How do we address the power dynamics of philanthropy? Interview with Lisa Cowan

Lisa Cowan is Vice President of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; in this capacity she helps with strategy, development and oversight of foundation programs and grantmaking. Lisa has been working with community-based organizations for the last 25 years, first as a community health educator and program director at several youth-serving agencies, then as a Senior…

TOP FIVE IDEAS for Online Programs

These ideas come from Julia Lazarus, an experience designer and cultural project producer interested in creative audience engagement, public humanities program development, and strategic cultural planning. She is currently a fellow with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of Online Learning & Innovation at Brown University’s School of…

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…