The Journey of Change Continues: Making the Permanent Move to “Agents of Change”
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
1y ago
When I began the Art Museum Teaching site back in 2011 (now almost 11 years ago), my main goal was to create community — to develop a space online where educators and museum thinkers could share ideas, questions, and insights as we reflected on our practice. It was also about having a space where we could be personal, vulnerable, and human with each other — leaving behind some of the depersonalizing traditions of academia or the institutional workplace. I wrote from my own personal voice, and regularly invited contributing authors to share their insights from their own personal voice and lived ..read more
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“It’s Been Two Years Since…” – Reflecting on being laid off & where I am now after two years
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
2y ago
IMPORTANT NOTE: I want to let the Art Museum Teaching community know that I am moving my writing over to my new Substack publication called “Agents of Change.” I started this publication around the end of last year, and I’ve been posting there each month on topics that emerge from my book, Museums as Agents of Change, and issues related to change and how we can all become changemakers. The Art Museum Teaching site has been around for 10 years now, and I am grateful for the community that has formed here (and or everyone who has contributed to this site over these years). I invite you to Subscr ..read more
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Refocusing Museums on People: my dreams for museums in a post-COVID world
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
3y ago
Written by Isabel Singer Reposted with permission from American Perceptionalism, a site dedicated to examining how museums are reinventing themselves in a changing world. As I watch museums lay off thousands of highly qualified underpaid staff during this pandemic, I have been asking myself why I keep investing in museums. Museum staff are overwhelmingly white, straight, and able-bodied, and museum leaders are overwhelmingly male. For centuries museums have told stories about a diversity of people, presenting these stories from the perspective of those in power.  ..read more
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Call for Proposals: [COLLECTIVE LIBERATION] DISRUPT, DISMANTLE, MANIFEST
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
3y ago
Written by members of the Equity Coalition The legacies of colonial and racialized violence, and white supremacy broadly, express themselves in myriad ways in contemporary museum practice. Internal and external transformation is required for shifting systems of power; interrupting the cycle of abusive museum culture; and healing from traumatic histories.  Yet, despite decades of advocacy,  we keep repeating the same patterns. Why? What keeps us from taking necessary actions? We must face individual and institutional unwillingness in museums to self-educate as well as the resistance t ..read more
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COVID-19 Has Taken a Toll on Museum Education
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
3y ago
Written by Juline Chevalier I keep thinking of the start of this post like the set-up for an uninspired stand-up comedy routine. Me: Wow, it’s been a bad year for museum education! Audience in unison: How bad is it? Me: We did a survey to find out … let me tell you about it. Not much of a punchline, I know. We all know it’s been bad, and I am so sick of the use of phrases like “unprecedented” and “difficult year for everyone.” Because it hasn’t been equally difficult for everyone in the museum field. This snapshot of findings from a survey by AAM and Wilkening Consulting showed that the staff ..read more
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#ChangeTheMuseum
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
3y ago
Written by Anonymous I have been in the museum field for a number of years and worked at multiple institutions. When I first started, I had the privilege to work under a great leader. They taught me so much about supporting and cultivating a team. Perhaps because they were such a good leader, they also shielded me from the issues that I have come to find are prevalent in the field. When I was making barely enough to survive, they advocated for me without me even having to ask. They ensured that I was decently paid, and though it still wasn’t ideal, I knew they had done everything in their powe ..read more
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Making the Case for Collaborative Leadership in Museums
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
4y ago
Written by Mike Murawski Early this week, it was so fantastic to see the Birmingham Museums Trust announce its decision to bring Sara Wajid and Zak Mensah on as joint CEOs, making a bold leap into co-leadership that can help serve as a model for many other museums and nonprofit institutions in the years to come. I am particularly thrilled to hear this news since, over the past few months, I have taken a dive into the practices of collaborative and shared leadership in museums and nonprofits, thinking more deeply about this approach and seriously asking why more museums are not adopting this. I ..read more
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Museums Must Become More Trauma Informed
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
4y ago
Written by Jackie Armstrong When I took my first steps into the world of visitor research and evaluation there was a lot of emphasis on how to make the museum a more engaging place. The word engaging often got thrown around with no outline of what that actually looked in practice, or sometimes even no explanation as to why an engaging experience was what a museum should be trying to achieve. Engaging for whom, in what ways, and under what circumstances? Everyone used the word but the nuances were very different depending on the person and the situation. This was something I was hyperconscious ..read more
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Leading Means Being More Human
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
4y ago
Written by Mike Murawski In an April conversation with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman about leadership in times of crisis, business expert Dov Seidman stressed the need for business leaders to put people ahead of profits and heed the call to pivot in ways that are anchored in “deep human values.” Seidman ends the exchange by saying, “Leaders who in this pause hear that call … will be the ones that will earn our most enduring respect and support.” I found it worth noting that as the initial economic impact of the pandemic hit, Seidman was tapping into something that most museum direct ..read more
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Upending Our Ideas About Leadership in Museums
Art Museum Teaching
by Mike Murawski
4y ago
Written by Mike Murawski Since the beginning of this pandemic crisis and throughout the ongoing protests demanding racial justice, we have seen evidence of a wide range of leadership qualities on the public stage—watching national political leaders on TV and through social media, seeing governors and mayors respond to these crises in their own states and cities, and feeling the effects of how those leading our museums and nonprofits have decided to respond.  The behaviors of those in traditionally-defined leadership positions have varied from being fairly brave, vulnerable, and serving th ..read more
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