Point of View: In Defense of Volunteerism in Museums
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
1M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. Volunteers play a vital role for museums, and museums need to prioritize their volunteer programs. Museums are more than mere repositories for art, history, and culture; they are dynamic institutions that thrive on the passion and commitment of those who are called to put into action the mission, vision, and values for the communities they serve. Many of these people are museum volunteers who support a wide range of responsibilities necessary for the preservation, inte ..read more
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Welcoming Change at the USC Pacific Asia Museum
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
1M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. The USC Pacific Asia Museum took a trust-building approach to working with docents on an evolving education program for student tours. On a typical Wednesday morning at the USC Pacific Asia Museum (USC PAM), as you walk into the building’s Imperial Palace–style courtyard filled with plants, Taihu rocks, and a koi pond, you might see a group of students gathered with a docent. The docent asks the students to share what they see, if they are reminded of anything familiar ..read more
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From AAM
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Dean Phelus
1M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. While you may know me as the editor in chief of this magazine, I have another professional identity that is equally dear to me: museum volunteer. For decades now, even longer than the 30 years I recently celebrated at AAM, I have proudly worn this badge. As it is for many, volunteering was my initial entry into the world of museums, paving the way for a career dedicated to supporting our field’s ambitions and aspirations. I’ve worked across the spectrum of museum staff ..read more
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Point of View: A Renewal in the Rebuilding
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
1M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. Docent programs that evolve with the times will continue to serve their museums and communities well. Twenty-three years ago, I sat in the second row of a docent training class unsure of what I had signed up for. As a new docent recruit at Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, I had embarked on a rigorous two-year program that would prepare me to offer museum tours and give community and school talks. We applied extensive art history lessons, research, and tour practice to co ..read more
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Slowing Down With Intention at the Long Island Children’s Museum
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
1M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. Through reflective practice, the Green Teens volunteers at the Long Island Children’s Museum develop programming for visitors—and lifelong skills. The Long Island Children’s Museum (LICM), located in a 40,000-square-foot historic airplane hangar on Museum Row in Garden City, New York, began as a dinner conversation among a group of Long Island parents. Thirty years later, the museum has grown into a community gathering place, welcoming over 300,000 visitors each year w ..read more
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Pride of Place at the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
1M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. The Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum is a community jewel that runs mainly on volunteer power. On a warm Saturday morning this past July, nine volunteers assembled in the Heritage Barn at the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum (QVHSM). Over coffee and donuts, the group discussed the laundry list of chores that awaited them: the furnace in the Reiman-Simmons House was due for a filter change, the vegetable garden needed attention, a post at the P ..read more
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Rethinking the Status Quo
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
1M ago
What does museum volunteer retention look like in a post-pandemic world? This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s March/April 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. The pandemic has brought incredible changes to our world over the past four years, including a potentially concerning trend in museum volunteerism. Museums are reporting challenges with recruiting new volunteers along with decreasing retention rates for existing volunteers. Most museums in the United States rely on volunteers to fulfill crucial roles. In many cases, volunteers outnumber paid sta ..read more
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Trend Alert: Combating the Loneliness Crisis in Museums
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Cecelia Walls
3M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s January/February 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. In May 2023, Dr. Vivek Murthy released Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community. Such advisories are issued to address “significant health challenges that require the nation’s immediate awareness and action.” The first, in 1964, tackled smoking and tobacco use. Subsequent advisories covered preventing and decreasing overweight and obesity (2001) and using naloxone to pre ..read more
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Dropping the Degree for Museum Work
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Elizabeth Merritt
3M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s January/February 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. Sixty percent of Americans may find their job search stalling when they hit a “paper ceiling” that ensures that applicants without a four-year college degree advance only so far. This requirement excludes 70 percent of Black job seekers, 80 percent of Latinos, and three-quarters of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Many of the positions above this ceiling don’t actually require college experience, and many potential workers have acquired relevant skills throug ..read more
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Digital Twins and Doom Loops
American Alliance of Museums » Museum Magazine
by Elizabeth Merritt
3M ago
This article originally appeared in Museum magazine’s January/February 2024 issue, a benefit of AAM membership. A brief guide to terms that may be popping up in your news feeds. Digital twins: digital models of objects, systems, or processes (e.g., buildings, machines, distribution systems) that exist or could exist in the real world. These interactive models use real or fictional data input to visualize, simulate, or predict how their real-world counterparts will respond to various situations and conditions. For example, Shanghai has commissioned a digital twin of the whol ..read more
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