The Participatory Museum: the abridged version

(This is an abridged version of the full Arts Policy Library writeup.) Summary Published in 2011, The Participatory Museum presents Nina Simon’s social web-inspired approach to museum exhibits and partnerships and serves as a handbook for museum professionals for engaging in participatory projects. The Participatory Museum looks at how audiences participate in online platforms suchRead More

Arts Policy Library: The Participatory Museum


  (For a briefer edition of this analysis, check out the abridged version.) “This may sound messy,” Nina Simon, engineer turned experience designer, writes of participatory projects. “It may [also] sound tremendously exciting.” Summary Written in 2010 as a handbook for museum professionals who want to engage audiences in deeper forms of participation, The Participatory MuseumRead More

A Tale of Two Strategies: Participation and Organization at Adobe Books and SFMOMA

SFMOMA takes programs "on the go" with Mark di Suvero's sculptures on Crissy Field.

(Calcagno Cullen is a multimedia artist and arts administrator living in San Francisco, California. She is currently the education associate for school and teacher programs at SFMOMA and board member and gallery director at Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative. -IDM) In recent years participatory culture has subverted consumerist habits, mass media production, and even our socialRead More

Detroit Institute of Arts: What’s a museum to do?

Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" (1904) greets visitors at the entrance to the Detroit Institute of Arts. The famous bronze was gifted to the museum in 1922.

Recent threats placed upon the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have thrust the topic of deaccessioning once more into the popular spotlight. The DIA and its collection are owned by the City of Detroit, which has struggled financially for decades and was recently assigned a city emergency manager by the state’s governor Rick Snyder.  InRead More

They’ve Got Something in Common: Sports, Cultural Institutions, and Building Booms

The U.S. has now entered an era of extremely expensive sports stadiums: the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY cost a cool billion dollars for example,while the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, MN is anticipated to be similarly priced. While reading up on the professional sports billion dollar building boom I couldn’t help but noticeRead More

Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change: the condensed version

This is a skin-and-bones summary of my full Arts Policy Library write up.  Head that way for a much more thorough and nuanced discussion of “Fusing.” Holly Sidford’s “Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy” calls for a major overhaul in arts philanthropy in the United States. It argues that artsRead More