Social Action At The Lower East Side Tenement Museum

1313 Words Dec 19th, 2015 6 Pages
Case study 3: Social action at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Ruth J. Abram, who wanted to create a museum centered upon an experience common to the majority of Americans, founded the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Abram believed that the immigrant experience was something that diverse groups of people could relate to and unite together on, moving Americans “to participate in a national conversation with similarly situated, contemporary immigrants and other ‘outsiders’”(Abram 2005:21). As we can see, Abram has been dedicated from the start to civic engagement through community collaboration.
Abram continually ensures that the museum has the resources and insight needed for community engagement. This is done in several ways. For instance, Abram and the Board of Trustees are committed to ensuring that there is funding for not only the various programs the museum engage in, but also for the staff’s needs. They are committed to having a diverse and inclusive team, comprised of individuals from multiple backgrounds. Furthermore, they have 32 full time staff positions and 30 part-time docents (Abram 2005). It is this kind of commitment that has contributed to successful and sustainable community collaboration. Staff members often speak more than one language and have experienced many of the same issues that past and present immigrants have faced such as welfare (Abram 2005). This brings in diverse experiences and stories into the museum space.
As Abram has pointed out “The…
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