The museum world changed while I wasn’t looking…
I’ve been keeping busy as I need the last 10 years focusing on visitors’ stories in exhibits (recording them, emailing them, posting to social media, etc). And it’s all been *exhibit* based. Or, maybe I should say, *but* it’s all been exhibit based. I’ve come to realize recently that while I’ve been focusing on exhibits, some of the best work in learning and museums has come from programs, those extensions out to community groups that don’t necessarily originate in the exhibit.
Am I the only one who didn’t catch this? I feel like a dope. When I think back to websites at Museums and the Web, the ones that catch my fancy are the outreach sites not originating in a particular exhibit. I always like the Meet Me project from MOMA in this regard. And of course, all the social media outreach is hard to confine to a particular exhibit.
Museums are changing. Not all museums, but the trendsetters. Collections were the founding hub for museums, then exhibits (and visitor-centered exhibits) took much limelight. Now I think programs and outreach emerge as the star for museum learning.
I’ve noticed this blending or blurring of distinctions in my own projects and my own approach. I find it very freeing and natural. I am very curious as to how we all are reshaping the next generation of museums.