JOIN THE #MASSAction READING GROUP ON MONDAY 5/13/19

Dear Readers, The #MassAction Reading Group will have its second meeting on Twitter from 12:00 to 1:00 pm EDT on Monday, May 13, 2019.  If you are interested in reading and discussing thoughtful  and compelling ideas about social justice and transformation in museums, this Reading Group is for you! Our common reading material comes from…

#MASSAction Reading Group for April 29

Dear Readers, The #MassAction Reading Group will have its first meeting on Twitter 12:00-12:30 pm EDT on Monday, April 29, 2019.  If you are interested in reading and discussing thoughtful  and compelling ideas about social justice and transformation in museums, this Reading Group is for you!  We’ll begin with Chapter 1 of the #MASSAction tool…

MASSAction 2017: Decentering Whiteness

How to transform museums into places of greater inclusion and equity?  This is the key question of the MASSAction (Museum as Site for Social Action) initiative, begun in 2016 and coordinated out of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.     A few weeks ago 36 museums (art, history, science) from across the country gathered for…

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…

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…

#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…

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…