This year on October 10th MAAM Annual Meetings special guest and lecturer was Nina Simon. She was invited speaker for The annual Stephen E. Weil memorial lecture which was established at MAAM’s 2005 Annual Meeting in Baltimore to honor Stephen E.Weil’s contribution to the museum field.
Nina Simon was presented as Executive Director of The Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, author of The Participatory Museum, and blogger at Museum 2.0.
Nina Simon’s lecture was very inspiring for me in terms of hearing about various innovative subjects of how to change the Museum strategies how to lead to a way of participation activities and revolutionary changes in a Museum world.
Furthermore she discussed about her ideas which she works on to develop at Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz. Nina Simon mentioned that her favorite part in a museum is blackboard were people can live comments and she tries to read them every day. This way she can be engaged to visitors Ideas and views which are so important for her . She discussed that the Museum has a main goal to become a central gathering place for people who are passionate about art, ideas, and culture. Also she highlighted that her passion is to work with the residents and communities of Santa Cruz. In one of her speech that I think is beautify said she emphasizes : ” This vision is exciting, but its only as good as our ability to deliver on it. We know that lots of people in Santa Cruz county are not currently connected to the Museum, and we’re ready to do the hard work to engage new participants.” Also she suggested to visit a Museum web-site which I think is one of the most participatory museum websites and as a young Director writes itself on her web-site : ” This website is a test zone where we will be sharing new ideas and finding out how you want to be involved”.
I was amazed by her Lecture and realized how the activities she works on are so important and she not only discuss them in her book “Participatory Museums” but works for making participation everyday activity and inspiration for today’s Museums. Reading her revealing book “Participatory Museums”, I have acknowledged that when people have welcoming places in their local communities to meet new people, engage with various ideas, and be creative, they can make significant civic and cultural change. I liked the phrase in her book which I think describes her Idea pretty straight : ” The cumulative effort of thousands of participatory institutions could change the world. Rather than being “nice to have,” these institutions can become must-haves for people seeking places for community and participation”.
In conclusion both in her Lecture and In her book “Participatory Museums” Nina Simon discuss of how important it is for cultural institutions to engage visitors with heritage, connect them to new ideas, encourage critical thinking, support creativity, and inspire them to take positive action. Therefore it all can be proceeded through participatory practice.
Here Is The Link of the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz Site where everyone can share their Ideas and comments : http://www.santacruzmah.org/future/.