Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Museums & Creative Practice

I'm pleased to announce the start of a new book project with my colleague Rainey Tisdale.  Museums & Creative Practice is a our effort to understand how we can be more creative museum workers--how we can embed creative practice in all aspects of our work.  Rainey,  an independent curator and blogger at CityStories,  has been actively thinking about creativity for some time,  and over the last year or so, we've begun a lively long-distance conversation about the creative process  and how it can be applied to museum practices.

We both believe that creative work can—and should-- be a part of every part of a museum’s efforts, from the gallery attendant’s work to the director’s.  As both of us travel and visit museums far and near,  we see that the innovative, compelling museums—of whatever size and discipline,  are ones where the creative process is embraced on many levels. 

We’re curious about how creativity is encouraged and nurtured;  how visitors respond to expanded creative efforts;   and how creative efforts take form in different types of museums—from art to science to history.

This is a joint project between Rainey and I because we both believe creativity flourishes with collaboration.  And that’s where you come in as well—we hope many of you will become our colleagues, sharing your perspectives, your great creative finds, and of course, your creative ideas.  Here’s where you can find us:

Our work will result in a book, but we have several starting points that we hope become a part of.  First, a new blog, Museums & Creative Practice.  We'll use this space to update our work, to share resources we find, and of course, to hear back from all of you.

We want your thoughts on what makes you creative (or not);  on the most creative museums you know;  and about what you'd like us to think about in the course of this project.  The survey is short (!) and you can take it here.

We'll both be at the American Association of Museums conference in Minneapolis next week (yes, this year's conference theme is "Creative Community") and we are hoping to talk there with as many colleagues as possible about this project. We're holding two informal Museums & Creative Practice meet-ups.

  • Monday, April 30, 12:30-2:00. Grab a takeaway lunch and meet us at the cafe seating in the lobby of the convention center, near Dunn Bros Coffee
  • Tuesday, May 1, 6:00-7:30. Join us for a drinks and discussion at The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, a few blocks north of the convention center. The reservation is under Rainey; we'll be at "Arthur's Table."
Can’t join us in person but want to share your thoughts? Please comment here, or on the new blog.  We look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing our progress with you.

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