Visitor Experience

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...
Sorry for the delay on this final post! Click here for part 1 of this post. And here for part 2.
As I've thought about this workshop, which grew out of a session that Steve Tokar and Beth Katz put together for WMA in Anchorage (2008), I was happy to participate. I think both the museum and the participants got a valuable experience out of the workshop, which allowed them to experience the host...
By Steve Tokar

Participants at the MOPA visitor comfort workshop, October 2009 #wma09

Museums: Do you care if your visitors are comfortable and happy? If they are able to read your labels, find the special exhibition or the restroom, sit down when they’re tired? If those with disabilities feel accommodated? If your visitors are inclined to return? Would you like to test a potentially easy and...

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