INTENTIONAL MUSEUM BLOG

Last year, my colleagues and I chatted about the work of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to propose a new definition of museums.  We listened to the MuseoPunks podcast, which featured different speakers talking about their perspectives on the definition process.  At the time, I remember being intrigued by the discussions.  The old definition...
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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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I started this blog about a month ago in frustration about the layoffs of museum educators (and other front-of-house staff although I am going to speak specifically about my experiences with museum educators).  I wrote it in a fury one night, and each day since my anger and sadness have grown as I have witnessed...
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We have been working to actively post on our blog over the past few months in response to how COVID-19 is affecting the museum field.  However, considering the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, and in solidarity with the protests unfolding daily against systemic racism in our country, we will be pausing...
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As evaluators, our work depends on being able to gather data on and from museums’ audiences.  It probably goes without saying that this has become trickier in a world transformed by a global pandemic.  Museums and cultural organizations are temporarily closed, and we anticipate lower visitation (and different visitation patterns) once they reopen.  This makes...
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Upon commencing a study that requires intercepting visitors on the museum floor, we are often asked by staff (sometimes nervously), “Will people say yes to participating in a survey, interview, etc.?”  Our answer is always yes, and we often state that you would be surprised how many agree to participate.  Generally about 65 to 80...
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When museums started closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in early March, there were surges of digital initiatives across all institutions meant to reach new and existing audiences while doors were closed. It’s an amazing and overwhelming time to be involved in the digital side of museums. However, I propose that online resources are...
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Since the reality of coronavirus set in back in March, our RK&A team has been having a lot of conversations about study design.  Museum closures and social distancing have greatly impacted the way we do our work as evaluators.  They have affected our clients, project timelines, data collection methods, and access to study respondents in...
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Shortly after posting my last blog on social and emotional learning being imperative and in museum educators’ wheelhouse, some conversations with clients, colleagues, and research participants further drove this point home for me.  In my first post, I wrote about how important question-posing is for social and emotional learning and how museum educators are often...
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I have long lobbied for museums to avoid using numbers as indicators of their success. I note in Intentional Practice for Museums: A Guide for Maximizing Impact that when museums boast their success with numbers, such as the number of annual exhibits and programs they offer, the dollars they add to their local economy, and...
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