Thoughts on Museum Neutrality: What is the Conflict?

D’lo, Queer/transgender Tamil Sri Lankan-American Actor/Writer/Comedian Visitors of Color Tmblr   Can Museums Be Neutral? ,a post by Museum Questions blogger Rebecca Herz, galvanized museum discussions on Twitter and Facebook in December, 2017. The conversation died down over the holidays, but I’ve continued to reflect on some of the important questions that were raised. Earlier in the…

Diversity and Inclusion: Thinking Systemically

What is thinking systemically? A system, as we know, is a group of interrelated and interconnected parts, such that what happens to one has an impact on all.  I’ve been noticing, in all kinds of media, references to the importance of examining problems from a systemic point of view, i.e. recognizing that a problem is…

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…

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,…

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…

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…