Journey to the Sea: Exploring the environment in a children’s museum

Originally posted on Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice:
Today’s Guest Post is by Rebecca Shulman Herz, Director of the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum in Peoria, Illinois, USA, and Margaret LeJeune, an image-maker, curator, and educator from Rochester, New York.  The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum is a 3-year-old museum located in Central Illinois, USA. Our…

Can Museums Be Neutral?

A few months ago, Mike Murawski, in partnership with LaTanya Autry of the Mississippi Museum of Art and The Empathetic Museum, created t-shirts to support a “Museums are not Neutral” campaign. Murawski wrote, “Museums have the potential to be relevant, socially-engaged spaces in our communities.  Yet, too often, they strive to remain “above” the political and social…

Is Failure Useful?

There’s a cult of failure these days. A google search for “failure” brings up articles like “Why success always starts with failure” and the New York Times article “On campus, failure is on the syllabus.” In fact, failure is so in vogue that there is now a museum dedicated to it. Failure is hot in museums,…

What does it take to create a great education program?

As we plan for 2018 at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, we have decided to reduce the number of programs we offer, holding workshops and home-school programs monthly instead of semi-monthly, and cultural festivals bi-monthly instead of monthly. The goal is to leave more time to ensure excellence of programs, and to build strong systems…

What is the job of a culturally-specific museum?

This post is by Janine Okmin, Associate Director of Education at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, where she develops resources for schools and teachers, and trains museum tour guides. Formerly the Associate Manager of Learning Through Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Janine has led teacher workshops nationwide and in Taiwan. She has also developed programs…

Should museums be storytellers or truth-tellers?

What do museums have to say about, or learn from, recent events in Charlottesville? Museum leaders and professionals have shared statements condemning and consoling, from their position as community leaders. Bloggers and professional organizations have also shared resources, as museums take on the role of educators. Thankfully but not surprisingly, museums and museum professionals are advocates…