RK&A BLOG

In my first post in this IRB 101 series, I described what IRBs are and why they exist.  IRBs exist to protect research participants.  In this second post, I focus on risks to research participants.  What are risks to research participants? Risk is the probability that harm will occur.  All research involves some level of...
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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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Last week, I led an IRB 101 workshop for the Visitor Studies Association.  IRB is the acronym for Institutional Review Board.  That short three-letter acronym, IRB, can instill a lot of fear and anxiety in researchers and evaluators for multiple reasons.  For one, IRBs are an oversight organization, so non-compliance can have repercussions.  Additionally, the...
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Summer is here, and with it, a new guest blogger series! Today we are excited to share a new post by our friend Sadiya Akasha of Sitara Systems. Sadiya is a researcher, product designer, and expert on Gen Z (people born between 1995 and 2010).  In this summer series, Sadiya will make the case for...
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By: Sarah Boyd Alvarez In early April I returned to work after a three month furlough. While being furloughed was not welcome news in an already challenging year for the field of museum education, this period away from my job as an art museum educator gave me ample time to think deeply and reflectively, something...
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Seven months ago, RK&A committed to anti-racist practice. To hold ourselves accountable, we write these updates to publicly document the work we have been doing and work still to do. We at RK&A, individually and collectively, pledge our commitment to being anti-racist—which we recognize as an ongoing pursuit through our everyday actions.   “Being racist...
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By: Emlyn Koster Spurred by the art-dominated sections on Museums in The New York Times, Emlyn reflects on this sector’s pressing need for a balanced profile between people/society and non-human life/nature. Eminence of Art Museums Titled ‘Reinventing the Future,’ the May 23, 2021 Museums section of The New York Times reveals its bias with this...
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Combining experiences at the helm of nature and science museums with insights from literature and courses on leadership, Emlyn Koster reflects on the corporate roots of this trend and its application to the museum sector. An unfortunate paradox surrounds the subject of organizational structure. On the one hand, it is the primary tool for configuring...
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By: Rachel Nicholson Having drafted new labels, we want to ensure our approach is actually meaningful to our audiences at the Nelson-Atkins before putting them on the walls. We’re currently in the process of evaluating our new labels to better understand their impact on visitors. Our approach for label evaluations is usually to do random...
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By: Rachel Nicholson, Jocelyn Edens, and Ariana Chaivaranon In our workshops with curatorial colleagues (which we wrote about in the last post), we continually heard certain ideas rise to the surface about shared principles for interpretive text at the Nelson-Atkins. These included: Complexity: a label can be an invitation to explore the object and ideas...
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