Characteristics of the #Empathetic Museum: 1) Civic Vision

Museums have to look at where they can challenge the status quo, and where they can push, but also where they can partner.  Peoria, IL City Manager   Every once in awhile a confluence of books, articles, conference presentations, and blog posts calls attention to the same phenomenon in the museum world.  Is this synchronicity, the zeitgeist,…

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…

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…

We Can’t Outsource Empathy

Participants at Town Hall meeting held in August 2014 by Missouri History Museum soon after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.  Photo: Emanuele Berry|St. Louis Public Radio   How many of you were aware that, earlier this year, the AAM (American Alliance of Museums) Board  published a new policy statement on diversity and inclusion?…

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…

Meet a Museum Blogger

Dear readers, I’m working hard on an upcoming post, and it’s taking me more time than I anticipated to think this one through.  In the meantime, fellow blogger Jamie Glavic has begun a series called “Meet a Museum Blogger” on her Museum Minute blog.  She sent a variety of questions to answer, and uses these to create a…

Museums and Sandy: More Than a Power Disconnect?

I’m interrupting the series of posts I’d planned on next steps for museum educators to reflect a bit about Superstorm Sandy and museums. A few days after the storm, I saw a notice from the New York Public Library that it was working to re-establish power in all of its branches, and as each one opened,…