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…

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,…

Learning about Persistence and Inclusion in India

As many readers know I was in India from mid-July to early August this year, teaching a museum studies class for the National Council of Science Museums masters program in Kolkata.  My co-teacher Karen Lee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and I also had a chance to travel north to Dehradun and Mussoori…

More Museum Voices from India: Responsiveness to Community

Today, museums must become agents of change and development. Kumar Science Museums have a responsibility to foster an environment that encourages and accepts religious, cultural, physical, and experiential differences. Seetha In my last post we met students who spoke about their motivations for becoming science museum professionals.  In this post we’ll hear from the students…

Museum Voices from India: Why I Want to Be a Science Museum Professional  

  I want to “be a part of place that doesn’t just spread knowledge  but pulls the string of science cord in everyone.”  Itisha Once again my colleague Karen Lee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and I are teaching in the MT in Science Communication program for the National Council of Science…

Charleston: The Cultural Landscape

  The coverage of the Charleston Massacre, in which nine African American parishioners were gunned down during Bible study by a white man on June 17,2015,  has been notable for its references to the cultural landscape of the killings.  Here a variety of reporters for the Washington Post and the New York Times describe Charleston in…

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…

#MuseumsrespondtoFerguson: What’s Authentic?

  In December 2014, in the midst of demonstrations and widespread discussion about race and racism in the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision against indicting a white police officer for shooting an unarmed black teen,  a group of bloggers (including this one) and colleagues posted their Joint Statement urging museums to become involved and…