Museums: Supporting the Varied Needs of their Communities
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Type of Work26 pages
DepartmentMA in Cultural Sustainability
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Museums have long been institutions dedicated to preserving objects and significant cultural and historic artifacts. Growing out of cabinets of curiosities in the 16th century, museums have a strong association with presenting information through exhibitions. Historically, these experiences have been designed by curators with deep academic knowledge of the topics at hand. And while the educational mission of museums has been acknowledged and promoted for years through programming efforts, recently museums have been going further to embrace their roles as community spaces. Indeed, this work is pushing museums to re-envision their overarching role and the type of work they do. This paper will examine how museums are particularly suited to being “third spaces,” encouraging cultural democracy, and supporting creative placemaking.