Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AAM 2013: Let's Talk in Baltimore

I'm heading to the American Alliance of Museums' annual conference this weekend, and I'm psyched to reconnect with friends and mentors and meet new people who can inspire and stimulate fresh ideas.

This year, I'm involved in two sessions:

Tuesday, May 21, 10:15AM in Room 309 - Success: What Does it Look Like?
This session wil feature varied perspectives on what it means for a museum to be successful from a longtime museum planning consultant (John Jacobsen of White Oak), a director whose museum pushes for environmental stewardship (Stephanie Ratcliffe of the Wild Center), a director whose museum is a beacon of community activism and creativity (Jane Werner of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum), and me. It will be hosted by Eric Siegel, chief content officer at the New York Hall of Science and consummate rabble-rouser. Rapid-fire presentations followed by honest conversation. Join us.

Wednesday, May 22, 10:15AM in Room 322 - On the Edge: A Talk Show about Risk and Reward
Kathleen McLean and I are back again to host a freewheeling talk show in which we chat with unusual guests and terrific audience members--this year, on the topic of risk-taking and its attendant rewards and perils. This year's guests include Ian David Moss of Createquity fame along with museum folks who have thrived and suffered because of the risks they've taken. This session has been so rowdy in the past that this year they dropped my name from the program in hopes it would calm the crowds. No, really. I'll be there, even though the printed program doesn't say so. And we'll be just as loud as usual.

I'm also hoping while in Baltimore to have conversations to explore a few of these topics:
  • Social bridging: how to design for it, how to assess it, who it works for, who it doesn't.
  • Hybridizing programs and exhibitions. How can we look at "experiences" across space and time instead of separating place- and event-based projects?
  • Developing transparent formats for exhibition proposals from outside. How can we invite in new ideas and link them clearly with our institutional goals?
  • Small-scale evaluation for non-professionals. How can small museums with limited resources do some meaningful research with our staff and volunteers?
  • Supporting staff in a time of growth. Growth feels exciting and fabulous, but it's also tiring. We have a strong innovative team right now, and there are some particular issues that come up because of the high energy, creativity, and drive in the office.
  • Creating spaces in the museum for open exploration of the behind-the-scenes. Permanent prototyping, museum inside out, working in public spaces.
If you're interested in exploring any of these topics next week in Baltimore, let's do it. I don't care what type of institution you are from or what your experience is, or even if you are attending the conference. I just care about having good conversations and learning from each other. Monday afternoon is looking particularly open for some meaty chats. Let me know.

And FYI, we will soon be opening a full-time Education Associate job at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. If you want to talk briefly about job/internship opportunities at AAM, I'm up for that too.
blog comments powered by Disqus