Facing a Decline in Audience, Museums Reimagine Themselves

Quick--what's the common denominator among the following items? A workshop on how to perform a breast self-exam; a graffiti wall; a microgrant program to support imaginative projects that benefit a neighborhood; a special mental health program for adults with life-threatening illnesses and their caregivers; and studios designed to encourage middle- and high-school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The answer: These programs and projects all take place at museums....more

Downtown Charlie Brown

Just a few family friendly things I love about Burlington, Vermont: ...more

I went to the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center a few years ago. My friends have a ...more

NEA grants once again stir controversy

This week, Michelle Malkin created a list of projects and organizations she felt should not have been supported by stimulus funds through the National Endowment for the Arts. Malkin calls these projects "smut," but includes under this category a huge range of art projects and programs she neither describes well nor has experienced herself. Her list is typical of those who are dismissive of the arts in this country, of people who don't understand or value a broad spectrum of human experience and expression. ...more

I guess I'll be worried when NEA grants STOP creating controversy. And they are vitally ...more

What will the museum of the future look like?

Late last year, the American Association of Museums released a discussion paper titled Museums & Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures. The report looked back 25 years to 1984 as it predicted what museums will look like 25 years from now. Specifically, the 20-page report examined "demographic trends, changes in the geopolitical and economic landscape, shifts in technology and communications, and the rise of new cultural expectations." ...more

Taking Risks in Museums and Nonprofits

Think back to a time when you took a risk that succeeded. Now reflect on a time when you tried something and it bombed. What did you or others do differently in the first instance and the second? How did you recover from your failure in the second instance, and what would you do differently if you had another chance? ...more

What can museums learn from the decline of American newspapers?

I address today's post to those who work in nonprofits, but most especially museums. Still, I think many cultural institutions and businesses would benefit from taking a closer look at the decline of the American newspaper. ...more

I find it interesting that you're making a direct comparison to museums.  Why choose this ...more

Budgeting for Fun

I've always been something of a cheap hedonist.  If it's going to break the bank, or it's not fun, why do it?  Yet, in this economy, I have been cutting back - on everything, including my fun money.  Instead of buying discounted movie tickets through my work, I downgraded my Netflix to two videos a month and started relying on my library card.  I'm learning to cook and always bring my lunch to work. ...more

Hey Shannon,

Great tips!  Sometimes, a little planning will help us save a long ...more

Education in the Stimulus Package

Now that the U.S. economic stimulus package has finally made its way through Congress, it's time to take a closer look at what's actually in the bill for formal and informal education. Despite Republican protests that many educational projects amounted to pork, the stimulus bill--thank goodness--does contain some money for education, research, and the arts. You may have heard that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) initially had 73 Senators sign on to a stimulus amendment he authored: ...more

Smithsonian 2.0

Last week the "digilluminati" gathered in Washington, D.C. for an invitation-only gathering of minds dubbed "Smithsonian 2.0." If you think the word "museum" denotes an institution that concerns itself only with the past, you're in for a pleasant surprise because many museums the world over have been plunging into the social media waters to extend their learning (and, OK, marketing) opportunities. When an institution as large as the Smithsonian jumps into the 2.0 pool, you can expect there will be more waves than ripples. ...more

Excellent event coverage. If you want to see women under-represented go to a Smithsonian ...more