Essay Museum Sterotypes

697 Words 3 Pages
Historically, museums have excluded too many people. I want to eradicate the pervasive mind-set that “certain people just don’t visit museums.” Today, in an era of public discourse characterized by instantaneous updating and dynamic participation, a savvy public shares knowledge and gains understanding about the experiences of others at the click of a mouse. The Internet, digital media, video games, content sharing, and social networking enhance and create new methods of learning. Regrettably, museums – the giants of knowledge – have fallen behind in regard to inclusiveness, technological innovation, and representation of diverse experiences. Museums hold great power in shaping educational curriculum and public dialogue nationwide. …show more content…
Exhibitions or educational curriculum on the gay civil rights struggles seemed nonexistent. I want my experiences and education to give to a more complete understanding and affirming representation of diverse groups in the halls of America’s museums. To that end, I interned with the Associate Director for Operations at the National Portrait Gallery. Trained as a visual artist, I never imagined myself contributing dialogue on the transformation of a national museum like the National Portrait Gallery, facing a remarkable (and uncertain) era of hyper-accelerated change. This year, I worked to develop content for the museum’s five year Strategic Plan, in accordance with the 2010-2015 Smithsonian Institution Plan. I’ve led focus groups with cross-sections of staff at all levels to aid in forming a consensus on the new direction of the museum, as well as to stimulate conversation across all departments. The staff’s enthusiasm for technological innovation, inclusiveness, and far-reaching access to underserved audiences is encouraging.
Furthermore, last month I contacted and met with the CEO of the Velvet Foundation, an organization committed to establishing a National Museum of American LGBT History & Culture in Washington, DC. We discussed the plans for the museum; I was invited to take part in a two-day focus group to envision what such a museum will be like, from the exhibitions and programming, to the tone and guiding philosophy. I would…