talent round-up day

“The Round Up”, CC photo by Gordon Clitheroe

Highlighting nonprofit organizations and individuals doing stellar work!

  • The Cleveland Museum of Art is set to debut Gallery One, an interactive multi-generational learning gallery. The presentation at the 2012 Museum Computer Network Conference primed me for this and I’m so glad it’s finally here. Road trip!
  • Art folks were all abuzz when the Dallas Museum of Art coaxed Mark Leonard (formerly of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Museum) out of retirement to become its new Chief Conservator. Now we know how they did it: the opportunity to build a department from scratch housed in an amazing public conservation studio that’s destined to grace the cover of Dwell magazine.
  • The New Media Consortium recently released its 2012 Horizon Report: Museum Edition. I’m shamelessly plugging the report not only because I served on the Advisory Board but also because it’s a great resource on emerging technological trends that impact educational and interpretive efforts in museum settings. Download it (for free!) and start dreaming big.

my 5 favorite art museums (for now)

Asking me to choose my favorite art museums is like asking someone to pick their favorite child.

Actually, that might be easier.

But as part of the 31 Days to a Brand New Blog Challenge, we’ve been tasked with writing a list post, so I thought I would go with a subject that is near and dear to my heart:

My 5 Favorite Art Museums (for now)*

 Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art


As if being literally a stone’s throw away from my job wasn’t great enough, this cozy museum presents thought-provoking exhibitions while effectively highlighting its permanent collection.  Crowd-sourcing an exhibition of its volunteers’ favorite works and highlighting local artists earns this museum high marks.

Dallas Museum of Art

My first visit to this museum took place during an AmeriCorps Habitat for Humanity Build-a-Thon.  After spending five days constructing houses in the spring heat, it was a welcome respite.  I was totally won over by Late Nights, my first up-close viewing of work by Edgar Degas and the museum’s support of young visual artists.

Art Institute of Chicago

This is the place where my pop culture references collide.   Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic.    Ivan Albright’s masterfully grotesque Picture of Dorian Gray (which gave me nightmares as a kid after watching the movie.)   Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.   My beloved  A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.

Spencer Museum of Art

For some reason, university art museums seem to get lost in the shuffle.  Located on the main  University of Kansas campus, I spent a lot of time in the galleries as a woefully shell-shocked (and broke) freshman.   Even though it’s close to home,  I don’t visit nearly as much as I would like.  Thankfully, the Spencer Art Minute keeps me connected to the collection.

Walker Art Center

Much more than “just” an art museum, the Walker presents  a steady stream of dynamic exhibitions, lectures, films and performances.  Innovative programs like Open Field and Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) solidify its place as an industry leader.

*excluding my place of employment due to conflict of interest 🙂

Tyler Green (Modern Art Notes) is hosting a favorite museum deathmatch contest.  What place makes your inner art geek swoon? Please share your favorite art museums in the comments.

nonprofit nerd reads

One of the great things about being out of  school is that you can finally read whatever the heck you want.  Coincidentally, this is the time of year when it’s skin-blistering hot  in the Midwest and you can only comfortably be outside between 6:00 – 6:02 a.m.,  so reading is the perfect indoor activity.  I am blissfully working my way through a very long to-read list (kept oh-so-tidy thanks to Goodreads) but I wouldn’t be a true nonprofit wonk without including a few (um, more like 20) books devoted to the industry.  Here’s some from the top of the list:


Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created America’s Best Schools, by Jay Mathews

Two educators observe successful teachers working with low-income students, ultimately using what they learn to develop an educational model that results in a nationwide network of charter schools.    



Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museum Experiences, by Bonnie Pitman, Ellen Hirzy

This book compiles the results of the Dallas Museum of Art‘s seven-year research project examining how visitors engage with art and how the findings sparked institutional change.


Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential (Civil Society: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives), by Dan Palotta.

Palotta questions why nonprofits are held to such unreasonable economic standards, why some nonprofit leaders  bend over backwards to appear unconcerned with securing financial sustainability and why many funders are diametrically opposed to supporting operational expenses.



The Digital Museum: A Think Guide, edited by Herminia Din and Phyllis Hecht

25 museum and technology thought-leaders put their collective brains together to examine of how communications technology effects all museum operations, not just the typical areas of concern (conservation, education, curatorial, etc.) 


 What are you reading this summer?