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Home   About   CFM Blog   Join AAM   Moving? New Job? Let AAM know. Jan. 26, 2012


Drawn to the future at AAM's 2012 Annual Meeting
Center for the Future of Museums    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Walker Art Center wanted to see what happens when you invite artists and the public to sit around a picnic table and draw together. The result was the Drawing Club. This spring, the Drawing Club brings social art making to the AAM Annual Meeting in Minneapolis St. Paul, April 29–May 2. Join fellow conference attendees and Minnesota artists in creative collaboration as part of the MuseumExpo™. Socialize, sketch, converse, debate and most of all enjoy yourself. Learn more about the Drawing Club in this week's CFM blog post. And remember that the Early Bird Deadline for the Annual Meeting is Jan. 31 (registration will never be this cheap again).

Exercise and Science Headlines

Smithsonian reports dip in visitors and increase in donations
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough reported recently that the number of visitors to the Smithsonian had declined by 2 percent. That meant only 29 million people had visited the museums, still making the complex bulging with visitors. At the same time donations from the private sector had exceeded the Smithsonian's own goal for last year and brought in $182 million. ♦ Part of the drop was attributed to the temporary bump in 2009-10 from "Night at the Museum II." More

The Power of Animal Magnetism

A new national survey called “Releasing Wild Success” identifies important new findings about visitor motivations, desires, and behaviors related to animals in cultural attractions. MORE


Nonprofits show job growth through decade of turmoil, but lose market share
Center for Civil Society Studies    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report from the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins Univ. shows that the U.S. nonprofit sector posted a remarkable 10 year record of job growth despite two recessions, achieving an average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, while for-profit jobs declined by an average of minus 0.6 percent per year. At 10.7 million workers as of 2010, nonprofit organizations employ the third largest workforce among U.S. industries, behind only retail trade and manufacturing. More

Economic challenges: A second look
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the economic downturn continues, many cultural organizations have moved from short-term responses to long-term financial concerns. In this article, two museum directors — Richard Burkert of the Johnstown (Penna.) Area Historical Association and Avi Decter of the Jewish Museum of Maryland — discuss changes at their institutions since 2009. "How did their organizations' plans in 2009 work out? What new measures are their institutions taking to address more long-term financial concerns? Their candid reports reflect the ongoing challenges being faced by public humanities programs throughout our region." More

Museum Quality Large Format Printing


Star Wars Uncut & schooling
HappySteve    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education blogger Steve Collis explains that "Understanding the schooling paradigm-shift requires one to be a culture-watcher. It is the seismic changes in society which make the schooling system appear so anachronistic and functionally irrelevant. One such change: The rise in technologies facilitating collective action and intelligence." His example of collective action: "The Star Wars Uncut project [which] allowed anyone in the world to claim a 15 second excerpt from the Star Wars IV film and create their own version." More

Switzerland's 'Dementiaville' designed to mirror the past
The Independent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Its detractors may end up dubbing it "Dementiaville," but Switzerland is brushing aside a debate raging among geriatric-care experts with plans to build a mock-1950s village catering exclusively for elderly people with Alzheimer's and other debilitating mental illnesses. ♦ This highlights a significant social trend (aging populations) but looks like a cautionary tale rather than a model for museums. More

Tablet and e-book reader ownership nearly double over the holiday gift-giving period
Pew Research Center    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sales of tablet computers and e-book readers surged during the holiday season, causing the share of adults who own either device to nearly double, from 10 percent to 19 percent. More


4 percent growth in giving forecast for 2012
The Agitator    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. charitable giving expanded in 2011 at a rate far exceeding economic growth for the year, and continued growth in giving is forecast for 2012 according to a major report just released by The Atlas of Giving. For 2012 the Atlas forecasts continued growth in giving, but at a slower pace — 3.9 percent in 2012 compared with 7.5 percent in 2011. More

Local economies for a global future
YES! Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Green building leader Jason McLennan writes about "a simple, singular idea, yet the significance of the idea to modern society is profound and far-reaching. Here it is: In the near future anything heavy will become intensely local while at the same time the limits to things that are 'light,' ideas, philosophies, information will travel even further than today — literally and figuratively. This is a new paradigm for humanity and it has huge implications for the complete reordering of society." More

The future of food
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By 2050 there will be another 2.5 billion people on the planet. How to feed them? Science's answer: A diet of algae, insects and meat grown in a lab. More


For science's sake, touch the art    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A curator and a scientist — both exploring the question of what feels beautiful — want art lovers to hold and touch some of the pieces in the exhibit Touch and the Enjoyment of Sculpture: Exploring the Appeal of Renaissance Statuettes. The show, on view at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, is the fourth in a series of collaborations between the Walters and the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University. The show incorporates a dozen 16th-century statuettes from the Walters collection — kept safely behind glass and out of reach — along with 22 replica pieces that visitors will touch and rate, providing data for ongoing research. More

Lincoln Park Zoo sends teacher to Niger in unique learning exchange
Chicago Parent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Maryanne Kalin Miller, who has been teaching at Francis W. Parker school in Chicago for 40 years, is the school's point person on a cultural exchange program with a couple of schools in Niamey, Niger — a landlocked country smack dab in the middle of northern Africa, on the southern end of the Sahara Desert. About 10 high school age kids from Niamey are learning how to collect data and do research on animals. About 72 seventh-graders from Chicago are learning the same thing. And they're learning a lot about each other in the process. ♦ The project is funded through Museums & Community Collaborations Abroad, which is administered by AAM. More

Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa,
pitches different funding model

Quad-Cities Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seeking a way to sustainability, Putnam Museum officials suggest forming a regional pool of funds that also would help other cultural entities and organizations in the Quad-Cities. The idea is to share hotel-motel tax revenues pooled together from multiple jurisdictions, releasing money in a grant application format. More

Michigan's Henry Ford Museum to unveil exhibit 'Driving America'
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Automotive critic Dan Carney writes, "When I visit a museum, a large part of what I'm looking to do is help educate my children. But too many museums, if you ask me, stupefy kids with boredom or insult them with hands-on activities that mostly just serve as germ depositories. Not the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich." More

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art picks 5 finalists to build pavilion
Kansas City Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is soliciting aesthetics of a different kind, with five design teams competing to build a pavilion that coincides with the Kansas City museum's exhibition about arts at the world's fairs. Creators were expected to use innovative materials and come in at less than $20,000 for the project. More

2 schools team up with museum to create urban planning proposals
NorwalkPlus    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two schools from Fairfield and Bridgeport, Conn., partnered with the Fairfield Museum and History Center and challenged their students to design and create proposals for the city of Bridgeport's urban planning initiatives. The result is a 3-month exhibition, showcasing the students' development work on sustainable plans for the empty lots and abandoned buildings on upper Main Street in Bridgeport along with the students' innovative computer models and their writing, poetry and photography. More

The new French hacker-artist underground
Wired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A mysterious band of hacker-artists is prowling the network of tunnels below Paris, secretly refurbishing the city's neglected treasures. ♦ No so much about museum innovation as museum stasis. The artists' collective known as UX highlights lapses in traditional museum attitudes towards security and conservation. More

Tools for the Future

Robot cleaners and the Museum of Me: Intel's vision of the future
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the last decade or so, the burgeoning culture industry has spawned museums at such a rate that it seems no small town or minor artist will be left unrepresented. Now, social media has taken that logic to its absurd conclusion: It is not just minor artists who will get their own museum, we all will. Or so the creators of the Museum of Me would have us believe. ... [T]he Museum of Me may be a disposable gimmick, but Intel spends a good deal of time imagining what the future of our everyday experiences will look like. More

To 'think outside the box,' think outside the box
Innovations Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, researchers had students think up solutions to problems while acting out various metaphors about creative thinking and found that the instructions actually worked. ♦ How can museums use "embodied metaphors" (like putting people in actual cardboard boxes) to spur creativity among their visitors — or staff members? More

The (un)importance of cultural barriers
Prevention Action    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In many countries, children from culturally diverse backgrounds are at a greater risk for developing behavior problems. But their parents are often less likely than other families to access support via parenting programs. Do these families' cultural values prevent them from engaging with these programs? Are the programs themselves simply not suited to anyone other than the cultural majority? ♦ This research may throw light on barriers to museum access as well. More

Do you measure up?

Museum Benchmarking Online from AAM

The 2012 AAM Press Bookstore catalogue is available now!


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