Monday, November 22, 2010

Nina Simon and Collaboration

Chapter 7 “Collaborating with Visitors” by Nina Simon in her book The Participatory Museum has a lot of important ideas museum officials should consider when developing an exhibition. I like how Simon always does a couple Case Studies to give the readers an actual example of what she is talking about. In this chapter I really liked the collaborating museum project called Investigating Where We Live at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. It would be a fun project for all ages even though this one was targeted at high school students. This project had “thirty teenagers working with museum staff to create a temporary exhibitions of photographs and creative writing about a D.C. neighborhood” (page 233).

I believe this would be a fun project for almost all ages because most people care about the community they live in and they want others to appreciate it as much as they do. I personally think it would be fun to go around in my neighborhood taking photos and interviewing the citizens. This project was such a great community project for the school, which is another reason I liked this project so much. It is always a great idea to have museums and schools collaborating with one another when it comes to community projects. They are two of the best institutions for the job.

Nina Simon broke down in her chapter how to make a collaborating project successful. Simon is a big believer in visitors working hand in hand with the museum, so the visitor always has the most memorable experiences when going to the museum. She states why institutions should engage in collaborative projects, the two kinds of collaborations, and the staff roles in collaborations when discussing collaboration exhibitions/project in chapter 7. I suppose I like these collaborations project so much is because I fall more under the education department in museums. I always think it is more enjoyable when you are on a tour to actually use your brain and test your creative abilities. Collaboration projects are more pleasant than walking around an exhibition just looking at photos and old objects because those things do not excite everyone. Just my opinion.

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