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

A Partnership to Empower and Celebrate African American Artisans

November 30, 2023 News

The MSU Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is one of four organizations selected to take part in a project through the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to expand the visibility of underrepresented local elder African American artisans. The project—Cultural Sustainability and Legacy Planning for Craft Artists—was conceived to assist makers in safeguarding their stories while building relationships among artists, between elders and youth, and with local cultural institutions. The three-phased craft legacy planning project kicked off with a three-dayRead More

An Exclusive Conversation with Russ White of ‘MSU Today’

November 29, 2023 News

Yesterday, I had the honor and privilege of speaking with Russ White from ‘MSU Today with Russ White‘ about the latest developments at the MSU Museum. Our conversation delved into how the museum is becoming a vital ‘third space’ for students, acting as a catalyst for interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research, and serving as a creative collaboratory for the campus.

Journey to the North: Exciting Adventures in Finland

November 26, 2023 Adventure

We just returned from an exciting and informative trip to Finland. My primary purpose for the trip was to attend the 2023 International Directors Forum on Science Engagement, organized by the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite). The convening, hosted at Heureka in the Helsinki suburb of Vantaa, was attended by over 100 leaders of science institutions from six continents. Over three days, we collectively explored two pressing issues impacting our collective work: misinformation and the triple planetaryRead More

MSU Museum Embarks on Innovative Project with $2 Million Boost from Forest Akers Trust

November 13, 2023 News

The MSU Museum is thrilled to announce a transformative gift of $2 million from the Forest Akers Trust, a major step forward in reimagining how the Museum engages with its communities and educates future generations. The generous investment will be used to construct and equip two groundbreaking spaces within the Museum. This includes an Immersive Lab for object-based learning and an Exhibit Lab for experiential learning. These spaces are set to transform the way students and visitors interact with theRead More

MSU Museum’s New Series Propels Student Ideas into the Spotlight

November 11, 2023 News

Earlier this fall, the MSU Museum announced the launch of Ignite Talks MSU, a one-of-a-kind public program designed to captivate and inspire attendees through a series of dynamic and fast-paced presentations. The inaugural event took place on November 9, 2023, at the RCAH (Residential College in the Arts and Humanities) Theater, located in Snyder-Phillips Residence Hall. The MSU Museum plans to host Ignite Talks MSU twice each academic year; once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester.Read More

Navigating Partisan Tensions in Museums

November 1, 2023 News

The inaugural Future of Museums Summit, presented by the American Alliance of Museums, is taking place November 1 and 2 virtually. The conference will “explore four themes from the current edition of TrendsWatch: the evolution of digital practice, workplace trends, the growing partisan divide, and recent developments in repatriation, restitution, and reparations.” I have the pleasure and honor of leading one of the discussions, entitled “Navigating Partisan Tensions in Museums.” Participants in this session will delve into the phenomena of how theRead More

MSU Students Partner with the Smithsonian and MSU Museum for Impactful Collaborations

October 31, 2023 News

In April 2023, the MSU Museum served as the inaugural host for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s (SITES) latest exhibition, “Knowing Nature: Stories of the Boreal Forest.” This captivating exhibition explores the vast biodiversity and worldwide importance of the Boreal Forest. More than just an exhibition, it represents an educational odyssey, enriched with personal stories, specially commissioned pieces, interactive features, and breathtaking visual media. Addressing vital topics such as climate change and Indigenous viewpoints, the exhibition seeks to sparkRead More

Establishing the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino

October 7, 2023 News

Last night, I had the pleasure of hosting my friend and colleague, Jorge Zamanillo, Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino, for a conversation here on the campus of Michigan State University. In his engaging presentation, Jorge shared the remarkable journey from his early days as an archaeologist in Miami to becoming the driving force behind the establishment of this groundbreaking museum, which Congress established in December 2020. This program was presented by the MSU MuseumRead More

Charting the Course for Greater Equity in Ann Arbor

August 23, 2023 News

Beginning in August 2021 and extending through April 2023, I had the honor of serving on the 30-member citizen Steering Committee for the City of Ann Arbor’s Equitable Engagement Initiative. The Ann Arbor Equitable Engagement Steering Committee was established to advance equity in the city. The Committee’s work centered on developing a shared understanding of what equity entails and identifying the policies, guidelines, and practices necessary for Ann Arbor to become a more inclusive city. This initiative was a collaborativeRead More

Michigan State University Museum’s Year in Review: Resilience, Innovation, and Growth

August 18, 2023 News

I am delighted to share with you Michigan State University Museum’s annual report, a testament to our institution’s resilience, innovation, and growth over the past year. As you delve into the pages, you’ll discover a newly crafted strategic plan and brand, both reflective of our unwavering mission to serving the MSU community at the nexus of the arts, sciences, cultures, and technologies. The blueprint therein not only offers a roadmap for the next five years but also ensures that weRead More