We’re looking forward to our next meetup event featuring a Google Hangout with Elizabeth Merritt, Vice President, Strategic Foresight at the American Alliance of Museum and Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums.
Larger trends in the world impact museums and their audiences, and the Center for the Future of Museums is at the forefront forecasting those trends in their annual Trendswatch report. Elizabeth will introduce the five trends impacting museums they’ve identified, and explore some of the implications of two of those trends: the growing empathy deficit, and the plight of refugees and others experiencing mass migration of populations.
- How are museums addressing the “empathy deficit”?
- How have some communities welcomed refugees as a resource, using immigration to spur economic development and reverse declining populations?
- What are some simple first steps museums can take to address both of these issues?
Had a great Hangout with Beka Economopoulos, co-founder of The Natural History Museum, a popup museum in Brooklyn that is changing perceived boundaries around museums by taking exhibits and programs out on the road and collaborating with organizations. Beka encourages museums to take a position on issues such as environmental change to be more relevant to the communities they serve. “People love museums and want to see them live up to their visions.”
- 01:00 Powerpoint: The Natural History Museum
- 03:25 Reconnect to the living universe, past to present
- 04:20 Re-evaluate role in the midst of profound environmental change
- 04:35 About The Natural History Museum
- 06:20 Making science and natural history relevant to people’s daily lives
How do museums, art and environmental activism interface? Coming on the heels of Earth Day and the March for Science, our next meetup will feature a Google Hangout with Beka Economopoulos, co-founder of The Natural History Museum, a mobile and pop-up museum based in Brooklyn that focuses on principles of scientific inquiry, and invites visitors to explore the social and political forces that shape nature. Beka will talk about how collaborations with scientists and local communities can make museums more relevant in a time of profound environmental and social change, toward a vision of building a more inclusive and just society.
Beka has two decades of experience working within the advocacy and sustainability sectors, including Director of Online Organizing at Greenpeace, and is a Co-founder of Not An Alternative–a collective that works at the intersection of art, activism and critical theory. Named in The New York Times and ArtNet’s “Best in Art in 2015” round-ups, Not An Alternative has presented work at museums around the world, including Tate Modern, Guggenheim, PS1/MOMA, Queens Museum, Brooklyn Museum, MOCAD, and Museo Del Arte Moderno. Read more
Another amazing hangout with Kimberly Drew of the MET Museum and Black Contemporary Art.
0:00 Cierra Peters; Introduction to Museumhive
0:33 The MET. blogging and social media – how Kimberly started.
3:53 The Challenges of working with digital media.
7:25 Digital media’s place in museums.
6:53 Initiating Dialogue: reaching the communities museums intend to serve.
12:00 Question from the audience: how can we reach communities when resources are limited? – If there’s an opportunity to reach out to 1-5 community organizers, make space available for others, think creatively about how to use resources.
12:50 Stories from the Studio Museum in Harlem: it’s really easy to forget that people on the outside don’t always know what the Museum is doing. It’s worthwhile to slow down and invite people in.
14:00 Question from Cierra: Can you talk about Black Art Incubator and Black Futures – all of Kimberly’s projects are born from collaboration and others being gracious enough to share their time with her.
15:18 On the Black Art Incubator: how it began, and why community is important in our current political moment.
16:57 On Black Futures: a book project with Jenna Wortham
18:01 Follow up question: What was the process like during Black Art Incubator?
20:59 Question from the audience: What digital art projects are inspiring you? – DM’ing other scholars, people taking selfies at the museum, the infinite ways in which people can engage with the galleries of the museums are inspiring.
23:55 Question from the audience: Does the museum online need to reflect the physical space? It’s more important to illustrate the possibility of visiting and what the museum has to offer. Illustrate the mission.
26:26 Question from the audience: Is changing the museums image through digital disingenuous?
27:39 Museums need to share resources through digital.
28:34 Question from the audience, Christlene De Jean: how do you use your platform to hold space for art and discourse? – A: there is always a way to use what exists in the archive to relate to contemporary conversations.
30:55 Our digital imprint has so much potential for change.
32:00 Question from the audience: Do you have a final statement for the group?
33:20 Thank you and goodbye!
Kimberly Drew a.k.a. @MuseumMammy is a New York-based thought leader whose practice is at the intersection of contemporary art, race and technology. She works both within traditional institutions and beyond them to help take them to new places.
The most critical voices of the millennial generation are concurrently engaged in developing their political, pedagogical and aesthetic framework. According to Boston-based collective Intelligent Mischief a third-culture perspective, the critical space between the so-called American identity and one’s native country, is “[a] complex place … the people who inhabit them are quite often best positioned to think about complex issues in creative ways. The margins are really the intersections or borders.” Drew’s own practice can be described as such. She creates a place for those who would otherwise be negated access and space. It’s not oppositional, it’s simply an inverted version of what already exists.
While growing visibility and relevance for the MET through social media, she’s gained a massive following in her own right, (113K on Instagram alone) through a careful mastery of the area between the formal and informal. However, that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to keep it real. Below are our favorite four observations by Ms. Kimberly Drew.
Blackness is a technology in and of itself. The way we survive and thrive has always been contingent on building technologies against the system that sets us up to fail.
Spending less time being worried about being “late” and focusing on being worth the wait.
I think about the things I’m sending out in the world because there are so many silences within the web and in the truth of our particular moment. I try to think about the things that I send out, can create, or can share, and how I could share positive images and also real images and also be able to articulate history in a way that feels inclusive…When you’re adding to this noise, in what ways are you improving upon silence?
I’m not really a critic, I’m more of an active observer.
We’re delighted to announce our next meetup and Google Hangout event with Kimberly Drew, social media manager at The Met in NY. Kimberly is a leading thinker in the museum world focusing on black culture and art, with a wide range of media articles written about her work, including “Best Instagram Accounts to Follow” on FastCompany Design, and “4 Black Women Making the Art World More Inclusive” in New York Magazine.
Kimberly was recently named a “Brooklyn 100 Influencer” by Brooklyn Magazine, where she described a beautiful world where “more marginalized people enter institutions, learn the rules, and shatter and restructure them.”
The event will be held at the Roxbury Innovation Center, 2300 Washington Street, Boston. The Center is less than a 10 minute Lyft/Uber/cab ride from the Museum of Fine Arts. Please get in touch via our contact form if you’re interested in meeting at the MFA to share a ride.
Google Hangout with Kimberly Drew from 7pm to 8pm.