I firmly believe that museums and cultural institutions are among the few remaining safe spaces in our world, both for people and for the bits of our collective human culture which we hold dear. They are sanctuaries for curiosity, thought and reflection, for enjoyment and dialog; they are active and creative hubs for multiple communities; and they are places where one can simply be without judgement, without the fears and threats and stresses of everyday life. It is through this lens that I approach my work in exhibition development and in being a co-conspirator in creating memorable and engaging visitor experiences.
Cultural institutions are by nature collaborative spaces, resulting from a confluence of people, place and time. In my work, I wholly believe that collaborative efforts produce the richest, most meaningful, and most successful projects, and so I strive to lead or facilitate projects that both leverage community involvement and take a cross-disciplinary approach to content.
I value projects that allow for visitors to experience cultural spaces from multiple – and often, unheard – perspectives. Whether we are conscious of it not, our worldview has been shaped by a narrative of human progress that is not always the most inclusive. Cultural institutions through their exhibitions and programming therefore have an opportunity to contribute to – or to change entirely – that long-standing narrative and the roles of the actors within it.
At the heart of all institutions is a mission and most likely, a collection – be it things or stories. How these elements play together determines what kind of experiences visitors will have. Cultural spaces serve visitors best when communicating their stories in layered, multi-sensory ways. This allows institutions to bridge gaps like age, time, place, language and culture to create experiences that are meaningful across a diverse visitorship.
Museums and cultural institutions are just one option among many for today's consumers. I aim to provide strategies and methods for museums to remain relevant to ever-changing audiences through their exhibits, carefully considering how to balance available resources and visitors needs and interests.