Since starting my new position at the Beach Museum of Art, I’ve had some time to ponder the unique challenges and benefits of working in a campus-based museum. Considering the studies recently released by the Kress Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center, and a thought-provoking series of posts via the Center for the Future of Museums, I’m obviously not the only one giving this topic some serious thought.
Although the Cultural Policy Center’s study focuses on art museums, I believe these challenges are universal and it’s important for us to learn from all types of museums. The focus could actually be expanded to include any organization that houses and manages material culture collections such as libraries or individual departments like anthropology, biology, geology, etc.
During the month of April, I’m featuring posts discussing this topic. So if you’re a current employee, former employee, student, instructor, administrator or anyone who works with or in with these organizations, I want to hear from you!
Some questions to consider:
- What are the pros and cons regarding campus museums?
- How can campus museums raise their profiles?
- What should be done to engage students, staff and faculty, and the community at-large?
- How are they succeeding?
- How can they improve?
- How can they respond to changes in how university and colleges are structured? (online classes, satellite campuses, commuter students, distance-learning, etc.)
- Are campus museums necessary?