Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year! Two Free Books! And Watermelon!


Dear Museum 2.0 readers,

2010 was a big year for me. I published The Participatory Museum in March (with help from many of you!) and spent the rest of the year traveling to give workshops and presentations related to its content. While I did learn a ton from my experiences, especially in far-flung places and small museums, it was also exhausting. Thank you so much for hosting me, picking me up at airports, taking me to karaoke bars, showing me secret parts of your museums, helping me find vegetarian food, and sharing your ideas, dreams, and schemes for the future.

A quick top five list of amazing experiences in no particular order:
  1. ArtPrize, the democratic art festival in Grand Rapids that blew my mind
  2. Taiwan. Everything about it. Especially the stinky tofu.
  3. Workshop with rural librarians in Pendleton, Oregon. Fascinating and fun to stretch out from museums for a bit.
  4. The Brazos Valley African American Museum in Bryan, Texas. A community museum with serious heart and essential value.
  5. Explora (Albuquerque, NM). The most peaceful, personal, emergent science center I've ever visited.
For those who are interested, the book has sold 2,300 copies, and 17,000 people have read some portion of it online in the free edition. I'm excited to see how the book helps people move from ideas to action (and I sincerely hope it isn't languishing unread on too many shelves).

As a thank you for all of your friendship, inspiration, and support in 2010, I'm giving away two copies of the book. They have slight water damage on the back cover from a plant in my house. I prefer to think of this as "personalized character." If you feel the same way and you'd like one of them, drop a comment here and I'll pick two people at random in the next week.

My husband Sibley and I have a tradition of making silly New Year's videos to share our lives with friends, family, and colleagues. This year's video tells the story of The Participatory Museum's sequel and exposes some deadly secrets we uncovered this year in the worlds' museums (Denmark! Taiwan! Barcelona! Milwaukee!) and at ArtPrize. I hope you enjoy it. Here's to the start of a year in which I hope we will all move a little closer to our wildest dreams.

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