Visitor Experience

By Celeste Dewald, Executive Director, California Association of MuseumsWhy do people visit museums? How do we create unforgettable moments?
A 2009 report released by the National Endowment for the Arts found that the number of American adults attending arts and cultural events has sunk to its lowest level since 1982. Understanding who visits museums and why is more important than ever for the...
Nice art, but where can I sit?
If your visitors often ask themselves this question - or if you, as a museum visitor, find yourself asking this question - then you belong at the WMA Annual Meeting session, "Increasing Visitorship by Making Visitors Comfortable," on Tuesday, October 19 at 11 AM.
You'll see and hear how four museums - the Museum of Photographic Arts, Oregon Museum of Science and...
By James G. Leventhal
Not too long ago, museums didn't have email. Or websites. Or e-blasts. We've simply incorporated these new technologies as they've arrived. In many cases they've improved our work and made our professional lives easier. Really, it's not even that long ago that we didn't use direct mail and I remember when it was a question as to whether we'd accept credit card donations.  ...
During the weekend leading up to our 2010 conference there are a handful of terrific workshops taking place. One that is definitely on my to-do list is “Tools of the Imagination at Play”, hosted by the Portland Children’s museum (Sunday 17th, 1-5pm).
Who doesn’t have kids coming through their doors? Even if you home institution isn’t a children’s museum per se, there are ideas and practices...
The westmuse is please to help promote the upcoming 10th annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability conference from August 25-29, 2010 in San Diego, California.  Conference sessions on August 25-27 and the Capacity Building Workshop on August 28-29 will take place at the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Airport/Liberty Station. Conference sessions on August 28 will take place at cultural arts...
By Susan Spero
Every summer I get an enormous road-trip itch. I want to just jump into the car and head out to almost anywhere.   Inevitably, given my addiction for visiting museums, I head towards one, or to a park where I am sure to see the visitors’ center.  This year, as this itch hit, I reached out to contacts for suggestions on what to see.  What follows is a highly eclectic compilation of...
by Alice Parman

Ancient Rome before it gets sacked, from Liz Glynn's

The session on “Design for Participation” was full of great ideas. The Machine Project capped it off with their uniquely original slide presentation, narrated by a singer/songwriter [Emily Lacy] who accompanied herself on the banjo. Her song had many verses and was often hilarious. I would consider moving to Los Angeles to...
Congratulations to our colleagues in California, Nevada, and Washington who earned recognition for their outstanding achievements in museum media at AAM's 2010 Muse Awards last night.
The Asian Art Museum (San Francisco, CA) won the top award in the Public Relations and Development category for Raising Spirits.
"Raising Spirits takes our world-renowned collection "on the road" via a plasma...
By James G. Leventhal

Crowds Gathing at New De Young 2:49 a.m.

The San Francisco Bay Area has seen some extraordinary museum openings over the past several years.  When the New de Young opened it did a 32-hour party and community celebration, starting a trend that was then picked up by the Contemporary Jewish Museum with Dawn in 2008 and now the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA).
"The newly...
by James G. Leventhal
Man, as I look back over 75 years of the Western Museums Association, it makes me think of museum programs and exhibitions that I've seen...and those I've missed.
A show I REALLY wished I'd seen was California Video at the Getty from 2008.  A "Golden Oldie"?  Man, that've been golden for sure, but maybe not an "oldie"?
Do you have a favorite exhibition to mention?  Seen or...

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