Thursday, April 19, 2007

Peep Show

A somewhat belated post about a Hartwick College tradition...the Peep Show. Every spring, the college holds an open show of art created from peeps--yes, those sugary chicks that appear on grocery store shelves every spring. Students, faculty and staff participate in the event and I see that a number of the entries were museum related. They included peep shards, an archaelogical entry; and several dioramas including Peep Evolution by Assistant Professor Lisle Dalton and Saturday Peep Fever, by Kevin Gray '01 and Sarah Loveland (both at left).

What's the connection to museums? Well, creativity and a sense of humor are a wonderful thing. This week, Leslie Bedford of the Bank Street Museum Studies Program spoke at the Upstate History Alliance/Museum Association of New York Annual Conference. I was unable to attend her presentation, but a colleague emailed me about her talk--and shared this quote from Leslie, " How can we expect visitors to use their imagination if we don't use ours?" On that note, enjoy more imaginative peeps at Hartwick!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Museums and Beer School

I spent some time talking today with a friend and colleague, Joann Lindstrom, currently in graduate school for public administration, about start-ups. She's been reading a book called Beer School, about the founding of the Brooklyn Brewery. She was impressed by the founders dedication and willingness to stick through some tough times and obstacles along the way. She raised the connection of how and why a for-profit look at start-ups is relevant to non-profits. We're always talking about the big idea, and mission, and vision--but sometimes organizations also need a dose of reality. If you're starting a history organization in a community of 1200 people--maybe you're not going to be able to raise a million dollars. At the same time, we both have seen organizations where passion really makes a difference. If you're the whiny type, it's guaranteed you'll never raise a million dollars. So our recommendation from our diner lunch--without the passion and vision, there's not a chance of succeeding--but those dreams should be tempered with the reality, perhaps.