Thursday, April 23, 2009
Almost to My Last Drop of Tea
I'm almost to the end of my time here in Ukraine, and this week am making the rounds saying goodbye to various museum colleagues. Here, as everywhere, change is hard--as one friend at a large museum here said, "sometimes I feel it's like moving a very big rock!" Today, I had the gratifying chance to see two small rocks moved by creative museum workers.
At the Museum of the Book, where I had helped plan a paper and bookmaking workshop for children it was wonderful to hear that the staff now offers the workshop every Saturday--and that they've really made it their own, developing a linoleum block print (instead of from my left over foam meat trays), and putting a 19th century press into service. And how does it pay off? The word of mouth has been great, and tomorrow a big Kiev TV station is coming to cover it. I've really tried to convey the message that marketing isn't everything, that providing a product or service (in a museum sense) that the community wants will attract both press coverage and an audience. Great evidence that it does.
And then to the Bulgakov Museum. Irina and I have been working with a staff member on the development of a blog for the house. The museum, relatively small for here in Ukraine, didn't really have a website, so a free blog presents a great alternative--particularly because Mikhail Bulgakov is known worldwide (take a look--he's got 10,000 friends on Facebook). So, take another look--one of Kyiv's first museum blogs is here: Bulgakov Museum in Kyiv (sorry, not yet in English--it's coming!)
And of course, it's a cliche, but moving all those small rocks eventually does move mountains.