I've just wrapped up another semester of the course, International Experiments in Community Engagement for the Johns Hopkins Museum Studies Program. It's a bit of an unusual course, in which students each semester work in teams with a museum from somewhere in the world that is not the United States to develop community engagement plans for that museum. So to begin this post, many many thanks to the staff at the four museums who worked with us this semester:
" "We Don't Need New Models, We Need A New Mindset" by Karina Mangu-Ward
challenged how we approach our museum work and the models we've relied on that no longer suit the complex problems we face today."
Although it is from 1988, this piece is still setting the table for conversation! "Elaine Gurian's The Museum as a Socially Responsible Institution because it really opened up a great discussion on to what different kinds of museums should be doing to both support and care for their audiences."
Readings that focused on the practical also got some recognition. "The Community Building Workbook is a useful and practical tool for planning community-based programs. I know I’ll be referring to the worksheets and templates for future planning." Said another, "Week 5’s 2020 survey posters developed by Susie Wilkening are crucial in understanding our polarized society and how museums can use this information to inform decisions regarding programming and exhibits."
I do ask students to read the first chapter of Rainey Tisdale and my book Creativity in Museum Practice because I continue to believe that we all need to understand and develop our creative practice to shape better museums and to be in greater service to our communities. It's great to hear that they continue to find it useful!
Duds this semester? I tried teaching logic models for the first time to really get at issues of impact. Big fail on my end, so if you have some great reading about logic models, please share. One reading I'll be dropping because it feels like the field may have moved on is Judith Dorbryzinski's negative take on crowd-sourcing museum exhibitions from 2016.
But what am I missing? When you think about museums and community engagement, what readings or videos inspire you? Let me know in the comments!