This week’s Roundup shares stories of the federal budget, the role of museums as hosts for dialogue in difficult times and a story of cross-cultural empathy. Enjoy!
1. It’s official folks, the president’s first budget formally proposes the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities (NEA and NEH). But remember, the President doesn’t pass the budget, Congress does. There’s still time to let your senators and representatives know how you feel about the importance of these programs. AAM has advocacy resources to help you #SpeakUpforMuseums!
On Thursday morning, President Trump’s proposal for the federal budget confirmed a fact long suspected: the proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
2. Some of us may be shaking our heads and wondering how we got here. Why would anyone want to put arts, science and the humanities on a chopping block? How do we help understand each other’s priorities in these polarizing times to find common ground and move forward? Tony Butler, Executive Director of the Derby Museums Trust and member of the Happy Museum Project, asserts that “the role of museums as conveners in a contested world is more vital than ever – as places to bridge divisions, if not here, where?”
In February 2017, nearly eight months after the Referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, the Happy Museum project held an event in Derby Silk Mill to understand why people chose to vote the way they did and to explore the kind of role a museum could play in a society which seems polarised….
3. Extra! Extra! The Museums Special Section of the New York Times is out! Though its stories focus on art museums, some topics – such as ethics, environmental sustainability and diversity – are also relevant to a broader cross-section of the field.
Intriguing exhibitions and ventures in the art world.
4. How do the values of a museum align with the way it makes business decisions? Daniel Perks offers us a review of Energising Culture organized by Julie’s Bicycle at the Barbican Centre conservatory in London. The event focused on how cultural organizations need to consider issues like mission-aligned social values and environmental sustainability in their operations.
“Aren’t we doing enough good by doing art?” is one of Bridget McKenzie’s many opening questions when delivering her presentation on ethical sponsorship. The founding director of educational consultancy Flow Associates delivers a biting 15-minute damnation of oil sponsorship for the arts as part of Energising Culture, a seminar hosted by environmental charity Julie’s Bicycle that focuses on energy, ethics and finance for the cultural sector.
5. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate I’m sharing this story of cross-cultural empathy published by the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) a few years ago reminding us that we can create lasting links between cultures when we recognize our common human condition.
For St. Patrick’s Day, Judy Allen, senior executive officer of tribal relations for the Choctaw Nation, tells the history of an act of kindness that unites the people of the Choctaw Nation and the people of Ireland to this day.
Do you have a great museum story to share? Let us know in the comments!