Weekly Roundup: Museums in the News 6/9/2017

Category: Alliance Blog

1. There are a multitude of practices worth exploring to create impactful engagement with museum visitors. Some museums have been dipping their toes into virtual reality for its potential to deliver through immersive storytelling. Check out this VR project by Oscar-winning film director Alejandro G. Iñárritu that “strives to recreate fear, anxiety and uncertainty experienced by migrants on their long, exhausting journeys.”

Iñárritu’s VR project brings terrifying experiences of migrants and refugees to life

The Art Newspaper is the journal of record for the visual arts world, covering international news and events. Based in London and New York, the English-language publication is part of a network of titles founded by Umberto Allemandi with editions in Italian, French, Russian, Chinese and Greek.

2. So, how do we measure whether museums are creating meaningful engagement or actually impacting the world around them? I wrote about Europeana’s efforts to build frameworks around impact assessment on a previous Labs post. The Harry Verwayen, Deputy Director of Europeana, and his team are now developing a playbook for cultural innovators to use in daily practice. Follow along and get involved!

The Impact of Cultural Heritage – IMPKT – Medium

We’ve established that understanding the impact that we (can) have as cultural institutions on society is important on two levels: it helps us show our relevance to the communities that funds us, and it makes us aware of the things we can do to have more impact (read our previous post on the subject here).

3. Museum leadership gurus Anne Ackerson and Joan Baldwin have some advice for their friend making a leap into a new position of leadership – luckily they’re sharing those ideas and resources with the rest of us!

A Letter, Some Advice, and Reading for New Museum Leaders

In a week a friend and colleague of mine and Anne’s begins a new job. When all the papers were signed, and everything was real, she wrote to tell us the good news. Moving from a smaller organization to a much larger state-funded position, means she transitions from supervising a few to many.

4. This story stretches back to last week, but it’s a cautionary tale for museums to take great care in examining acquisitions, installations, and exhibitions with knowledge of how objects speak and feel to our communities. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at Walker Art Center faced intense scrutiny as critics and protestors argued that a sculpture from artist Sam Durant trivialized genocide and the history of the Dakota people. Representatives from the four recognized Dakota tribes, the Walker, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the artist went through a mediation process to determine the details for how the sculpture would be removed and destroyed.

Agreement Reached on Scaffold

On Wednesday, May 31, representatives including Dakota Spiritual and Traditional Elders, representatives from the four federally recognized Dakota tribes, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the artist Sam Durant issued the following statement. This results from the mediation process voluntarily facilitated by Stephanie Hope Smith, a Minnesota registered neutral mediator who specializes in sacred sites.


5. The International Council of Museums, or ICOM, kicked off its annual meeting season. Museum professionals around the world convened in Paris to talk about issues facing the sector around the world. You can follow these meetings on Twitter at #JuneMeetings.

ICOM Annual Meetings: Three days full of encounters and discussions for museum professionals- News – ICOM

The month of June has arrived, bringing with it the ICOM Annual Meetings, once again. Over three days (from 1 to 3 June, 2015), museum professionals from around the world gathered in Paris to share their thoughts and approaches regarding the multitude of issues that museums are facing today.

Do you have a great museum story to share?

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