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Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience,
Columbus Museum of Art
Head of Learning Programmes,
Victoria and Albert Museum
When museum learning methodologies are integrated across a whole museum, amazing things can happen.
Learning teams are a massively under-utilised asset in the brave new world of museum practice. They are people-oriented by nature, highly adept at collaborative practice, and attuned to audience needs and motivations. Their programming is the reason why families arrive expecting to be told what activities are available, why young people give up their evenings and weekends to join teen councils, and why young professionals consider museums a great place for a night out.
The contribution of learning staff goes beyond the instrumental practicalities of programming, and extends to a way of thinking about and engaging with audiences that museums are not harnessing effectively – find out how they can!
Sarah Campbell: The nice thing is so many of you are speaking today, I feel like all of you are going to have a go at this at some point today, so that kind of calms me somewhat.
This is going to be a talk of two halves. I’m going to provide an overview and some background on how learning has been reshaping museums over the past 20 years and then Cindy is going to provide a case study of her amazing work at Columbus Museum of Art.
I work here. The Victoria and Albert Museum is the national museum for art, design and performance and it’s based in South Kensington in London. We have over 2.3 million objects, spanning 5,000 years of human history. It was a museum that was built to educate from the outset. It’s first director, Henry Cole, had also led on the Great Exhibition of 1851, working alongside Prince Albert to create the world’s first international expo. The South Kensington Museum, as it was then known, was made possible off the back of funds raised through the Great Exhibition.
In the mid-19th century in Britain, there was felt to be a style crisis and that design had lost its way. So Cole wanted his museum to have a dual educational purpose. To educate manufacturers and designers on the best design from across the world and to educate the public so that they would become more discerning consumers and expect more from industry.
This is what museum learning looked like then. You had a bloke standing at the front, giving a lecture on ornamental ironwork. It’s your classic knowledge acquisition format, where the audience is receptive, but relatively passive.
And this is more typical of what museum learning looks like today. These students were doing a project with our ceramicist in residence and they were collecting inspiration for their own designs.
It’s been a recurring frustration of my career that learning is often perceived as just kids and crayons. And that is a really important part of what we do, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We also run large-scale cultural festivals, working in partnership with the relevant communities. We run skills-based courses with young people that have a vocational focus. So, in this case, looking at architecture and construction. Or, in this case, upcycling and upholstery.
We take a broad definition of learning and include the social and wellbeing aspects of engaging with museums. So that can include things like Friday night yoga classes.
Digital technologies have opened up a whole range of creative possibilities. So, for this workshop, kids used Minecraft to redesign our new courtyard entrance. It’s cool, isn’t it? It’s one my shiniest.
We also run bespoke projects. So, in this case, working with children in care and their foster families. And the making is really important, but it’s also about creating shared memories and really valuing that time spent together doing something fun in a museum.
Performance projects give us the opportunity to do cross-disciplinary work. And we’re also able to riff off pop culture. So this workshop was inspired by our David Bowie exhibition a few years ago.
We do targeted work with older people. So we work regularly with an Alzheimer’s group. And, again, we’re interested in creating opportunities for creative expression, but it’s also an enjoyable social experience.
We run professional development sessions for teachers, which is partly to recharge their creative batteries, and it’s also to increase their confidence to engage with our collections and exhibitions.
We mount small displays, sharing with the public some of the work that’s done behind the scenes in our projects.
And, finally, we have a well-established residency programme. There is an expectation that the residents participate in our public programmes, so that people get an understanding and insight into the process that lies behind the objects.
I haven’t shown you all of those examples to say, “That’s what makes the V&A special,” but actually to demonstrate that we’re fairly typical of museum learning today. Working across all ages and art forms and audiences is what we do in museum learning and we’re pushing further and further into the social and civic potential of our institutions too. This is a huge shift from the didactic transmission model of old and it’s been our contribution to the repositioning of museums as the social and commercial hubs that they are, or that they will become.
Alongside all of the work that we have been doing, curatory practice has been developing more immersive exhibition experiences. The café and the shop have become real make-or-break components of a positive museum visit. And having a strong digital presence is also vital. This is allowing museums to develop global brand identities. All of this adds up to create the busy, outward-looking museums of today.
So what happened? How have museums made this transition from being institution-centric to audience-centric? Or to use the lovely phrase, going from the temple to the agora.
I think there have been three key drivers that have made museums more aware of audiences and have really pushed museums to reach much broader audiences too.
The first is that you have people researching it and writing about it and giving the practice a language. The terminology has changed over time, from social inclusion to participation to collaboration. All of which is about museums becoming more egalitarian in their reach. And all of that thinking, in turn, has then fed back into practice.
I see people taking photos. I’m just going to give them that opportunity. The second driver is government funding. This has had a huge impact in the UK, and I realise it is a different model here in the US. The heritage lottery fund was established in the mid-1990s and it has pumped literally billions of pounds into the cultural and heritage sector since then. And they have a very strong focus on public engagement. And it’s often the learning staff who write the bulk of the activity plans that outline how the public will benefit from the grant.
There has also been a huge investment in infrastructure. So this was kicked off with the opening of Tate Modern in 2000 and then a number of medium-sized, but very high quality, art institutions have followed across the country since then. The Turner Contemporary, in particular, was ten years in development and it was the learning team who led on the hearts and minds campaign to win over the local community support.
I’ll just give you a chance to read that, because I think it’s really key. It dates to 2000. As you can see from this government directive, they were very clear about the work that they wanted museums to be doing. And I would argue that the social inclusion agenda that was being pushed so strongly at the time was often delegated to the learning teams. So it’s pretty standard to have an advertised public programme for those confident cultural consumers and then bespoke targeted work with community groups who might not feel that museums are for them.
And then the third driver is the audiences themselves, who are coming in ever increasing numbers. The Association for Leading Visitor Attractions has over 2,000 sites in reach of almost 120 million visitors a year. As you can see, it’s top four attractions in 2016 were all large, London-based museums.
National museums in the UK, of which the V&A is one, are all funded in part by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and there has been a huge shift in attendance as a result of all this investment. So from just over 30 million in 2001 to a peak of just over 50 million in 2014.
As we’ve raised our game to increase our audiences, audiences have in turn raised their expectations. Woe betide the museum that doesn’t serve a decent cup of coffee. And as a result of all the great learning programming that we’ve been developing over the years, families now come in expecting there to be trail and activities and want to know what’s going on in the holidays. People expect there to be youth groups and peer groups that they can join. And visitors to museums, the first question might still be, “Where are the toilets?” But the second question is now more like to be, “And what do you have going on today?”
So, “Well done, us, congratulations”? Yes and no. A huge amount has been achieved and, through research, investment and shifting audience expectations, museums are now far more welcoming and dynamic institutions. But there’s still more work to be done and we really can’t afford to get complacent yet.
There is still a level of change that is needed, but isn’t happening. The top quote is from a UK report and the bottom quote is from a US report, but they both say the same thing. That both the audiences and the workforce in museums are persistently white, middle-class and well-educated. So it seems that even though we’re reaching a lot more people, too often it’s more of the same kinds of people and we’re not reflecting the diversity of the communities that we serve.
We’ve also been working through a recession for the past decade, if you hadn’t noticed. So a lot of that support and funding from government has evaporated in the UK and museums are having to weather increased financial pressures. That has had an impact on prioritisation and decision making.
This latest Museum Association report has some pretty shocking stats. That museums are closing across the UK. 15 in 2016 alone. Local authority spending has been slashed by almost a third. Museums that have survived are having to make staffing cuts to keep their heads above water. And, incredibly, one in ten doesn’t have a website and about the same number don’t use social media.
Recent research into community engagement has been very revealing about why all the good work and change has only gone so far and is still getting stuck. In a nutshell, the problem is that the work of learning departments to broaden and diversify audiences isn’t being embedded strategically.
No Longer Us and Them is a project that has come out of the five-year Our Museum Report. I highly recommend it. I’ve included here two of the barriers they identified to participation.
The first is only passive support from directors and trustees. Learning is very popular when the funding applications are being written, but that doesn’t always translate to being fully integrated into the museum’s mission and business model. I think the conflicting strategic agendas is an interesting one, because targeted work with the community does require resource and, working in this economic climate, I understand the temptation to pull back on everything that isn’t overtly about income generation, but we are values‑driven institutions, and if those values lead the shaping of business models, there is a place for community engagement. If you make money your king and jettison community work, audiences can smell it and they can be put off if they feel like they’re being treated like cash cows.
I’ll give you a chance to read this one too. So likewise, this report from the ongoing Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations expresses a frustration that there are a lot of great projects going on, but what’s missing is a unifying strategic vision for this work.
This quote at the top is from the same report. And the key two words in there, for me, are “public” and “change”. I think we have to keep a very close eye on both of those factors and respond accordingly if we want to remain fit for purpose going ahead. The museums that will thrive in this challenging, competitive environment are going to be relevant, reflective and responsive
So the potential of learning to move from silo to strategy only became clear to me off the back of doing a Churchill Fellowship in 2016. I spent a month in the US with a totally different research focus, looking at the creative process of museum educators and new approaches to museum learning. I had chosen Columbus Museum of Art as one of my five case studies because of their work around creativity and I had been really looking forward to meeting the learning team. But what I hadn’t anticipated was that the director and the board would be such active and passionate advocates for their work and they really take a truly strategic approach.
A lightbulb went off for me when I realised that, A, museums have to be more savvy about audiences going ahead, and, B, a lot of the required expertise is already in the building.
So, to conclude, learning staff have played a vital role in shifting the culture and public perceptions of museums and galleries over the past 20 years. And despite these successes, the work is often considered subsidiary to other organisational priorities and it’s rare to embed it from the top down. The nature of our work makes us well placed to inform the future of museums, but we must better advocate for our contribution and take on more leadership roles.
So just imagine, what would happen if, “Education is at the heart of everything we do,” wasn’t just lip service, but was genuinely put into practise? What would happen if learning practices and methodologies were integrated at a strategic level? What would happen if learning staff stepped up and took on the challenges of leadership? What impact would this have on the museum? You’re about to find out.
Cindy Foley: Hi, everyone. I am Cindy Foley and I am going to share with you a case study of change. The Columbus Museum of Art is a mid-sized museum in the Mid‑West. We are not a destination museum. We are … Columbus is an awesome city, the 15th largest in the nation, but it is not a place people tend to go like the coasts.
Now, up until about 2010, we gauged what we did based on museums that were destination museums. But about this time, it was decided that the Columbus Museum of Art would expand for the first time since the 1970s and we built a new wing.
I was brought on around that time and my director, Nannette Maciejunes … I remember this moment clearly. She brings me into her office about three months after I’ve been into the museum. She sits me down. You’ve probably all been there. She says, “OK, I’m going to be talking to a funder in about a week and I need a one-page document. I need you to help me with that one-page document and I’d like for you to tell me what’s the purpose and value of learning in our art museum?”
I’ll be quite honest with you, I was leaving the next morning for a vacation to Provincetown, Massachusetts. I knew she wanted me to complete this by the time I got back. What’s fascinating is that as I’m driving through Provincetown and going through all the things we learned in grad school about the purpose and value of museum education, it all just ran really empty. That these objects have stories to tell and we need to be able to tell these stories. It just felt like it was all very self-serving, about keeping museums alive. What I realised, as I’m driving to the artist colony, is that the purpose and value of learning is about creativity. It’s about the ideas that these artists have generated and the evidence of that work. I’m thinking that that’s what matters in learning in our institution. So I get back and I tell Nannette this and she says “Yeah, yeah.”
So what are we doing to ensure that is happening? And the reason this is a story of change is because at that moment we honestly said, “I don’t think we’re doing that much.” And it began a process of rethinking the work we were doing. About 80% of our programmes had to go and we had to reflect on intentionality. What did it mean to put creativity at the centre?
In 2011, we made the first big step. We renovated the first … Our first part of the renovation and expansion was redoing our 1931 building and we opened an 18,000 square foot centre for creativity. The centre was actually spaces in which you can gauge and think about creativity. It was everything from an auditorium to studios to the Wonder Room, which is this fantastic space. But it was also a philosophical shift.
In order to get there, the irony is the very first step we had to take was to define creativity. In order to be intentional about the change, we wanted to see take place, we had to know what that change was. This is not easy. There are about 100 established definitions for creativity. We ended up hybridising a couple and this is the one we used. Creativity is the process of using the imagination and critical thinking to generate new ideas that have value.
Now, you’ll see there is nothing in there about how to draw, how to paint, how to make. It’s about generating new ideas. Now those things are important, because they help you get those ideas out. But, for us, it was really clear that we needed to start with that definition. From there, we thought, “How do we do this? What are the outcomes? If we’re going to be intentional, what are the outcomes that we use?”
That’s where we looked at our collection, the artists that we work with, the contemporary artists as well as thinking about Monet and [unintelligible 00:20:17] and all of the things that had come prior. What we landed on is there are nine dispositions that we felt truly embody what it means to think like an artist. So everything from curiosity, questioning over answering. Play as the creative process. And these became the things that we kept circling back to.
So for the purposes of our learning department’s work, as I said, we had to shift. We had to eliminate. We were no longer going to do any lesson plans that were based on when Monet was born and information that we thought schools wanted. Right? We started to shift it to think about those dispositions.
So we started doing things like med school partnerships where we helped them develop a tolerance for ambiguity. Or we started working with drop-in visitors and having artists bring parts of their practice and challenge visitors to develop new ideas around things they would want to protest. Now, this was pre-Trump, so of course some of the protests were, “Burn your underpants,” fun things. Or it was how do we actually cultivate something like curiosity? Well, that can … In some of our workshops, we would create themes, like haunted house, but then we would let the students develop what happened next and that’s when they would tell us, “We’re really curious about … We need to have open wounds, gashing open wounds.” Well, we had no idea how to make open wounds. So they would say, “Let’s google it and we’ll figure it out.” So letting the students’ curiosity lead the way.
From there, I remember when we opened the Center for Creativity, my colleagues and I started getting about two calls a week from schools in central Ohio. This was at a time where the four Cs were all the conversation. Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, civility. How could we bring these things to the forefront? Except no-one really knew what creativity looked like, felt like, in a classroom setting.
So we moved to those dispositions into a rubric. We started doing professional development with educators. Remember, we were unprepared for this, but we knew if we were going to be intentional, we had to lean into it. That’s when we applied for a major grant from IMLS called Making Creativity, this was partnering with Harvard’s Project Zero, in order for us to go into classrooms and document what does creativity look like, feel like, sound like when it is in action in a classroom.
But I give you all that because those were the learning department initiatives. This is not a story just about what we did via the department. About this time, and I’m going to give a shout out to Jessica Luke who’s here, we worked with Jess Luke, who does our research and evaluation, but she also helps us think through this intentionality. There was a board meeting and we were beginning to get closer to building this new wing and the board wanted to grapple with this question. Very similar to that first question, but instead of it being the learning department it was, what is the purpose and value of our museum in the 21st century? What the board determined is that it too was creativity and that we needed to be far more intentional about creativity throughout everything we did, not just within the learning department.
Now, I’m going to stop here and say this is when we start to reflect and people tend to ask me, “How did this all happen? How did you get this kind of support?” I think I’ve figured some of it out. It’s based on … If anybody’s read anything by David Perkins, David Perkins talks about any kind of major change, especially change that’s related to education, there needs to be three leaders for change. In our case, I can look back and it is clear that we had those three leaders in place. Ironically, I never saw myself in this role, but I was the visionary leader. I was the one that Nannette said, “I need someone to take the lead on this and tell me where we’re going,” and I leaned into that role and began to develop the plan for what would creativity look like in our institution.
Now here’s the interesting thing. Our executive director was the political leader. She was the one who had to say, “I trust where you’re going and I am going to make way for this to take place. I am going to protect you from the critics. I am going to be the spokesperson to the politicians. I am going to do the political part of this.” But it does not happen without the third. And that is the practical leaders. Those were the people within the institution, but it was people like [unintelligible 00:25:28], sitting right back there, who I’m looking at, who said, “Not only do I get your vision, I’m going to take your vision and push it even further. Further than you could imagine.”
So that’s when we started to have bigger conversations across the institution and realised that we actually have a social mission. We had a mission statement, but you know like TOMS shoes or Whole Foods, they have a social mission. What is the change you want to see take place in your institution? What impact can you have in your community that no-one else can have in quite the same way?
And this is where we landed. The CMA values, the role artists play in society to imagine, question, connect and explore, we believe that it is our responsibility to foster those attributes within our community and nurture those individuals that think like artists.
From that came a strategic roadmap. No longer were we doing those crazy strategic plans, but we needed some direction. So this strategic roadmap kind of indicates what are the things that we’re known for and we’re proud of? The middle section is our three institutional values now, which are experience, creativity and relationships. And then, finally, those beehives, the big, audacious goals.
This is also when I moved from the director of education to a deputy director. That wasn’t necessarily the plan, but I think that was part of that shift of how do we begin to value the role of museum educators in museum leadership as well?
So here’s what happened for us. We began to think more holistically about how do we weave creativity through some of the aspects of our history that we’re so proud of? So let me give you an example. We’re really proud of the passionate people that work in our institution. But we had to start thinking about them as advocates for creative thinking. So what does it look like if the gallery associates start reporting to the learning department? And how do we begin to think about them as engagement, rather than individuals who reprimand, right? How do we shift that paradigm? How do we think about creativity in development initiatives? What does it look like to have the Wonderball, that is about engaging not only a fun party, but also engaging thinking? What does it look like? We’re really proud of intentional design, but what does it look like when we think about the disposition of artists?
We needed to start making spaces for reflection. So you’ll see one of these boards in our lobby, that says, “Today at CMA I loved …” We have more that say, “I learned,” “I think about …” Or we started to think about intentional design through the research and evaluation efforts that we were engaging in. Everything that we were doing, we were trying to get a sense of were we accomplishing those outcomes? What we were finding is that we were far more successful when we were really intentional about the design. So think about something like a kitchen table. What we were learning was that at the table people would exchange in conversation. So how do we build experiences around a table? Or even, at the bottom here, what if we engaged our visitors in thinking about the issue that artists would have been thinking about in the galleries themselves?
Activating our spaces. Not just the Center for Creativity, but our galleries, our special exhibitions. How could we use something that we call connectors … Connectors are anything but the art. How can we work with our curatorial team to be incredibly intentional about how are we providing opportunities for creative and critical thinking in our galleries?
So what would that look like? Close looking is the first step to critical thinking. It might be that we need puzzles to slow people down and create those opportunities for the kinds of conversations we wanted to see take place. Or play as process. We had an exhibition about an architect and their role and thinking about play. We needed to let people play as well.
And then we wanted to really reflect. We were very proud of the artists we exhibit or are from Columbus. But we needed to think about how could they be models for us around creativity? So the example at the top here is we have an incredible collection of the New York Photo League. The Photo League was a 1940s-1970s group of photographers who would go out and document New York. They would give each other creative challenges. Challenges like, “Document fear. Document anguish. Document compassion.” And that would be what they would do. They would all go out and try to understand that. So what if we gave … What if our social media person gave those same prompts on Instagram? And lo and behold, we started to create these online exhibits that then eventually started to come inside the building as well.
What if we found that artists in our community were engaging in tough questions? We decided, what if they did these kind of artists projects within the gallery? So here is an artist who does this local talk show and we just told him, “Please, let’s have this happen in the museum.”
So all of that leads to incredible amounts of change that happened pretty rapidly until the building element. And this is when I want to reiterate what Brian said. Change came quick for us in a particular moment, but I think long-term change is slow and it has to be about relationships. It has to be about the small steps and everyone having a voice around us.
So these are our big, audacious goals. These are the long-term goals that we hope will change the very nature of the work we do at the Columbus Museum of Art. But the examples I’m going to give you might seem, especially in some of the cases of the incredible projects we’ve already seen, they might seem very miniscule. But, to us, they’re incredibly important.
So let’s take this one. Individual fulfilment. People feel a part of something bigger than themselves. So one day I was in my office and the manager of the gallery associates came in and said, “Cindy, you know the badges that we wear? What do you think about putting our pronouns on those?” And I remember, I was like, “I don’t know, we just ordered badges.” I’m going to be honest with you, this was an ouch, oops moment for me. I killed it. And I value that they were persistent and she was back in my officer shortly later and so was someone else. And what I realised was that one small change did something incredible for our institution. It not only helped visitors and their ability to connect with our staff by using the proper pronouns that the staff wanted to be known by, it also sent a real message to our community about our support of gender diversity.
Now, here’s where I’m embarrassed to say I remember the first say wearing my badge, being in line in the café, and someone stopping me and saying, “Oh, my gosh, that’s such a symbol. I’m so proud that my museum has gendered pronouns.” And I thought, “I almost killed this. I almost killed this.” Sorry, I get all emotional. Because I made a mistake, but we fixed it. But back to individual fulfilment, feeling part of something bigger than yourself. Here were the people of our institution, members and visitors coming and saying, “Yes, this is what I want from my museum.”
Another long-term goal. A stronger community. A more open, connected and creative Columbus. So what does that look like? And how do we do that by maybe just planting the seeds? So be honest, how many of you did the creative challenge this morning? Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m very proud. Those of you who have not, you need to get comfortable with ambiguity and pick that card up. It would be a good thing for you to do today. And don’t worry, you can do it while I’m talking, I’m totally fine with that.
But this is a challenge we gave our visitors. We wanted them to imagine with the dots. It’s in our lobby area and we want them to draw what they see. The amazing thing about this project is, you can see from here, hundreds and hundreds of visitors plop down and draw. But I want you to imagine what I couldn’t at the time. I had a group of professional teachers in for professional development, we had finished our professional development series, I’m walking them by this activity and I stand up really quick and say, “Oh, everyone grab a card. We’re going to go into the next room and I’m going to have you do the activity too.” And they do.
And I never hear anything until about a month ago, but what I find out is that two of those first-grade teachers go back to their school, it’s in the spring, we were having lots of rain, they were having lots of indoor recess. I don’t know if any of you have children, indoor recess is horrible and teachers hate it. What they did though, is they took this idea, ripped it off, because we love using simple materials, easy materials, and they began doing it at indoor recess. But here’s what’s great about this story. The kids were encouraged, the rain had stopped, they could go back out, and they said, “Oh, no, no, no, I want to imagine more dots. I want to imagine more dots.”
The principal finds out about this project and she and the teachers begin plotting something over the summer around how do we demonstrate to parents the importance of the imagination? The principals says, “When school starts back up, we’re going to have every classroom do it and we’re going to create thousands of these, and I want an assembly where we bring all the parents in to talk about how we value creativity and how our kids are thinkers.” I don’t want to make any of you who did this project feel guilty, but I got to walk through the school and see what they imagined. Love the puppy. So it just gives you … Hundreds of these throughout the hallway.
But I want you to think about it. We want to accomplish a more open, connected and creative Columbus, but sometimes it’s about us being intentional and planting seeds. We won’t do the work alone. We have to expect our community to take that work on.
And finally, and I think we’re all thinking about this one, these goals were written before November last year, but of course some of them are even more … We feel the weight of them even more today. So this is positive social change. That the 21st century depends on creative thinkers who will question norms and develop ideas for the better of the world.
For us, we had an exhibition coming … And, again, did not know that the election … We plan these things years in advance. Red Horizon was an exhibition of Russian dissident art. Artists during this point were using symbols and iconography of Russia to question the norms of their society. [unintelligible 00:38:25] and her team, working with the curators, realised that you needed to give our visitors to this exhibition the opportunity to question norms themselves.
Here’s one of the issues. Up until this point, a bunch of those design things I showed you earlier, we’d had challenges from traditional museum audiences about the work we have done. Artists haven’t loved the work that we’ve done. Donors haven’t loved what we’ve done. Collectors haven’t loved. We’ve even done things where we have waited to put connectors in the connectors in the galleries until after the big opening, after the collectors or VIPs had left. Thank goodness our museum still wants to do them though.
But the question came up, “Do we wait? If we’re going to do this norm questioning experience, do we do it after the collector leaves?” He was from Columbus, so we decided we really couldn’t. So what we did was we used American symbols … We had a table and we invited visitors to question those symbols and consider them.
I’m going to start … Because most people think that the folks who participate in participatory activities are children. Out of the hundreds I was looking at, I grabbed a stack, I only found about five that were done by children. I would say most of them are done by adults. Here are two that were done by children. “Women have rights too.” “McDonald’s kills again.” Now, of course, we get some adults. The one on my left, “RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1.” On the right, I don’t think you need a title. Here are some visitors very simply making a point. Several points, I think, but really simply drawing your attention to these business symbols. And then there’s some additional political symbols. I don’t know if you can see, it’s really light, but the Nike guy jumping over the bar and the Statue of Liberty with [unintelligible 00:40:49].
Again, hundreds of these. And what we realised is why are these creative challenges important? Why is the conversation about what people produced important? Because what you’ll notice is we immediately get about 20% of our visitors that will engage in connectors. But I want you to see how many stop and take in what others have done and have conversations about those. Again, our big goal, are we allowing visitors to question norms and develop their own ideas?
But the real crux of this story is this is Neil Rector, this is his collection. And not only did Neil love the activity, something shifted with this exhibition. He asked to actually have any of them that were left over. He wants to acquire them into his collection, because he wants to show people what the impact of that art can have on producing different kinds of thinkers. So what if a collector begins championing creative thinking in our galleries?
So I land on this final quote, which is, we believe, Alistair Smith, but it’s the one that’s pinned up in, I would say, about 30 people’s cubicles in the museum. “The learners are the ones who will inherit the world, while the knowers will be beautifully prepared for a world that no longer exists.” Thank you.
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