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…

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?…

The Changing Role of Museum Educators: A Conversation

For some months now museum educator, consultant, and blogger Rebecca Herz and I have been exchanging thoughts on the roles and future of museum educators, mostly by email.  But we’ve also been talking about making our conversations more public.  Rebecca’s recent thoughtful post, What Does a Museum Educator Do? (And Do We Need Them?) offers, I…

The Empathetic Museum Pop-Up Session: AAM 2014

  A small but enthusiastic group met on May 20 in “The Unconference Room”  at the American Alliance of Museum’s 2014 meeting in Seattle to continue discussions on The Empathetic Museum that began at AAM’s meeting in Baltimore in 2013: Janeen Bryant VP for Education at the Levine Museum of the New South; Karen Hasselflet, Cultural…