Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coffee to Coffee: Expanding My View

In an earlier post,  I posted my schedule and invited readers to contact me if they had an idea, wanted to share perspectives, or just wanted to meet me.  To my delight, over the last two weeks I've had coffee with a Wikipedian-in-residence, an archivist contemplating a new project, and a Pickle Project supporter.  I've also had lively supper and conversation in tiny Herbert, Saskatchewan; chicken and waffles and talk in Indianapolis;  and morning conversations about exhibits and meaning on Long Island.  The last two travel weeks have been a great reinforcing lesson for me (other reinforcing lesson:  eat local when you can) about the importance of opening up and hearing new voices in all of our practice.  

One of the great gifts of my time as a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine was the sense that I could pursue and engage with anyone and anything I was interested in.  For me, the Fulbright was a chance to be curious on so many levels.  At this point in my career, that knowledge gained in Ukraine, combined with what I suppose is my natural interest in connecting,  makes me ever more willing to meet new people and talk about new things.   It seems all too easy for museums to get in a rut--to not get out and talk to new people.  You're busy, you have to do this or that, where would you go, etc, etc.  What would be the result if you went to somewhere new in your community, offered to buy someone a cup of coffee, and talk (that means listen too)  about your museum--and your community.  Where would that take you?

And a reminder--I'm still around for coffee.  Here's where you can find me over the next few weeks.  Be in touch!

March 16-20,  Washington, DC, for a meeting at AAM and lots of museum-going. 

April 22-24,  at the Museums in Conversation conference, Albany, NY doing a session on career planning with colleagues Anne Ackerson, Marianne Bez, Gwen Spicer, and Christopher Clarke

April 25-26,  Burlington, VT, for a talk with Sarah Crow about the Pickle Project at Shelburne Farms

April 28-May 2 at the AAM meeting in Minneapolis participating in a session on memorials and memorial museums and one on career planning.

May 21-22,  Middletown,  CT,  facilitating a workshop for the CT StEPs program of the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Connecticut League of Historical Organizations

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