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Guest Posts

Guest posts by our friends in the museum, research, and evaluation worlds.

By: Emlyn Koster Emlyn recalls how Liberty Science Center, located across the lower Hudson from Manhattan and where he was President & CEO from 1996-2011, assisted the next-of-kin and surrounding community in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on and after September 11, 2001. Every year it seems, the museum...
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By: Emlyn Koster An Earth scientist with 32 years at the helm of four large nature and science museums and with publications and presentations continuing to delve into what leadership of external relevance entails, Emlyn reflects on the potentially greater value of museums in a world beset by crises. The period since early 2019 has...
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By: Sadiya Akasha Population demographics have been shifting towards greater diversity for the last few generations with Generation Z being the most diverse generation yet. Research published by the Pew Research Center shows that nearly 48% of Gen Zers born between 1997 and 2012 belong to a racial or ethnic minority, compared to 39% of...
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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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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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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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