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MuseumNext — 2017

Portland, Oregon, USA

Our third USA conference was hosted at the Portland Art Museum over three days, addressing the subject of Revolution and how museums can be activists in their community.

The first day of the conference, our Discovery Day, is an informal start to the conference with activities, workshops and museum visits, introducing delegates to the city of Portland and to each other.

Delegates visited a range of venues such as Portland Children’s Museum, Oregon Historical Society and the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum while also attending the Tech Sessions at Portland Art Museum, workshops at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Second Story events at their studio. The day ended with an opening reception at the Portland Art Museum.

Day two of the conference opened with a keynote by Dr Amber Johnson from The Justice Fleet. Amber shared her mission to start a dialogue about radical forgiveness, going into neighbourhoods to engage their communities in discussions about implicit and explicit bias, social identity and communications across difference. See her presentation here.

Presentations throughout the day addressed ideas around the museum as a civic space and creative home for civic action, how a museum responded to a houselessness epidemic within their city (see the presentation here) and how cultural institutions must adapt and engage their communities to do a better job. The day concluded with a relaxed social event at the nearby Swine Bar.

The last day of the conference began with a joint presentation from Victoria & Albert Museum and Columbus Museum of Art on how learning can reshape museums. The afternoon picked up pace with an Open Stage session including twelve, quick fire, 5-minute presentations and concluded with Seema Rao, Principal at Brilliant Ideas Studio delivering a presentation entitled Trust the Revolution.

Conference Programme