Awesome Ideas from the Museum Field (June 2016)


Renegade Tours

We love reading news and opinions from the museum field.  As an avid subscriber to museum industry blogs and journals, we see these communities discussing awesome ideas and putting them into practice. 

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite recent articles that showcase interesting new programs, ideas for the future of museums, and other awesome ideas.  Read on to find out how you can put these ideas into practice in your organization.

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Art with a Purrr-pose: Cats Take Over the Worcester Art Museum

It’s no secret that we love cats – especially Zarathustra the Cat’s FatCatArt series.  But now, we get to see even more cats in art!  The Worcester Art Museum recently debuted their latest project, “Meow,” which proves our cultural obsession with cats is far older than we thought.  Initially begun to honor the museum’s canine mascot, Helmutt, Worcester Art staff quickly realized they weren’t rich in dog art – but were really rich in cats.  The result is an exhibition that not only reveals our complex relationship with cats through time, but also makes our heartstrings purr. 

Read the full article here.

Refugees-as-Guides a Hit at Berlin’s Museums

We’re delighted to see museums embracing their social justice role in a variety of ways.  Recently, Berlin’s museums have embraced refugees – especially those fleeing from violence in the Middle East – as more than just museum patrons.  In a recent article, Hui Min Neo explores how the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation is integrating refugees into German society by employing them as tour guides in the capital’s museums. Since December, the program has employed 19 new guides and led tours for over 3,000 refugees – enabling refugees to connect with one another, view and discuss artifacts from their own heritage, and learn about Germany’s history. 

Read more about this inspiring program here.

Have you tried making your museum a more interesting place?

Paul Orselli reflected on an interesting question, “Have you tried making yourself a more interesting person?” with a twist.  His to-the-point post quickly struck chords with us on the future of museums.  When museums want to be more interesting, vibrant places, should they stick with traditional notions of what is “best”? Or should they be more willing to experiment, to quickly implement and try new stuff with visitors, and to fail?  

Read the full article here.

The Art of Relevance Sneak Peek: What IS Relevance?

We’re super excited for the upcoming release of Nina Simon’s latest book, The Art of Relevance.  Simon recently teased us by releasing the text of her second chapter, which blows conventional notions of relevance out of the water in favor of a definition that is far more useful than simply “what’s hot.”  We’re already in love with her new book – and it’s sure to be one of the hottest museum reads when it releases this summer.

Read the sneak peak here.

How Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Perfectly Illustrates the Power of Art Museums

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Ferris Bueller’s words hint at more than a movie full of feel-good, school-skipping antics.  Combined with one incredible homage, these words hint at what is truly the heart of museums: the ability to change lives.  Reflecting on a pivotal scene filmed at the Art Institute of Chicago, Katie Nodjimbadem reminds us that museums and art are part of our cultural consciousness in many ways. Her reflections also remind us that museums can be spaces of personal transformation and fun.

Read the full article here.

Want to increase relevance and engagement? Contact us to learn how we can help re-imagine your museum with accessible, engaging stories in your current and future programming to bring in new audiences and re-energize existing ones.

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