RK&A BLOG

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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RK&A was honored to work with the Saint Louis Art Museum in 2019 to evaluate their longstanding Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship, which prepares outstanding museum professionals from historically underrepresented groups (particularly people of color) to become leaders in the field.  The Bearden Fellowship was one of the first diversity-focused fellowships in the museum world—established...
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By: Rachel Nicholson In my last post, I wrote about harm reduction as a philosophy and how it might be applied to rethinking museum labels. In this post, I’ll explain just how we started these conversations at the Nelson-Atkins and put our ideas in action. This project is on-going, and we have certainly stumbled along...
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Whether or not public programs are again canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Day each April 22 warrants the engagement of the museum sector. Emlyn Koster explains why. “Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet — In the decades leading up to the first...
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It’s always a pleasure to share this page with our friends and colleagues in museums.  Today we’re delighted to share the first post in a new four-part series by Rachel Nicholson from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (located in Kansas City, MO).  Every two weeks throughout April and May, Rachel will highlight her team’s efforts...
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