This week’s Roundup shares stories about catalyzing empathy, planning for Brexit-effects, decolonizing archives, recognizing video games and making a comeback. Enjoy!
1. The Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and two community organizations have launched a unique partnership called Art Detectives hoping to humanize the image of teens and law enforcement officers “for each other, transforming teens from troublesome bodies into true, curious individuals and the police from threatening and potentially lethal figures to grownups with hearts.” The program uses the museum and its collection as a catalyst to strengthen communities by cultivating empathy.
MIAMI – Near the entrance to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Lawrence Weiner’s piece ” OUT OF SIGHT” spreads across the floor like hopscotch, bold-faced text where the numbers would be: “IMAGINED THINGS CAN BE ALTERED TO SUIT,” “SPIT INTO THE WIND HOPE FOR THE BEST,” “THE DESTINATION IS STRAIGHT ON.”
2. The UK made Brexit official by triggering Article 50 putting its exit from the European Union on an official path. Earlier in the month, ICOM-UK held a conference called ‘Working internationally in a Post-Brexit World’ where museum professionals discussed opportunities and challenges Brexit creates for UK museums. This summation of the conference is relevant beyond the UK with changing political environments around the world.
Triggering Article 50 – the Brexit challenges and opportunities for museums – Museums + Heritage Advisor
At ICOM-UK’s Working Internationally in a Post-Brexit World conference earlier this month, 200 museum professionals began a discussion in the Flett Theatre at the Natural History Museum (NHM) about what opportunities and challenges Brexit opens up for UK museums. Some of the main challenges revolve around funding and free movement of people, then there’s the economy and exchange rate, retaining and recruiting the talent of EU nationals (as the rights and residency status of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens on the continent has yet to be finalised) and of course the movement of objects.
3. Siobhan Senier provides a survey of early Native American digital collections and reflects on how “these projects represent different approaches to the larger project of decolonizing archives, ranging from digital repatriation to deeper reflections on the colonial nature of the archive itself.” The list includes everything from large university-led projects to more grassroots tribe-based efforts.
Scholars and teachers of early Native American studies have access to an increasing number of well-curated digital collections as resources for our work. We might characterize these collections in two loose groups: digital archives, which are sizable repositories of print and manuscript materials made electronically visible and searchable; and digital exhibits, which seek to tell stories about the kinds of materials and histories that scholars have often overlooked.
4. Game on! The Strong National Museum of Play has unveiled the 12 nominees for its 3rd class of inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The nominees range from Mortal Kombat to Microsoft Windows Solitaire (yep, I thought that was an odd one too!) Nominees are chosen by the public and an advisory panel will name the winners on May 4.
After opening in 2015, the Strong Museum’s World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y., spent its first two years mostly honoring the classics. Iconic games such as “Pac-Man,” “The Oregon Trail” and “Super Mario Bros.” were inducted for their lasting impact on popular culture and game design.
5. Everyone loves a comeback story – especially a museum comeback story! The Illinois State Museum and the rest of the Illinois State System was shuttered in 2015 due to state budget cuts. While the re-opening is indeed a comeback, it hasn’t been easy with the need to re-build staffing and operations. The road may be bumpy, but the museum is experimenting with new programs and gearing up for Illinois bicentennial in 2018.
The Illinois State Museum, founded in 1877, reopened its doors on July 2, 2016, after being closed for nine months due to budget cuts at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Do you have a great museum story to share? Let us know in the comments!