NAS produces publications, videos and other management tools to inspire those working in the field to take a fresh look at their work and the challenges they face. Over the last few years we have amassed quite a large catalog of content. We’ve sent NAS staff members into the archives to pick their favorites and share them here. This week NAS’ Program and Accounting Coordinator, Pearl Bickersteth, shares one of her favorite NAS videos.
Museums are often thought of as places for quiet, introspective, cultural learning experiences. Nina Simon, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History discusses her experience leading a museum in financial crisis and how it established a need for defining their museum in a new way to help it thrive in the Santa Cruz community. Organizations are often too focused on what they think their audience wants and who they think their audience is. What I find the most interesting in this conversation is how Nina talks about finding out what the community’s needs actually were. Once you know what your community needs and wants you can create opportunities to bring people together. I am most intrigued by Nina’s comment, “How can we use a cultural experience as a starting point for a teenager with a Mohawk and a lady with blue hair to come together and do something?” Her passion for the idea of “bridging” to bring diverse people together for a bonding experience is what takes a museum from that traditional format and makes it an active community organization that people want to be a part of. Making the museum a hub where all people in a community can come together for an active (not passive) cultural experience is what I think elevates its presence, transforming it into an essential space in the community.