Since CFM released Building the Future of Education: Museums and the Learning Ecosystem in 2014, I’ve been on the hunt for opportunities to help build the “vibrant learning grid” envisioned in that report. In this post, I’m sharing one of the best that I’ve found so far: a Distance Learning Summit on Art Museums & Educational Innovation being convened this November by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Museums, collectively and individually, generate great educational tools and resources. All too often, however, these projects are ephemeral, vanishing when the grant funding dries up. Or they remain small scale, rather than achieving significant reach and scope. Anne Kraybill, Director of Education and Research in Learning at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, has been working with me on how to infuse museum programs with an entrepreneurial mindset in order to create in sustainable programs that grow and build on their own success. (This approach builds on a trend I highlighted in TrendsWatch 2014: the rise of for-profit, mission-oriented social enterprises.) We are going to tackle this in November by bringing entrepreneurs with experience in art/education related start-ups to mentor groups of museum staff. The entrepreneurs will learn more about museums, our resources and our work, and museumers will gain useful contacts and mentors, as well as a framework for sustainable business planning.
Crystal Bridges has just issued a call for applications for the Summit: this is a competitive opportunity open to educators and technology and media specialists from art museums. Crystal Bridges will cover the costs of participation (including travel, lodging etc.) for participants.
The goals of the Summit are to explore:
- How art museums ensure can that all students have access to high-quality, meaningful, and personalized arts education
- How art museums can have a more direct and central role in the education of the nation’s students and beyond
- How art museums partner with educational entrepreneurs to create models that are sustainable and scalable
While the audience for this convening is art museums, I look forward to sharing the outcomes with the field as a whole and, if this works well, finding a way to replicate the model for museums of all kinds.
You can read more about the Summit, the keynote speakers (I am honored to be one) and the application process here. The deadline is September 16, so don’t wait!