Museums everywhere have the potential to serve as agents of change—bringing people together, contributing to local communities, and changing people’s lives. So how can we, as individuals, radically expand the work of museums to live up to this potential? How can we more fiercely recognize the meaningful work that museums are doing to enact change around the relevant issues in our communities? How can we work together to build a stronger culture of equity and care within museums ? Questions like these are increasingly vital for all museum professionals to consider, no matter what your role is within your institution. They are also important questions for all of us to be thinking about more deeply as citizens and community members. This book is about the work we need to do to become changemakers and demand that that our museums take action toward positive social change and bring people together into a more just, equitable, compassionate, and connected society. It is a journey toward tapping the energies within all of us to make change happen and proactively shape a new future.
Mike Murawski is an independent consultant, change leader, author, and nature lover living with his family in Portland, Oregon. Since 2011, he has served as founding editor of ArtMuseumTeaching.com, a collaborative online forum for reflecting on critical issues in the field of museums. He is also coproducer, along with La Tanya S. Autry, of Museums Are Not Neutral, a global advocacy campaign aimed at exposing the myth of museum neutrality and calling for equity-based transformation across museums.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Museums Are Us
Chapter 2: Let Your Community In
Chapter 3: Community at the Core: A Conversation with Nina Simon
Chapter 4: Interrupting White Dominant Culture in Museums
Chapter 5: Museums Are Not Neutral: A Conversation with La Tanya Autry
Chapter 6: Leading Towards a Different Future
Chapter 7: Building a New Model: A Conversation with Lori Fogarty
Chapter 8: Collaborative Leadership That Works: A Conversation with Lauren Ruffin, Molly Alloy, and Nathanael Andreini
Chapter 9: Care and Healing
Chapter 10: Let’s Talk About Community Care: A Conversation with Monica Montgomery
Chapter 11: Propelled by Love
Museums as Agents of Change provides engaging examples from committed professionals who understand that museums have to continue to evolve in order to not only be relevant, but essential. Serving the community is not a moment but a movement and this book charts the way forward.
Well researched and with lots of suggestions on how to be a changemaker, Museums As Agents of Change delves into the detail of process and practice for museum professionals looking to create a different future. Murawski's book is a loving letter to those who are already making change, and salutes all those striving to be a better 'us'.
As the contributors to this powerful and important book make clear, anyone working in and with museums has a part to play in their transformation towards becoming places for social change, justice and equity. This beautifully written book, brimming with rich experience and insights, honest reflections, thoughtful provocations, and practical strategies for enacting change, is critical reading for anyone committed to translating ideas and talk into action.