The blog has been quiet for a while as I’ve been caught up in the business of programming, events, and general #museumlife. Spring break is next week and we’re all looking forward to slowing down just a bit.
Not that I’m complaining at all! I’ve enjoyed recent collaborations with Kansas State University faculty that brought films, concerts, dance performances, and Broadway showtunes to the Beach Museum of Art. It’s been busy but amazingly fruitful and productive.
As a land grant university, K-State has a strong outreach and community-based mandate, which the museum reflects in its own mission statement. That mission is central to everything we do. I’m often asked, “Why are people singing and dancing in the art museum?” I usually respond, “Why not?”
The museum is the ultimate interdisciplinary community space. It’s not beholden to a particular unit or department, the art collection reflects a variety of cultural influences and inspirations, and it’s free and open to everyone. Driving that point home, part of the Beach Museum’s physical structure serves as a corridor connecting the campus to the greater Manhattan, Kansas community.
As discussions in the museum field continue regarding remixing, hacking, and deconstructing the “typical” museum experience, we would be well-served to remember that above all, museums are places where people should come first.*
*I realize that this might be considered art museum blasphemy of the highest order.