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…

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…

Following up on Ferguson

Carol Bossert’s weekly  Museum Life program on VoiceAmerica satellite radio brings all kinds of current museum issues to the fore. I was happy to be part of a discussion she hosted on Friday, January 23, 2015 called “Following up on Ferguson.”  I joined Melanie Adams, the Managing Director for Community Education and Events for the…

A Museum Director Reflects on #MuseumsrespondtoFerguson

I’m pleased to begin the New Year with a guest post from Deborah Schwartz, President of the Brooklyn Historical Society.  As many readers know, a number off other bloggers and I have been posting about the role of museums in responding to Ferguson (using that one word to stand for the series of events that has…

Practical and Compassionate Advice on Museums and Community Conflict

I’m so happy to feature the following guest post from Melanie Adams, Managing Director of Community Education and Events at the Missouri History Museum and President of the Association of Midwest Museums.  The Missouri History Museum has been extremely responsive to all of the issues surrounding the events in August in nearby Ferguson, MO.  For…

Museums and the Marathon Bombings: New Perspectives

Last week I posted a reflection on the varied responses of museums in Boston in the immediate aftermath of the Marathon Bombings–from closing in honor of the victims to free admission in solidarity with the community  to direct outreach to the injured children and families.This week I direct you to two thoughtful and heartfelt posts, Our…

University Museums Can Take More Risks–But They’re Still Risks

See my guest post on Adrianne Russell’s blog Cabinet of Curiosities .  Adrianne is doing a series of posts on campus museums, and I contributed my thoughts on university museums’ advantages and challenges in mounting controversial exhibitions. If this post is being sent to you by email and you would like to subscribe or add a…

Museum Transformation: A Voice of Experience

Banner for website. Courtesy of Boston Stories. I recently discovered a great resource for all the current discussions about Museums for the 21st Century.  It’s a site about a  90-year-old museum that grew to prominence more than 50 years ago, but was so far ahead of its time that its collective wisdom remains applicable today.  The site…

Whatever Is Unspoken Becomes Unspeakable

Whatever is unspoken becomes unspeakable Whatever is unspeakable becomes unthinkable Whatever is unthinkable ceases to exist.          Harmony Hammond, artist These words reflect the theme of the panel session I attended on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Entitled “Sexuality and the Museum,” the roundtable discussion was organized by Jonathan…