INTENTIONAL MUSEUM BLOG

I love a good story.  Who doesn’t?  It’s how we humans make meaning—we construct narratives to explain and interpret events both to ourselves and for others.  Think about the number of stories you tell or hear in a day, even the mundane ones.  It’s a way to form and sustain connections with others and to...
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This week I’d like to share thoughts about evaluative thinking, in part because two weeks ago I was part of a session at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) annual conference in Baltimore titled “Evaluation as Learning” (titled as such because learning is the ultimate result of evaluative thinking).  We took a risk:  I set...
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I know I am not alone in my observation that the quality of technology in museum galleries can be highly variable and too often disappointing in its ability to engage, impart knowledge, or truly enhance visitors’ museum experiences.  The recent integration of technology into the Cleveland Museum of Art by the media design firm Local...
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I’m not a museum evaluator, but I play one on television; at least that’s what I tell people who ask me what I do for a living.  As the Business Manager at Randi Korn & Associates, I don’t have the educational or employment background of my colleagues, but I do have a long-standing love of...
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A few months ago, Geraldine Kendall presented preliminary findings of the British research project Evaluating Evaluation in her article “Critical Thinking Not Used.” The research explored the impact of summative evaluations on the workings of British museums, and preliminary findings highlight a few barriers to maximizing the impact of summative evaluations.  While we’re all aware...
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In my last post, I refrained from sharing examples of impact statements because I wanted readers to ponder the idea for themselves (always a very useful activity) but promised I would delve into what comprises an impact statement and provide examples in future posts.  I believe museums need impact statements because if they aren’t clear...
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In celebration of the NAEA conference a few weeks ago, we tweeted out two articles about art museums.  The first, “The Power of a Masterwork,” was written by Brian Ferriso, Director of the Portland Museum of Art (see the March/April 2013 edition of Museum also shared at http://www.portlandartmuseum.org/document.doc?id=93 ).  When I read this article for...
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Several months ago, I came across the DoSomething.org report about young people and volunteering (you can check out the report here).  Intrigued, I read it with a mind toward how museums might attract a piece of this teen-volunteering pie.  As we all know, volunteers are vital to museums.  The DoSomething.org report and other articles I...
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I follow Max van Balgooy’s blog Engaging Places.  Last week he posted “Rethinking the mission statement” (http://engagingplaces.net/2013/02/19/rethinking-the-mission-statement/) and it caught my attention because I, too, have written about museum mission statements, raising some of the same points that Max raises (see “A Case for Holistic Intentionality” https://rka-learnwithus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/the_case-for_holistic_intentionality_042007.pdf).  In Max’s words, “most (mission statements) are mild...
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This week, I’d like to begin to hone in on the idea of measuring impact that Randi raised in our first blog post.  We define impact as the difference museums can make in the quality of people’s lives, and measuring it can be both exciting and intimidating.  Exciting because just about every museum professional I’ve...
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