1. Happy 30th birthday to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago! I remember visiting the museum back in its early days, under a previous name and before significant expansions. The Chicago Tribune’s Lori Waxman reviews the museum’s anniversary show explaining that it’s more than just a party.
It’s tempting to begin this review of “Memoria Presente: An Artistic Journey,” the National Museum of Mexican Art’s 30th anniversary exhibition, with an update on the Trump administration’s plans for building a border wall, decorating it with solar panels and sending a petroleum pipeline under it.
2. While we’re on the topic of museums in Chicago… After decades in the works, efforts have moved forward to open the first cultural institution in the country devoted to public housing. This is a good long read from the Chicago Reader’s Maya Dukmasova outlining the evolution of this museum and why it matters.
When the National Public Housing Museum finally opens next year in a three-story brick building at 1322 W. Taylor-the last remnant of Chicago’s oldest federal housing project, the Jane Addams Homes-it will be the first cultural institution in the country devoted to chronicling and analyzing America’s attempts to house its people.
3. I just caught this article from a couple weeks ago where EdSurge shares a feature about how technology can help teachers facilitate constructive conversations about race. For its example the writer, Jenny Abamu, walks through the National Museum of African History and Culture. (I hereby add museums adjacent to technology in this article’s title!)
Technology certainly does not always make painful events from the past easier or more comfortable to discuss. In February 2014, a Belgium-based startup attempted to use a series of tweets to re-enact the trial of two white men accused of murdering 14-year-old, Emmett Till, a young black man, in Mississippi in 1955.
4. We’ve shared some stories on Labs about how we need to better measure the impact our cultural institutions and programs have on our communities and our world. Deborah Cullinan, CEO of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, is spearheading a new investment model called CultureBank that includes community impact as part of the return on investment equation.
If people can see another future, they can make that future theirs. The task of cultural institutions is to give people a view on another future. Every community around the world has assets of value. Community wealth is our wealth. Culture and communities… #communityengagement #funding #impact
5. Design matters in museums (and everywhere!). Diana Budds of Fast Co.Design takes us on a tour of Miami’s new Frost Science Museum.
“We’re not interested in presenting people with facts; it’s more about engaging people in the complexities of scientific discovery,” he tells Co.Design. “The content we present is less important than the process-we’re developing an appreciation for curiosity and investigation, which fuels scientific entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Do you have a great museum story to share?