Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How Can Museums Respond Faster?

How can museums respond faster to issues that our visitors and communities are concerned about?

Recent events in Ferguson and Staten Island come to mind, but also ongoing issues like Ebola are topics that museums could tackle and/or provide forums for community dialog.

The issue, once you move beyond the broader question of whether museums should be doing this (which I think is a given) is how.

Museums tend to move s-l-o-w-l-y, so how can they provide programming that doesn't just automatically default to links on a website (sort of the museum version of "slacktivism") but also provide timely and concrete ways for visitors to explore tough topics with each other?

Gretchen Jennings and others in the museum/blogging community have been talking about this, with an aim to provide ways for folks to build bridges between successful programs and ideas in order to learn from one another's efforts. (And also to give museums and museum organizations a little nudge to stop being silent and/or "neutral" about topics of deep concern to the communities we serve.)

I'm happy to help spread the word about those efforts as they come together, so stay tuned!

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