on view: staff picks

At my previous position at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art I fielded a lot of questions. “What is your favorite artwork?”, one of the most frequently asked, was one I could answer all day long. The discussions were fun, engaging and a welcome reminder of why I love museum work.

In this video, Liz Neely, Director of Digital Information and Access at The Art Institute of Chicago, tells us why Jitish Kallat’s site-specific temporary (September 11, 2010 – January 2, 2011) installation Public Notice 3 is one of her favorites.

nonprofit nerd reads

The holidays are fast approaching and while I should be concerned with mailing cards and setting up my tiny, Charlie Brown Christmas tree, I’m busy increasing my to-read list.  This installment of Nonprofit Nerd Reads is inspired by museums (surprise, surprise!) and the amazing storytelling potential that resides within them.

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone.  Inspired by The Art Institute of Chicago’s Thorne Miniature Rooms, this story draws upon the magical quality of the painstakingly rendered period rooms and wonders what would happen if you were small enough to explore each one.


The Calder Game by Blue Balliett.  A young boy named Calder visiting England with his father discovers  a previously unknown Alexander Calder sculpture in a tiny town off the beaten path.  When both Calder and the artwork suddenly vanish the mystery deepens.



Masterpiece by Elise Broach.  What could possibly happen when an eleven-year-old boy makes friends with an artistic beetle living under his family’s kitchen sink? If you guessed plagiarism, an art swindle at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and a missing Albrecht Dürer drawing you are correct.

talent round-up day


Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  •  In June 2011, No More Homeless Pets Kansas City and Animal Haven, organizations dedicated to animal welfare, merged to become Heartland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  By combining resources, Heartland SPCA is better equipped to handle the needs of a large population and provide affordable veterinary services (my cat was examined and fully vaccinated for $35!).  Nonprofits with complimentary missions should seek collaboration, but the reduction of nonprofits with nearly identical missions is a model worth following.
  • Nonprofit Technology Network will broadcast its August 29, 2011 “Nonprofit Cloud Computing Summit: Using the Cloud to Meet Your Message” workshop from San Francisco via free livestream (RSVP required).  Kudos to NTEN for providing professional development on the cheap!
  •  Setting a high-profile example of mining its staff for gold (commonly known as promoting from within), The Art Institute of Chicago recently selected Douglas Druick as its new President and Director.   Druick has logged 26 years with the museum, formerly chaired two curatorial departments and has been holding it down as the interim director since James Cuno controversially jumped to The Getty in June.  While it’s not surprising that the 132-year-old museum is sticking with the traditional (and arguably outmoded) Curator-to-Director model of museum leadership, it is encouraging to see that dedication, loyalty and hard work in the field has its rewards.