Lightning Talks

Saturday, April 06, 2019: 9:30am - 11:00am
Grand Ballroom

Chair: Bill Meyer

Illuminating Colonization Through Augmented Reality
- Seema Rao, Brilliant Idea Studio, USA
In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron asserted French museums and private collections needed to reconsider their ownership of African objects. Macron’s comments come as museums are increasingly being questioned about issues of colonialism and their collections. Colonialism underscores many aspects of museums, from the very foundations of these institutions. Decolonization is an exceptionally challenging problem facing museums today; many of the diversity and access problems stem from the field’s colonialist past. In this paper, we posit methods that technology can help decolonize museums and collections. Museum technologists can become active agents of decolonization in collections and transforming the future of the field.

The Design for Diversity Toolkit: Inclusive Information Systems in Museums
- Amanda Rust, Northeastern University Library, USA, Mattie Clear, Simmons University, USA
Museum systems for the acquisition and care of cultural objects reflect existing structures of oppression. Technology can further perpetuate these power differentials. Providing digital access to the history of marginalized communities requires genuine partnership, including technical and information systems that are responsive to diverse cultural needs. Design for Diversity, an IMLS-funded project, explores strategies for creating more inclusive systems. This talk highlights two resources that explore the details of creating inclusive systems: Stacey Berry’s Honoring the Dead and Sonoe Nakasone’s Comparing Curation Styles. By unpacking technical processes, we empower museum practitioners to recognize where they can make change.

The Kids Are Alright: Collaborating on College-Level "Museum Digital" Courses
- Sabrina Greupner, Ontario Science Centre, Canada
What role can museums play in developing the next generation of digital professionals? Explore how museums can collaborate in the development of courses at the university and college level, through an exploration of the Ontario Science Centre's work with local institutions to offer instruction in digital exhibition development. This lightning talk will highlight the concrete steps taken in curriculum development, from course conception to delivery, and will provide an overview of the rewards and challenges of working with students in an active museum setting. Photos and video of the process, both in-classroom and on-site in the museum, will supplement the talk.

User Experience and the Social Scholar: Uncovering Art Historians' Perceptions, Attitudes, Biases, and Fears Surrounding Social Media
- Betsy Brand, Getty Research Institute, USA
At museums and art institutions, reaching your target audience on social media can be tricky. Even when your defined audience is broad or well researched, the socialsphere is rife with content and clutter competing for attention. But when your target audience is significantly more niche, and under-researched, developing a successful outreach strategy becomes more challenging (particularly when senior staff questions if your target audience is on social media at all!). This lightning talk explores the results of a two-year research project conducted by the Getty Research Institute Web Team into understanding our audience of art history and visual culture scholars, and provides a nuanced and thorough picture of their relationship to social

Let your nerd flags fly with #ArchivesHashtagParty
- Jeannie Chen, National Archives and Records Administration - Presidential Libraries, MD, Hilary Parkinson, National Archives, USA
How can fun be an integral part of a successful social media strategy? The #ArchivesHashtagParty is a successful social media campaign that has convened hundreds of cultural organizations each month since summer 2017. We’ll consider the role of fun in reaching and connecting with audiences (and how to overcome internal challenges to campaigns that aren’t “serious”). We’ll share what we’ve learned about delighting people, forging emotional connections, and crafting an irresistible call to action without a budget. Finally, we’ll explore how museums and archives can empower each other through social media, because #SquadGoals.

Revisiting web content strategy: The right content, for the right audience, found easily
- Ariana French, American Museum of Natural History, USA
What's the point of a museum's website? What purpose does it serve? Is it different from the purpose it *should* serve? How can websites and content strategies evolve over time, aligned to visitor behaviors? This lightning talk will be a case study of the evolving content strategies guiding the overhaul of AMNH.org, the website for the American Museum of Natural History. AMNH.org is changing to achieve a singular goal: "The right content, for the right audience, found easily." Using a "what we know" and "what we don't know" set of strategies, website content and architecture will be aligned to audience-specific needs in incremental updates. This lightning talk will cover the approach used to build a new web content strategy for AMNH.org.

The Museum Collection as Storytelling Hub
- Jesse Bennett, AREA 17, USA
As the virtual front-door to one of the world’s great canonical art collections, the Art Institute of Chicago website sees more than 3 million unique visitors per year. These visitors have the unique opportunity to see something even visitors to the physical museum can’t—the 98% of the collection that isn’t on view at any given time. Last year, AREA 17 partnered with the Institute to create the definitive collection experience. In this Lightning Talk, join the product director from the Art Institute of Chicago site redesign as he provides an insightful overview of how they created a collection-centric storytelling hub that unlocked the interpretive power of museum curators and provided users unsurpassed insights on their favorite works.

Six Imaginary Museums
- Ian Wojtowicz, Aldrich Pears Associates, Canada
This brief presentation introduces six fictional museum archetypes — a glimpse into some possible futures for the way we shape museums. The designs range from extrapolations of current trends, to impossible configurations of learning environments that would be at home in science fiction films. This process of imagining strange, new designs has a long tradition in art, literature and architecture. More recently, this technique has earned the moniker of "design fiction." This lightning talk will give a nod to Borges’ libraries, and the architectural works of Boullée, Piranesi, Fuller and Superstudio and others as it presents sketches for how museums might look in the near distant future.

Everything is on Fire: How to Advocate for the Arts with Your Elected Officials
- Claire Blechman, Peabody Essex Museum, USA
#MuseumsAreNotNeutral and in 2019 we cannot pretend we are “above” what’s happening in Washington, in our statehouses, or on our streets. We have to actively advocate for our values, our budgets, and our people. This includes advocating with elected officials at all levels of government, to make sure they properly fund our arts agencies, and enact laws and policies that keep our nation a place where arts and artists can flourish. This lightning talk will cover best practices from AAM’s Museum Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill, including how to: get your representative's attention with a constituent meeting, formulate your “asks,” and maintain a good relationship after the meeting. With a few good tools, everyone can be an effective advocate!

Cultivating the Genius of the Self-Made Artist: Working Self Made Artists & Arts Collectives to Increase Diversity and Community Engagement
- Mia Loving, Invisible Majority, USA
Through out the country museums struggle to engage the average the citizen and be truly reflective of the city they are housed. Particularly in Baltimore, the most funded museums are the least reflective of the population and demographics of Baltimore. This should be seen as a problem. Museums get a lot of City, State and Federal resources to be the culture bearers of our society and they should be fully reflective of that society. What does that mean? More artists from the cities these places are housed, more artists of color, more differently abled artists, more artists not formally trained.. more performances, more films and more educational opportunities.. more accessible ramps and ways to engage for families. The solution is simple and