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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Museums in the Nudes

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on October 14, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp There is a trend here in Philadelphia that I think you should know about. It’s called “Boy-lesque” and it combines burlesque dancing – an artistically-minded nude show – with boys. You could call it male stripping…but that’s not exactly accurate. It’s more about pushing the audience past their comfort zone than […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Not A Spectacle, But Not a Motivator, Either

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on September 9, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp About this time last year, I attended a NEMA conference session entitled “Spectacle or Motivator? Violent Content in Exhibitions.” Amy Weisser, Director of Exhibit Development at the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, spent a good deal of time talking about how she managed to look at violent or upsetting content […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Special Edition – Why I Don’t Hate James Durston

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 29, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp You may have read this week that CNN Travel’s senior producer James Durston hates museums. If, like me, you work in a museum, Durston’s opinion piece may have really grilled your cheese. I’ll be the first to admit, I had steam coming out of my ears. But before you sharpen your […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Change is Gonna Come

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 26, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp My family and I saw Lee Daniel’s The Butler last weekend. It sparked a family conversation about change over time. The main question: Can individuals – and then, by association, institutions – change? And what does it really take to implement that change? We all had differing opinions. People can change, […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Exhibit Review – SPY: The Secret World of Espionage

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on August 5, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I have never had the desire to design exhibits, write labels or work in conservation. When it comes to museums, I am Team Education, Outreach and Interpretation through and through. But I still want exhibits to be well executed. It makes my job easier as an educator if I have good […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: I’ve Got a Bone to Pick

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 22, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I think I might be desensitized to extra disgusting things. I regularly see kids eating things they definitely shouldn’t eat. I’ve seen lots and lots of blood spurting from noses and foreheads and knees after tumbles down stairs. I get sneezed on, and coughed on, and just this week a toddler […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Whose Program is This Anyway?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 15, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, You may have heard that the great improv comedy show of the late ‘90’s Whose Line is it Anyway? is making a comeback this summer. As museum professionals, I think it behooves us all to watch it. Why? Because a) everyone needs a good laugh now and again, and b) I’m […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Loosen Up My Buttons, Babe

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on July 1, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I like to think I came of age in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During my sophomore and junior years of high school, I spent countless hours wandering the halls of the Met on school field trips. I was typically the first off the bus, sprinting into the museum at full […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Meet the Museum! Hollis Bowe, Major Gifts Coordinator at Ford’s Theater, Washington DC

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 24, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Welcome back to Dispatch’s on-going series Meet The Museum! This week we are talking to Hollis Bowe, Major Gifts Coordinator at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. Hollis is a passionate advocate for big cats’ rights and a graduate of Tufts University!

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Castles (And Dragons and Mermaids) Made of Sand

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 17, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I’ve been known to complain that Atlantic City is a culture vacuum. People don’t come to Atlantic City to take in Shakespeare, look at fine art or go to wine tastings. They come to go to get tanned, ogle half-naked girls at the beach, and get trashed on over-priced drinks at […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: “Rights”-ful Ownership

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 10, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp There are two things in this life that I particularly love: early American history, and a good dramatic mystery. So of course, when news broke that Pennsylvania’s original copy of the Bill of Rights may have been found in the New York Public, my ears pricked up and I started tuning […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: A Pinch of Sage

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on June 4, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, As many of you already know, I started a new job at the museum this week. On the one hand, it’s the easiest start to a job ever – I already know my supervisors and coworkers, I know the programs we’re going to run, where they will be and when, and […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: The Price is Right?

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 28, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, I fib sometimes to get discounts. At the gym: Are you a student? Totally! (-$25 on membership) At the movies: Is your parent a senior citizen? Yes! (-$3 per ticket) At the store: Do you have a club card? Absolutely! (+$5 in coupons for giving my sister’s phone number.) So it […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: City of Museums

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 20, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, Since college, I have tried really hard to dislike Philadelphia. It probably had something to do with dating a guy from Pittsburgh, but it mostly boiled down to this: its not big like New York, it’s not the capital like Washington, it’s not as strong-willed as Boston, and I hate all […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Cinderella Ate My Breakfast

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 13, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, I did not have the chance to make my mom breakfast in bed this Mother’s Day. I had to go to Philadelphia to be a princess. The Please Touch Museum hosts an annual Mother’s Day Princess Brunch for Centennial Guild Members (i.e.: platinum level, or those who pay for the highest […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Museum Professionals 360°

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on May 6, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you may know that I spent Sunday morning at the Stainton Society’s Annual Brunch, which featured CNN journalist Anderson Cooper as a guest speaker. The Stainton Society is an Atlantic City-based medical philanthropy group and the annual brunch is their big fundraiser for […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: No Fairy Godmother Required

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 29, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Last April, in a fit of ridiculousness, I declared myself Her Royal Highness, Madeline, Ice Princess of Pittsburgh and All Western Pennsylvania. My friends rolled their eyes, sighed, and obliged until the Pittsburgh Penguins were knocked out of Stanley Cup contention in the first round, thereby ending my reign supreme. This […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Playground v. Playpen

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 22, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I had the good fortune to spend Passover with my cousins this year. Being closer to Philadelphia now, we don’t see our New York family members as often, so we jump at the chance to spend time with them. Especially if we know one of the babies will be there.  I […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Meet the Museum!

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 8, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp, Welcome to Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic’s new series Meet the Museum! where we interview museum professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region to get a feel for who they are and what they’re up to. Today, we’re talking to the Please Touch Museum’s new Manager of Visitor Services, Patrick Wittwer. Tell us a […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Dream a Little Dream

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on April 1, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Working for a children’s museum, I am all about supporting the hopes and dreams of young children. Kids tell me them all the time. I hear dreams of being an astronaut, a firefighter, a doctor, a professional athlete. I hear dreams about being able to read chapter books or tying shoes […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Flower Power

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 25, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I will never forget my first flower show. I had made it through my very first winter in Boston and was terribly, terribly depressed. Even though it was technically springtime, there were no leaves on the trees, a foot of snow on the ground, sweaters filling my closet and two pairs […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Historically Fashion Forward

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 11, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I have dreams of wearing a big hoop skirt. I’m talking like a BIG, Scarlett O’Hara hoop skirt. Sometimes a corset, or a bustle; on occasion knee britches and a man’s coat from the Revolutionary War, but tailored to fit and flatter a woman’s figure. I’m a fan of the First […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: To Make Good Use of Dr. Seuss

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 4, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp For those of you not up on your children’s authors, this weekend marked the 99th birthday of beloved children’s author, poet and illustrator Theodor Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. The Please Touch Museum celebrated by reading Dr. Seuss’s best-loved books at story time, by making Seuss-esque self-portraits with children in the art […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: A Novel Idea

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 25, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

I love novels. I hope to publish one someday. I read them constantly. I use the margins to write notes cheering characters on, or chastising them for behaving badly. I give novels to friends. I organize them on shelves first alphabetically, then when that gets boring thematically, then yet again by cover color, height, or […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: A Dance with Disasters

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 18, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Lately, a series of weird things have been happening at my museum. A short while back, Philadelphia had massive wind and rainstorms. In a matter of two weeks, we experienced no less than two power failures and a flood. It sounds drastic to call them disasters, but had the museum staff […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: For Whom the Cat Meows

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 11, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp I’m ashamed to tell you how I learned about Hemingway cats. It was not in a high school literature class, nor an intro to evolutionary sciences lecture. No, I learned about the six-toed felines from Tiger Beat Magazine – Backstreet Boy Nick Carter owned one. Obviously as a BSB-loving tweener, I […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Putting the Fun in Fundraising

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on February 4, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Last week, I did something totally new and different: I participated in the Philadelphia Business & Technology Center’s first annual charity jigsaw puzzle contest. I’ve never been much of a contest person, and frankly, fundraisers make me a little uncomfortable because I always feel a little out of place. But I […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Alantic: And We All Shine On

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 29, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Sometimes I find it hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go to natural history museums. Don’t get me wrong – I love natural history museums, and couldn’t wait for the annual school field trip to the NY Museum of Natural History as a kid – but sometimes, they just feel […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Jesus Played Yahtzee…And Other Historical Revisions

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 21, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp “Look at this!” my friend Kristen called me over to a case in the Ancient Greek wing of the Penn Museum. The case was right next to the bathrooms, small and probably often overlooked, except by those waiting for their friends to finish washing up. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of […]

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Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic: Frozen in Time

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 14, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp Welcome back to Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic, the weekly column where we discuss what’s going on outside of New England! It is a little known fact that I spend far too much time on time-wasting websites like Jezebel, Buzzfeed and about.com. Finally (finally!) my Internet addictions serendipitously came together with my […]

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Dispatches from the Atlantic: “Noon Year’s Eve”

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 7, 2013 in Dispatches from the Mid-Atlantic |

by columnist Madeline Karp The stage was set. Workers stood at the ready with confetti cannons, the band members waited with baited breath to sound the first notes of Auld Lang Syne. Anxious in their cramped quarters, the crowd bounced on their toes, looking up, waiting for the famed ball to drop at the stroke […]

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