Week-in-Review: October 15–21

As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, I attended the 2011 Association of Science & Technology Centers Conference in Baltimore. Aside from shopping for a great microscope to use for an upcoming exhibition, I participated in interesting session on university partnerships that presented a number of “top 5’s” for museum–university relations. Polled from 26 different museums that have these types of relations, the top 5 reasons to partner with a university were:

  1. Opportunities for joint fundraising
  2. Universities have equipment and facilities that museums don’t have
  3. Great opportunities for student learning
  4. Meets community needs
  5. Partnerships are expected in today’s world

The most valuable point that I took away from the session was the idea that each partnership should be evaluated under different expectations, as no two schools are the same. This is a lesson that I have learned the hard way facilitating eight different partnerships at the museum. A museum visit is always the start to a partnership, and while I was in Baltimore learning about universities, we had two incredible visits on Saturday with Marymount Manhattan College (who explored the Pilgrimage and Faith exhibition) and HOFSTRA (who visited the Once Upon Many Times exhibition to learn about myth in the modern world). The museum also received media coverage this week about our partnership with Baruch College featured in an issue of CUNY Matters.

Moving to our pre-college experiences, Teen Art Labs started on Monday with our Mixed Mythology Digital Photography Class. Students are going learn digital photography skills while exploring the concepts found in Once Upon Many Times and the upcoming Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics exhibition.

On Tuesday David B. and I met with representatives from the School Arts League to plan our participation in a program where teens go to three different museums to learn about careers in the arts. We’re honored to be in the fine company of the NY Historical Society and the Guggenheim, and looking forward to the visits in the Spring.

I spent Wednesday somewhere in between high school and university by working with a Graduate Group from FIT who is working on a theoretical redesign of the Rubin Museum façade, lobby and second floor.

David T. wrote a great post about this on our TUMBLR blog, and has threatened to post some photos of me leading a drama and movement workshop for the Teen Guide Council this week (yes, I used to teach theatre and dance). We had a great time together in class and the “photo of the week” (at the bottom of this post) is of three teens really getting into the action of Rabindranoth Tagore’s poem, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.

On Thursday I met with the Co-Curator of the Art of Sacred Books (in from Cornell) to discuss possibilities for the Explore Area. We want to create a place for visitors to inspect different types of paper used to make sacred books (one of the reasons I was looking for microscopes earlier this week). Lyndsey and David facilitated a great Verbal Description Tour this week (as well as another stellar Mindful Connections tour too).

The Mirror of the Buddha exhibition opened this week, and I highly recommend listening to the audio tour!

Curator David Jackon explains how he was able to (and sometimes not able to) discern particular lamas in portraits based on iconographic features. I was pleased to see one of our previous Baruch Fellows, Karen Shelby, visiting with some other professors, and we had a great conversation about museum resources that Baruch is working on to introduce students to the vast experiences in New York City. While the opening was happening, we were also opening the world of traditional thangka painting for our RMA Teens. They participated in a workshop with artist Carmen Mensink, who’ll also be leading a Thangka Workshop for adults this weekend.

Photo of the Week: Teen Guide Council Members put on a show!

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