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Weekly Roundup: Museums in the News 2/10/2017

Category: Alliance Blog
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This week’s five opens access to 375,000 images, ponders preserving the spirit of punk rock, immerses into virtual reality, writes social stories and develops risk-takers. Enjoy!

1. Earlier this week the Metropolitan Museum of Art made a big announcement that it would change its open access policy to allow use of 375,000 collection images for any purpose, including commercial and noncommercial use, free of charge and without requiring permission from the Museum. Merete Sanderhoff, Curator/Senior Advisor at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) and a long-time champion of open access, helps us contextualize the importance of this announcement. Let the creativity begin!

The only way is open – SMK Open

I’m an open culture geek. For almost ten years, I have been following the slow, but steady evolvement of open access to digitized cultural heritage. I’ve been absorbed (my closest kin might say obsessed) with what is referred to as the OpenGLAM movement.

2. The punk movement of 1970s England irreverently challenged the status quo of cultural norms and aimed to upend the establishment. Forty years later, there is a tricky dilemma for how we preserve the history of punk without destroying the spirit behind the movement. The author is “left with questions about what we do with that which we cannot properly commemorate, curate, and exhibit? … Or are such things un-commemoratable, un-curatable, un-exhibitable?”

Curating punk rock | National Council on Public History

Elvis Presley in his iconic pose. Photo credit: Elvis Presley Music. I was reading in The New Yorker a few weeks ago about the “museumification” of rock music. The article was about an exhibit on the Rolling Stones in New York City, Exhibitionism!, and the curator, Ileen Gallagher, was talking about her experiences at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

3. From Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard, lowering costs of virtual reality headsets means that more museums are able to incorporate immersive experiences into exhibitions and interpretation. Is your museum thinking about using virtual reality?

Virtual Reality Has Arrived in the Art World. Now What?

The coming Whitney Biennial, beginning on March 17, will feature a virtual reality project by Jordan Wolfson, and last month the artist and designer KAWS debuted a trippy project at the New York Public Library. Now virtual reality art is pouring out of the museum and onto your phone.

4. While quite a few museums provide programming for young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Beth Redmond-Jones of the San Diego Natural History Museum noted a gap in programming for teens and young adults on the spectrum. Programs for younger children use ‘social stories’- written or visual guides describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. In the Social Stories Project, a group of young adults on the spectrum will themselves create the social stories for their peers.

The Social Stories Spectrum Project will make museums more accessible to those on the autism spectrum | The Art of Autism

How can we make museums more welcoming to those on the autism spectrum? By Debra Muzikar This month I had the opportunity to discuss autism accessibility with Beth Redmond-Jones, senior director of public programs at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT). She is directing a new project at the museum called the Social Stories Spectrum Project.

5. The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver will offer a unique residency and professional development program for museum professionals aimed at employing creativity to reinvigorate programming and increase attendance at other museums. Thad Mighell, the Museum’s assistant chief animator, explains, “The program is not trying to teach creativity but instead how to retain that risk-taking (approach) in pursuit of something that’s truly fresh and innovative.”

MCA Denver wins $400,000 grant for national leadership program

The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver this week announced its largest-ever grant for a leadership program designed to export the museum’s creative practices around the country. The New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the $400,000 grant to MCA Denver for Animating Museums, which will assemble 14 professionals from various U.S.

Do you have a great museum story to share? Let us know in the comments!

Have a great weekend.

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