Exploring ideas and issues impacting the arts and cultural sector.

Telepresence Facilitation

April 6, 2023 Thoughts

The following piece was written by my colleague Caroline White, education and learning manager with MSU Museum’s CoLab Studio. When COVID-19 forced many organizations to shift online or cease operations in 2020, the MSU Museum CoLab Studio1 was in the middle of preparing for our exhibition, FUTURE PRESENT: Design in a Time or Urgency. The exhibition planned to examine the ways design shapes our lives, from the technologies we use to methods of designing a more equitable, sustainable future. WeRead More

Rapid Residencies: Creative Responses in Urgent Times

February 3, 2023 Thoughts

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth global change and disruptions that impacted all aspects of life. As part of efforts to “flatten the curve,” shelter-in-place orders became prevalent and widespread shutdowns of businesses and educational institutions attempted to thwart community transmission of the virus. These measures profoundly impacted cultural institutions, producers, and creators. Opportunities dwindled worldwide as gigs were lost, performances and exhibitions closed, and myriad other events moved online or were canceled. Moreover, while institutions struggled withRead More

Red Doors: Museums as Sanctuaries During Civil Unrest

November 2, 2020 Thoughts

Over the past year, protests have erupted in cities across the nation. Demands have ranged from calls for greater social justice to the lifting of pandemic restrictions. In several instances, protests have led to property damage and/or the intimidation of people with opposing views. As we head into a major election, more and more businesses in urban areas are contemplating measures to protect their assets, namely buildings, from further civic unrest. In fact, a recent NY Times article described how many retail brands were boarding upRead More

Museums Serving Communities: Pandemic Edition

October 28, 2020 Thoughts

The global pandemic has not been kind to museums. By now you’ve probably heard of the mass layoffs of museum professionals and the possibility of approximately 1/3 of museums closing due to the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic. For some, a combination of emergency grants and the Paycheck Protection Program served as a vital lifeline. However, many of those resources have now been depleted and, as the American Alliance of Museums points out, things will become more dire without additional federalRead More

Innovative Cultural Programming During a Pandemic

October 21, 2020 Thoughts

It’s been over seven months since the global coronavirus pandemic took root here in the United States. Arts and cultural organizations, similar to other types of businesses, are struggling to navigate the myriad challenges brought on by the pandemic. Theatres, concert halls, and other performing arts venues remain closed in most cities. Many museums and galleries are open, but with strict limitations on visitation. These ongoing disruptions have had a huge financial impact on organizations both big and small. EarnedRead More