What We’re Reading (March 2016)

Renegade Tours

We read museum blogs, articles, and journals — a lot.  There are so many great ideas being discussed by museum and cultural industry professionals.  We’ve rounded up some of our favorite recent articles whose ideas and insights are helping to shape a brighter future for museums.  

Read on to find out how entertainment, storytelling, and digital technology can strengthen museums’ relationships with visitors:

Heart on top of an open book.

Education vs. Entertainment

The debate rages on about education and entertainment in museums.  Our recent Twitter poll revealed a disconnect between museum professionals and their audiences.  Colleen Dilen addresses this disconnect in her latest video, “Which is More Important for Cultural Organizations: Being Educational or Entertaining?”  As Colleen notes, both are important to visitors — and utilizing both education and entertainment can help us increase visitor satisfaction and demonstrate our value to communities.

History through Stories.  

The Center for the Future of Museum’s latest challenge, which invited people to contribute their vision of an educational future that includes museums at its core, has just ended.  We’ve loved reading many of the submissions and highlights, but by far one of our favorites has been “Experiencing History” by William Hafford. 

Hafford imagines a future very similar today – where young Serena thinks museums are boring and for old people.  Yet her eyes are opened when, through the combination of technology and storytelling, she realizes that each object has its own story to tell…a story of people, life, and a world not so different from our own.

Visitors use their smartphones to engage with museum collections.

Love the Digital.  

“Museums once feared that digital media would encourage potential visitors to stay home and peruse collections online. In fact, the opposite is happening — audiences are more deeply engaged and more inclined to explore in person, judging from research and visitor surveys.” 

In a recent Star Tribune article, Kristin Tillotson explores how embracing the power of digital technology is transforming museums — and getting new audiences in the door. Learn more at “How museums learned to stop worrying and love the digital world.”

Contact us to learn how we can help integrate entertainment, storytelling, and technology into your current and future programming to bring in new audiences and re-energize existing ones.

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