summer plans

Storms are rolling through the Prairie and temperatures are rising. Summer has officially arrived! With that comes increased activity among museums as they  present a staggering amount of summer programming. I was knee-deep in that world when I worked in the Education Department at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art but now that my core audience at the Beach Museum of Art is primarily college students, summer is not nearly as hectic as it used to be. It feels strange to contemplate taking a vacation in July!

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The Meadow. Personal photo by Adrianne Russell

However, just because the campus is a bit quieter doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. On the public programs side, we’re hosting two community open houses celebrating new exhibitions and a Maker Workshop for teens focusing on printmaking in collaboration with the Manhattan Public Library.

Work will continue this summer on The Meadow, a sustainable native plant garden located behind the Beach Museum, which is very exciting and takes me back to my landscaping days in AmeriCorps working with Habitat for HumanityI’m part of a team administering the project’s blog.

In August, we’re hosting a GLAM-WIKI workshop for university professors led by Wikipedian and Kansas State University graduate student Alex Stinson. I’m excited that this program went from conception to implementation in less than a year, which is very quickly in museum-planning time.

Fall 2013 programming is nearly locked down (knock on wood), so now I must turn my futurist eye to programs for 2014 and beyond. Ideas that I’m mulling over include design thinking projects, 3-D printing, and student-led art programs.

Wow, did I say summer wasn’t busy? I take that back!

calling all kc wikipedians!

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Wikipedia. In graduate school, I politely disagreed with a professor who wouldn’t allow Wikipedia as a primary source. I lost that battle, but a lot has changed since then as the resource has continued to expand magnificently in scope, depth, accuracy and participation. I’m particularly enamored with the GLAM-Wiki initiative, an effort that encourages galleries, libraries, archives and museums to partner with Wikipedia on projects that promote free and open knowledge for the public.

So as a Wikipedian-in-training, I’m very excited that The National Archives at Kansas City is hosting its 1st Annual Meetup and Scanathon on June 16, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Here’s what’s in store:

This year’s theme is “Between the Rivers” and will focus on documents and images from the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City related to life along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Scanned content will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons in order to be used in relevant Wikipedia articles. Scans will also be included where appropriate in the upcoming exhibition Between the Rivers and added to the National Archives’ online research catalog.

This full day event will include a tour of the facility; presentations from National Archives Wikipedian-in-Residence, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, and Exhibit Specialist, Dee Harris; and time in the research room to work on projects. The focus of the projects will be scanning; additional opportunities to participate include writing articles, transcribing, and categorizing images on Commons.

Spots are limited to the first 10 RSVPs. You can register here or to Hope to see you there!