Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Month: March 2011 (page 2 of 3)

Especially for Me: Innovative Ways Museums Can Support Visitors of All Abilities

The registration deadline for this workshop is TODAY – so run, don’t walk, and sign up!


Especially for Me:
Innovative Ways Museums Can Support Visitors of All Abilities

Monday, March 28 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Wistariahurst Museum

Holyoke, MA

Registration Deadline: March 21, 2011

Registration Fee (lunch included): $50 NEMA members / $60 non-members / $40 students
Click here to register.

With an estimated 19% of Americans classified as disabled, how can museums be responsive to this segment of the population? Join us at Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA, as we explore innovative ways to design exhibits and programs that promote inclusion and disability awareness. Topics will include collaborative programs with the special needs community and universal design.

9:30 am   Registration and Coffee

10:00 am Welcome and Introductions

10:15 am   Universal Design 101
Emily Robertson, Product Coordinator, Temporary Exhibit Operations, Museum of Science, MA & Jan Crocker, President, Jan Crocker Museum Associates, MA
Jan and Emily will present a talk on the principles of Universal Design (UD). UD provides design choices that create a better experience for visitors with disabilities, but ultimately all visitors benefit from these choices. Through discussion and hands-on activities during the talk, they will explore practical strategies for improving current programs and exhibits, the differences between ADA and Universal Design, and how to work with advisory boards on planning teams.

11:00 am   access/ABILITY
Gail Ringel, Vice President of Exhibits & Productions, Boston Children’s Museum, MA
Gail’s presentation will focus on the Boston Children’s Museum’s exhibit access/ABILITY which is a highly interactive, yet sensitive, disability awareness exhibit that delivers the message to visitors that as human beings, we are more alike than different. This unique exhibit presents people living with disabilities as participants in the world and features fun and engaging activities that show the similarities and differences in how each of us with or without disabilities go places, communicate, have fun, and learn.

11:30 am   Forever Young Treehouses
B’fer Roth, “Treehouse Guy,” Forever Young Treehouses, Designer/Builder, VT

Accessible Treehouses! Who would ever imagine those two words would be used together, but it’s true. We will see firsthand, how boundaries are so happily broken by way of experiencing the joy of being up in a Treehouse in a wheelchair.
12:00 pm   Lunch

1:00 pm   Exploring Our Way
Deb Jurkoic, Autism Family Support Specialist, Easter Seals, The Family Place, NH and Paula Rais, Visitor Services & Outreach Coordinator, The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, NH
Exploring Our Way: the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Autism Partnership Program provides free visits to families with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The presentation will outline the ways in which CMNH provides opportunities to enjoy family time at the museum in a safe, understanding environment.

1:45 pm   Especially for Me: Expanding Access to Museum Fun for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Infants & Toddlers
Amy Spencer, Director of Early Childhood Education & Parent Resources, The Discovery Museums, MA, and Denise Fournier Eng, Speech Language Pathologist, Children’s Hospital of Boston at Waltham, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, MA
Amy and Denise will speak about the collaboration between their two organizations that offers families with deaf or hard of hearing infants and toddlers opportunities to explore the Children’s Discovery Museum during a special time just for them using ASL interpreters to facilitate language and play within the creative and interactive exhibits.

2:45 pm Wrap Up & Evaluations

Click here to register.

Museums in the News – The More Timely Roundup

Welcome to our weekly museums in the news roundup!

Attendance spikes at nuclear museum (National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, Albuqueque, New Mexico)

Museum will occupy former Real World House (Laogai Museum, Washington, D.C.)

Bieber-worn kicks enshrined at Toronto shoe museum (Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada)

Film focuses on remote museum in Uzbekistan (Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art, Nukus, Uzbekistan)

Inmate-painted mural removed for conservation from abandoned prison museum (Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Parents find gun at Miami Children’s Museum (Miami Children’s Museum, Miami, Florida)

Hoping Gawanus Canal cleanup turns up old treasures (various museums, Brooklyn, New York)

Donor’s son sues Dallas museum over art collection, 25 years later (Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas)

Harley shut out of its own museum (Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Sarkozy’s proposed French history museum: national institution or political instrument? (proposed museum, Paris, France)

Museum restores Jefferson’s unique Bible (National Museum of American History, Washington, DC)

Fire stops time on planned clock museum (proposed museum, Evanston, Illinois)

Artists to boycott Abu Dhabi’s Guggenheim over labor rights (Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Russia orders immediate return of artworks from icon museum in Clinton (Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, Massachusetts)

Thousands expected to watch as museum moves to higher ground (National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Economic downturn prompts closing of museum aimed at telling the story of Appalachia (Appalachian Cultural Museum, Boone, North Carolina)

Museum directors (various museums, photographs from 1955)

Weekly Job Listings

Welcome to our weekly jobs report. As always, new jobs appear first on their own, separate job announcements page.

  • Director of Education [Brookside Museum]The Director of Education for Brookside Museum, home of the Saratoga County Historical Society, is responsible for furthering the museum’s mission by providing high quality, technologically diverse education programs to a variety of audiences. This pos…
  • Executive Director [Montgomery County Historical Society]MONTGOMERY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION DESCRIPTION The position is open immediately.  The job requirements and personal qualifications are: – Assume overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Society’s st…
  • Assistant/Associate Museum EducatorASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE MUSEUM EDUCATOR Education Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s finest museums, is seeking an Assistant/Associate Museum Educator in the Education Department. This pos…
  • Director of Exhibition and Curatorial [The Franklin Institute]THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITION & CURATORIAL Philadelphia, PA The Franklin Institute, founded in 1824 and housed in its current building since 1934, has a rich and storied history.  Today, the Institute is a premier science …
  • Curator of Education [The Henry Ford]The Henry Ford has a full time opportunity for a Curator of Education.  This position collaborates with internal and external partners to advance and realize the institution’s educational mission and vision. Leads and/or participates in the deve…
  • Program Coordinator [Center for Art and Community Partnerships at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design]The Program Coordinator for the Center for Art and Community Partnerships will manage and direct the day to day logistics of CACP projects and programs, including: management of ongoing programs; conception and development of projects; oversight o…
  • Conservation Technician [Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County]Conservation Technician, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is looking for a skilled Conservation Technician for the museum’s new permanent exhibition exploring the natural and cultural his…
  • Docent, School, and Adult Programming Specialist [Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum]Curator of Education: Docent, School, and Adult Programming Specialist Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum *Overview:* The Woodson Art Museum ­ a 35-year-old, well-supported north central Wisconsin museum ­ seeks an innovative and dynamic educator t…
  • Director of Education [Lower East Side Tenement Museum]LOWER EAST SIDE TENEMENT MUSEUM DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION JOB DESCRIPTION Organization Background The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, founded in 1988, promotes tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the…
  • Director of Public Programs [Museum of Jewish Heritage]Department of Public Programs Director of Public Programs The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is seeking a seasoned professional to manage its Public Programs. Created as a living memorial to those who perished during…

Improv at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

You might well have seen this already – it’s gone viral in museum circles – but just in case you haven’t: King Philip IV recently signed autographs in front of his Velazquez portrait at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Well, sort of.

Scroll down and read the comments on Improv Everywhere’s write-up of the stunt. They’re from an obviously biased source – most people loved the prank – but they also do not seem to be typical museum goers. Here’s a comment that struck fear and hope into my heart: “Museums are so stuffy and pretentious…they need things like this to make them fun places for real human beings. Brilliant!!!!”

Did the Met security guard do the right thing in ushering the actors out? Should museums as a whole be encouraging more of this sort of thing – or less?

(In my ideal world, the Met let them go on for at least an hour, and then sat down to meet with the group about more museum-themed pranks – spontaneous, charming expressions of whimsy that inject life into the galleries. But maybe some of you disagree with me! Comment on this post and let’s start a conversation.)

NEMA YEP Workshops

This week’s professional organization information is about some very useful and specifically targeted workshops for young and emerging museum professionals. We’ve talked about them before, but the first one, called “LEARN,” is coming up soon and you don’t want to miss it. Information below.


The NEMA Young and Emerging Museum Professionals (YEPs) PAG understands that new and emerging museum professionals have limited budgets to attend workshops, and frequently are unable to miss work for professional development and/or networking events. To break down these barriers faced by those with less than ten years in the field, and those who wish to network with new and emerging professionals, the YEP PAG Chairs have planned a series of workshops that break the mold. Learn, Laugh, Love brings together numerous individuals from various professional positions and levels of seniority, both of local and national stature, to encourage those who are just entering the field, especially career changers, students, and those who are seeking to further their current position, in three informal learning situations, where networking at peer to peer and peer to mentor level are key components. Register for all three and save!

All workshops will be held at Historic New England’s Otis House Auditorium.

Each workshop includes light refreshments and is $15 for NEMA and Historic New England Members, $25 for Non-Members.
Members can register for all three workshops for only $40, a savings of $5!
NEMA memberships start at $35 (students/job-hunters/volunteers). Non-members registering for all 3 workshops
LEARN: How to Interview “Big Wig” Speed Dating Style (March 23, 2011)
There’s no better way to learn but trial and error. Using the speed dating format, participants will have the opportunity to “interview” with seasoned museum professionals, including Directors, Curators, Educators, Board of Trustee members, and other senior ranking individuals. Each seasoned professional will be armed with a mixture of “favorite” interview questions collected from those who hire in the museum field; workshop participants will rotate between professionals, thus opening the door to meet and learn from those who have immense advice to share on the interviewing process, making the best first impression, and creating a lasting mark with interviewers that leads to a new position.

LAUGH: How to Break into a Tricky Field in a Tough Economy (April 20, 2011)
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine, but how does an emerging museum professional break into a tricky field when museums are facing budget cuts and staff reductions? What does a museum want from a new hire? What skills are needed to be successful in the museum field in 2011? Should you go back to school, attend workshops, and learn how to post to Facebook? When is a job a great fit, and when should you run away if it isn’t perfect? These questions and more will be discussed, with an emphasis on making your current skills and abilities appealing to employers. Hear stories from seasoned professionals on starting off in the field, surviving layoffs, and transitioning to new positions. Translating job descriptions into inspiring cover letters and highlighting key resume accomplishments will also be discussed.

LOVE: How to Build Your Resume through Internships, Articles, Conferences, and Presentations (May 11, 2011)
Climbing the museum ladder is definitely labor intensive, but it is a labor of love. Learn how to build your resume by gaining experience beyond traditional nine to five positions. Publishing, presenting, and volunteering are ways to uncover unknown or new museum positions, make contacts, and build a strong resume (and a strong museum professional!). Discover the strategic steps you can take to make yourself more appealing to future employers, and find the best route to positioning yourself for promotions and opportunities throughout the field.

Directions to the Otis House will be emailed with your registration confirmation two weeks prior to the workshop.

Questions? Call NEMA, 781-641-0013.

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