On September 6th, I head out for five weeks away from home, in all kinds of surprising locations, places where I expect to learn, to be challenged by new situations, to connect with old friends, to make new ones; and much, much more. First I head to St. Petersburg and Yekaterinberg, Russia, where I'll be both presenting and doing social media for the event. So be sure to check out the project blog, and follow me on Twitter (or the hashtag #museumspolitics) and Instagram to get the latest from conference sessions, behind the scenes tours of the Hermitage, the contemporary art exhibit Manifesta; and what I hope are conversations that really dig deep, allowing us to consider the conference theme, Museums and Politics, in the light of current events in the region. What are our responsibilities as cultural professionals and how can we, working together, take care of our cultural heritage and engage in important dialogue?
Then a few free days that, of course, include museum-going. My friend Irina in Moscow tells me there are so many museums we can squeeze in. Will I love the Moscow Bulgakov Museum as much as I love the Kyiv one? I've heard great things about programs and exhibits at the Tretyakov Gallery--that's on my list--and what about those new emerging museums like the Moscow Design Museum. From Moscow, I'll head to Riga, Latvia, a European Capital of Culture this year with what look like some amazing museums. The newly opened KGB building and much more are on my list, along with a chance to appreciate one of the world's great concentrations of Art Nouveau architecture.
I wind up my visit to the region with several weeks in Ukraine. As Uncataloged readers know, this is a place very dear to me, with important friends and colleagues. Together with several colleagues, I'll be presenting workshops on incorporating visitor voices into exhibit development so although I'll be based in Kyiv, we'll be doing lots of traveling around the country. I'll also be learning about the Museum of Maidan project and as always, sharing perspectives on both professional and personal issues and shoehorning a couple additional presentations. The last year has been an extremely challenging one for Ukraine, to say the least, and my museum colleagues are juggling their work; their commitment to national change; and their concerns for family, friends and fellow museums.
Are you in any of these places? As always, I'd love the chance to sit down over a cup of coffee and learn about your work. Be in touch!