Devon Akmon’s professional updates and news on adventure and travel.

Museums Navigating Partisan Divides at the CAJM Conference

May 22, 2024 News

I was privileged to moderate a plenary discussion titled “Museums Navigating Partisan Divides” at the recent Council of American Jewish Museums’ annual conference, themed “Museums and Democracy: Elevating Civic Engagement.” This dialogue brought together distinguished leaders, including Jorge Zamanillo, the Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino; Rachel Perić, Executive Director of Welcoming America; and Dr. Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Executive Director of the Association of African American Museums. Navigating partisan divides is a critical, yet challenging issueRead More

Insights on University Museum Renovations: Featured in The New York Times

April 29, 2024 News

I’m excited to share a recent feature in The New York Times, where I had the honor of discussing the evolving role of university museums in today’s educational landscape. — “Upgraded Museums Add New Value to College Campuses: Educational institutions across the United States are spending more money to renovate museums and make them a more integral part of learning.“

Experiencing Totality: The 2024 Solar Eclipse in Indianapolis

April 13, 2024 Adventure

On April 8, 2024, Dharma and I had the good fortune of watching our second total solar eclipse over the course of seven years. We had the pleasure of viewing this astronomical wonder, the Great North American Eclipse of 2024, from White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. It was an unforgettable experience. In 2017, we traveled to Indian Boundary Lake in northern Tennessee’s Indian Boundary Recreation Area with friends to witness the Great American Eclipse. For approximately two minutesRead More

Serving the Field as AAM Vice Chair & Secretary

April 10, 2024 News

I’m truly honored to continue my board service with the American Alliance of Museums by serving as Vice Chair and Secretary for the upcoming year. I look forward to serving the museum community more deeply. I’m excited to collaborate with a group of talented professionals, each bringing diverse experiences and perspectives to our collective efforts. Our goal is to further the Alliance’s mission—to champion equitable and impactful museums by connecting people, fostering learning and community, and nurturing museum excellence. AsRead More

Celebrating Black History Month: Carl Craig on Afrofuturism and Detroit Techno

March 4, 2024 News

In honor of Black History Month, the Michigan State University (MSU) Museum and WKAR Public Media presented an extraordinary event, “From Detroit to the Cosmos: Carl Craig on Techno and Afrofuturism.” This exclusive gathering featured Detroit Techno legend Carl Craig in conversation with Dr. Julian Chambliss and took place on February 21 at the Communication Arts & Sciences Building at Michigan State University. The event began with a reception from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, offering guests a rare chance toRead More

The REDress Project: Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

March 1, 2024 News

March is here, and with it comes a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. In honor of Women’s History Month, the MSU Museum, in collaboration with the Native American Institute and other campus partners, is proud to announce the arrival of The REDress Project, a powerful outdoor art installation created by Métis artist Jaime Black-Morsette. The REDress Project is a moving display featuring approximately 60 red dresses collected through communityRead More

Preserving Grief and Solidarity: MSU Museum Marks One Year After Tragedy

February 17, 2024 News

On Tuesday, February 13, we commemorated the one-year anniversary of the horrific violence that took place on the campus of Michigan State University. Given the MSU Museum’s role over the past year in preserving, documenting, and stewarding the collection of materials left at the various campus memorials following the tragedy, we received numerous requests from media to share our efforts to process the collection. First, some background. In the wake of the tragic events of February 13, 2023, the MSURead More

The Resurrection of Luna Luna, the Innovative Art Amusement Park

December 27, 2023 Adventure

The story behind the Luna Luna amusement park is almost too good to be true. After its celebrated opening in the 1980s, the amusement park featuring works by renowned visual artists all but disappeared until recently. Luna Luna was the brainchild of Austrian multimedia artist André Heller. Envisioned as the world’s first art amusement park, it brought together the talents of several prominent artists. Each artist was tasked with designing a ride or attraction, resulting in a park that wasRead More

MSU Trustees Approve $28M Transformative Renovation for MSU Museum

December 15, 2023 News

On Friday, December 15, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized $28M towards infrastructure improvements for the MSU Museum. An integral part of research, teaching, and engagement at the university, the MSU Museum will embark on an ambitious 18-month renovation project starting July 2024. This announcement of university support comes shortly after the Museum received a generous multimillion-dollar gift from the Forest Akers Trust to support a new Immersive Lab for object-based learning and an Exhibit Lab for experientialRead More

Redefining Purpose: How Academic Museums are Transforming for the 21st Century

December 14, 2023 News

I was recently asked to participate in an “Ask the Expert” article for MSU Today, responding to the question, “Why are academic museums across the country rethinking their role in the 21st century?” These articles “provide information and insights from MSU scientists, researchers and scholars about national and global issues, complex research and general-interest subjects based on their areas of academic expertise and study.” I was presented with four questions. My responses to these questions are as follows: Why doRead More