I love finishing the work week on a positive note. Yesterday, in addition to hosting students from the University of Michigan’s graduate program in Museum Studies, the AANM received a pair of prominent visitors. First, a dear friend of the AANM brought Bothaina Kamel – Egyptian television anchor, activist, and politician – to the museum for a tour. Kamel, a celebrity in her homeland, is the first woman to run for the presidency of Egypt. She was pleased with her visit and had nothing but praise for our institution.
Additionally, George Takei toured the museum and spent time talking with staff. Takei is best known for his roles as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek. Additionally, he is a human rights activist and a huge supporter of our sister institution, the Japanese American National Museum. Takei impressed me with his intelligence, candor and humor. He’s played a significant role in the past when the AANM was consulting with the JANM during the development phase of our institution. This was his first time actually seeing our museum. The timing of Takei’s visit was perfect, giving that we are currently hosting the JANM’s exhibit, Fighting for Democracy, in a temporary gallery. It was great sharing ideas about museums and discussing the roles our institutions play within their communities. Once again I was reminded of the special relationship that exists between the Japanese American and Arab American communities.
A big thanks to staff for making these visits a success. I am so proud to work with colleagues that take their jobs seriously and show initiative. They are the reason we continue to succeed as a new museum.