Tuesday, February 8, 2011

’m going to use this first blog post of the New Year to share a preview of the themes CFM will focus on in 2011. Based on the trends we monitor through Dispatches from the Future of Museums, your feedback on our forecasting reports, participant contributions at forecasting workshops, (and a careful reading of the CFM horoscope), we’re going to pay particular attention in the coming year to:
• Continuing the exploration of Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums, investigating how the museums can reach a broader and more diverse segment of the American public. I look forward to sharing stories of how various museums are responding to AAM’s call to action as well as reporting on what AAM is doing to help meet this challenge.
• Plumb the complex relationships between museums, food & community—probing how museums can contribute to the national dialogue about food equity, health and nutrition, and how museums can use food to build connections with their own audiences. (See this post for a story on this theme.)
• Begin to explore the future of education and the role museums can play in a reshaped educational landscape. While you’ve given us huge props on AAM’s initial forecasting report, Museums & Society 2034, you told us loud and clear we goofed in not addressing the complex and massively important trends in this topic.
• Establish mechanisms to foster innovation and experimentation in museum operations, in order to discover methods and strategies that will help museums thrive in the future. This is one of CFM’s mandates, and this year we’ll start experimenting with ways to support and recognize innovative practices.

In addition, at the AAM Annual Meeting in Houston this spring, artist Tracy Hicks will challenge conference attendees to think about how natural history museums can help shape the future world, and what natural history museums themselves may look like in the future.

With your help, I look forward to exploring these topics through posts on this blog, videos on Voices of the Future, exchanges of scanning hits and resources on Twitter and (as funding allows) more in-depth participatory formats such as web events and in-person convenings. Please write and let me know if you want to become involved in any of these issues—do you have stories to share, ideas to spread, resources to help? And best wishes for a great 2011!