The Power of Story in Short-Term Exhibits: Fishing Community at Cape Ann Museum
We’ve been focusing this last year on developing tools for a museum field that I think is shifting toward events, programs, and short-term exhibits. Permanent exhibits will of course always be there as a foundation, but temporary and short-term exhibits seem to be where a lot of the momentum is, as I’ve written about previously.
We’re starting this new year out with three exciting short-term Storykiosk rental installations. The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester is adding a Storykiosk to record stories from Gloucester’s fishing community in their “Portraits of a Working Waterfront” exhibit. It’s a great example of the “community storytelling” genre we’ve been focusing on. Providence Children’s Museum will be renting a Storykiosk for a couple months starting in February for their “visible learning” research project, asking visitors about their play experiences and and how they learn. And Explora in Albuquerque will use Storykiosk in conjunction with Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s groundbreaking exhibit “XOXO: An Exhibit about Love and Forgiveness.” I’m eager to write more about each of these projects as they unfold.
Even the long-term permanent installations installations we’re working on have shorter term, event-based components. The Albuquerque Museum will use a portable storykiosk to record stories at community events to feed into an innovative system of playlists throughout the permanent exhibit. And Levine Museum of the New South is also using the portable station at a series of community events before the exhibit opens — part of their mission to “use history to build community.” Lots of rich community storytelling to write about in the near future…