Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thinking about Making & History

I'm on the road in California working with the fine folks from Folsom History and thinking about Making & History.

So what prompts me to make this trip to Folsom?  Well, Maker Stuff.  And by "Maker Stuff" I mean the eclectic group of artists, craftspeople, tinkerers, and engineers (amongst others) who get herded under the big umbrella term "Makers."

At a recent meeting of museum folks in Atlanta, it turned out that many of the other folks in the room were History Museum people. It's not that I don't like History Museums, or admire the people who work in them, but my museum "tribes" tend more toward Science Center and Children's Museum folks (and their respective conferences.)

Anyway (me being me) at a certain point I started to berate those nice fellow museum professionals for "completely missing the boat" on the Maker Movement.  It also immediately became clear that many of the people at that meeting had absolutely no idea of what a Maker Space or "makers" even were! YIKES!

I mean, what genre of museums is better placed than History Museums to engage people with the stories and stuff behind inventing, designing, building, and manufacturing things?  It's in their institutional DNA!  Not to mention the enormous opportunities for History Museums to tap into new sets of audiences and communities that are deeply engaged in Maker activities that would love to connect with such awesome repositories of the stories and stuff associated with Making.

I'm very excited to help the folks in Folsom think more about the possibilities of bringing making and history together. If you've seen or created interesting opportunities for making/history, include some info in the COMMENTS section below!

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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