency through Social Media at the Levine Museum

Recent posts on Museum Commons have addressed issues of museum empathy and  the use of social media to include the visitor voice.  In this connection the Education Department of the Levine Museum of the New South contacted me about a new summer program that is using social media to connect more closely with the Charlotte…

Incorporating the Visitor Voice – It’s Hard No Matter Where You Are. Can Social Media Help?

Karen Lee and I with our 2011 students after a prototyping session at Science City, Kolkata Teaching and learning in India Toward the end of June I’ll be traveling to India with Karen Lee, a former colleague who continues to work at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  Since 2009 Karen and I have…