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How We Story-Hacked A European Town

Cool stories are everywhere.

Museum Hack began because of our belief in the magic of storytelling and our willingness to dive deep to uncover the hidden, amazing tales that are beginning to be discovered if only someone would look for them.

We’ve used stories to craft our museum tours, put together incredible team building events, and teach companies how to use our techniques to boost their business and improve their onboarding processes. We’ve story-hacked conferences and entire brands, and created scavenger hunts on city streets and in historic New York City stores.

But never before had we done what we did last month: we hacked an entire European town.

A European town.

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How to Empower Staff with New Ideas for Audience Engagement (Case Study: Museums of Mississauga)

Does your heritage site want to revitalize your current programming and attract new audiences?

The Museums of Mississauga are a collection of heritage buildings that showcase the early settler experience and life in nineteenth century Canada.  Among them is the Bradley Museum, which features three historic homes that bring together the stories of several pioneer families.  The Museums of Mississauga were seeking new ways to engage audiences and empower staff with fresh ideas and tools.  They called Museum Hack!

Museums of Mississauga Logo

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Exploring the Digital Future of Museums with James Cuno

In 2015, James Cuno of the J. Paul Getty Trust took the stage at the World Economic forum to give us a vision of the future.  In his inspiring talk, “Visions of Digital Culture: The Future of Museums,” Cuno showcased the amazing promise of digital culture for revolutionizing how museums can affect their communities.

As Cuno stated, “There’s tremendous promise in digitised assets and information, and it’s taken us into a revolutionary moment in the responsiveness of museums.”

Clendenin, Jay –– B581646849Z.1 LOS ANGELES, CA––NOVEMBER 1, 2011––President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, Dr. James Cuno is photographed in the President's office conference room, at the Getty, Nov. 1, 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, Dr. James Cuno is photographed in the President’s office conference room, at the Getty, Nov. 1, 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

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Eight Awesome Museum Jobs Available Now

Looking for an awesome museum job?  The one that makes you super excited at the mere thought of it?

We’ve rounded up eight awesome museum jobs that are currently available.  These are positions where you’ll bring museums to life, jump start your emerging museum career with great work experience, and foster the next generation of passionate museum lovers.  But hurry – we’re sure these positions won’t’ stay open long!

Cat in front of a computer with words "Dream Job Alert"

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An Awesome NYC Museum Tour For The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village

Earlier this spring, we had an opportunity to introduce a new group to our favorite museum in the world.

The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is a residential community in Rwanda that provides a home to youth who were orphaned as a result of the country’s 1994 genocide. A few weeks ago, 17 alumni of the ASYV came together to reunite in New York City for the organization’s annual Stand Up & Be Counted gala. The alumni are now college students in the United States, Canada, and Costa Rica, and many had never been to New York City before – let alone the Metropolitan Museum of Art. ASYV staff wanted to treat the alumni to the quintessential New York experience, and that wasn’t complete without a trip to the Met.

Alumni and supporters of the ASYV enjoy their Met tour.
Alumni and supporters of the ASYV enjoy their Met tour.

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7 Team Building Lessons We Can Learn From Animals

It’s true that many animals thrive alone, living solitary lives, e.g., Shere Khan in the Jungle Book (Hacky Fact: “Shere” means “Tiger” in some Indian dialects and that’s the same “Khan” as Genghis Khan). But we’ve noticed that there are a whole lot of furry and scaly creatures out there that survive on cooperation and teamwork. Social animals range from packs of wolves to flocks of geese and are experts in team building. They stick together because they have to – it’s critical to their survival. While team building for humans might not be critical to our literal survival, it is definitely crucial to our success in the workplace.

Let’s see what we can learn from some of the animal kingdom’s best and brightest.

The Cattle Egret: Teamwork for the Win

Cattle Egrew
Via Rebecca O’Connor

The Cattle Egret is often seen perching on cattle or other grazing mammals. The egret eats parasites off of the cattle’s body and often warns about oncoming predators. Cattle shake up grass and dust, disturbing insects for the egret to eat (TIFR).

Tip: Teamwork between different departments can foster success while communication between different departments builds stronger relationships.

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Walking in the Footsteps of Gods (Case Study: Gods and Mortals at the Onassis Cultural Center NY)

Museum exhibits are doorways to discovery.  The stories presented within them can be windows to deep engagement and spark a lifelong love for history, art, and culture in all who view them.

Onassis Cutural Center Gods and Mortals exhibit banner

The Onassis Cultural Center NY recently hosted an amazing exhibition entitled, Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus.  With over 90 artworks and artifacts dating from the 10th century BCE to 4th century CE, this exhibition explored the relationship between daily life and the gods in the ancient city of Dion.  Dion, also known as the City of Zeus, was built on the slopes of Mount Olympus – literally on the doorstep to some of the most enduring gods of Western civilization.  Even more amazing, most of these artifacts had never been seen in the United States before, presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many visitors.

Onassis wanted to increase audience engagement with the exhibit through tours that used a unique vibe to attract new audiences.  They called Museum Hack to add to their repertoire of docent-led programs.  It was time for Museum Hack to bring ancient Dion back to life.

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A Build-Your-Own-Revolution Tour at George Washington’s Old War Headquarters

Looking for ways to inspire your company to take on the world, but don’t like your options? Build your own team building revolution!

That’s what we did with a team of nine employees from New Possibilities Group that recently came on a team building tour of the Fraunces Tavern with us.

New Possibilities Group is a creative web and software development company based out of Little Falls, New Jersey. Since their inception 15 years ago, they have worked with a wide range of businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. They design, build, and maintain custom websites and software for companies that need more than just an out-of-the-box software can deliver.

A Custom-Designed Team Building Adventure In NYC

Customization is the name of the game for New Possibilities, and we didn’t think their team building adventure with us should be any different. New Possibilities is constantly creating unique services for their clients to best serve them and that’s exactly how we approached their Fraunces Tavern experience. The team building tour location, subject matter, and activities were all specifically chosen to engage this group of employees and to play to one of their greatest collective strengths – customization.

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How to Create RAWR-some Adult Museum Experiences (Case Study: Field Museum)

It’s the height of summer – and that means it’s summer program season in museums!  During this busy time of the year, many museums run camps, overnight sessions, and programs dedicated to engaging children with fun, educational activities while school is out. 

Yet, summer shouldn’t be just for kids.  What about the adults?  What programs can museums create to attract and engage adults that are educational and fun?

The Field Museum was looking to think more deeply about exactly what great adult engagement means.  As one of the world’s greatest natural history museum, The Field Museum has a renowned scientific staff, collections of more than 20 million specimens, and an engaging YouTube show that has skyrocketed this institution into millennial fame.  Yet they were struggling with how to define and develop amazing programs to further engage adult audiences and turn their online fans into museum visitors.

The solution? The Field Museum called Museum Hack to help them reimagine the adult visitor experience.

Zak and Dustin with SUE the T. Rex.
Zak and Dustin with SUE the T. Rex.

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Hacking Day One: Refreshing The Onboarding Process For New Employees

First days at a new job can be tough, and for many employees, fitting in at their new 9-5 home can be a little intimidating. It often takes time for new hires to feel comfortable and fully engage with the business.

The good news is, there are ways to make the transition easier for both the company and the new employees. Our brand-new onboarding workshops are designed to help advise companies how to make the process smoother, and we couldn’t have been more excited to unveil the workshop with RMS this spring.

RMS is an incredible company with a rich history and international roots. RMS models catastrophes – everything from what may happen during a terrorist attack or an earthquake or a hurricane. RMS’ software is super valuable to the world, but they wanted some guidance on making sure their new hires were engaged and excited about the work the company does from the very start.

That’s where Museum Hack came in. We spent a day with RMS to advise and consult on the company’s onboarding processes. We pride ourselves on our unique methods of engagement that have turned many museum skeptics into believers. We knew the way we engage museum visitors would be valuable for RMS and their new employees, so we set out to Hack Day One.

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