By

Stephanie Downey
As we begin 2022, nearly two years since the pandemic began, what I’m most struck by is that the world I operate in is a fundamentally changed one.  It’s fascinating and a bit disorienting that these changes happened so quickly, sped up by circumstance of the pandemic.  Change is happening all the time, but more...
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As we exit 2021, I’m reflecting back on where I began the year, when I noted that “in 2020, the museum field as a whole showed itself to be out of step with society. . .  [and] irrelevant.”  At that time, I had begun having regular conversations with Emlyn Koster, a thought leader with three decades...
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On May 6, 2021, arts professionals from around the country convened to explore best practices for nurturing diverse talent within museums and cultural institutions. Advancing Change: The Future of Museum Leadership was a virtual summit that presented lessons learned from over 30 years of offering the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship at the Saint Louis...
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I wrote this blog post before the outrageous events of January 6, 2021 when a mob of Trump supporters made a violent, anti-democratic attack on the United States Capitol.  I hesitated to post this so soon afterward, fearing poor timing, especially as the aftermath of the event continues to unfold as I write.   But I...
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Sunday marked the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  My first thought was, “Really, only 30 years?”  It is shocking that people in the United States with disabilities had to wait so long to have their rights acknowledged by our government.  I also couldn’t help but notice that the 30th anniversary of...
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Updated April 23, 2020: I wrote and shared the following blog post about self-care almost two months ago in late February.  Coronavirus was in Seattle at the time, but I’m in New York, and the virus did not feel like a major threat to me or my work.  What a difference a couple of weeks would...
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In mid-February, I made a note to myself – a yellow post-it stuck to the bottom of my computer monitor – to write a blog post about vulnerability as it applies to our professional lives in the world of museums.  Vulnerability is something I strive for in my personal life because I know it can...
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In recent years, self-care has emerged as a compelling idea among museum practitioners.  The sentiment is that, like so many in the not-for-profit world, museum workers are deeply passionate about the work they do and too often, they are overworked and feel underappreciated (and underpaid).  Burnout is high, and the need to take care of...
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As we come to the end of 2019 and RK&A’s 30th anniversary blog series, I’d like to share one final post.  To prepare, I re-read each RK&A at 30 blog post.  What staff wrote reveals a lot about who they are as people and how working as an evaluator has affected their growth. What strikes...
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A few weeks ago, I attended one of six in-person regional workshops offered by IMLS for potential grantees to learn about the grant programs for museums. This year the applications for all six grant programs are due on the same day, November 15. As an evaluation firm, RK&A does not apply for grants, but we...
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