Atlanta, Ferguson, and Beyond

The annual meeting of the American Alliance of Museums will convene this weekend through Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Atlanta, GA. For those of you following this blog, there will be a number of sessions related to a couple of persistent topics:  The Empathetic Museum and #museumsrespondtoFerguson. If you will be in Atlanta, I hope to see you at these sessions.  Please say hello, and introduce yourself if we haven’t met before.  For those who won’t be there, at least some of the meetings will be tweeted and Storified, so that’s another way to keep up with the conversation.

For those of you interested in The Empathetic Museum

  • Monday, April 27 at 3:15 pm: Stacey Mann (@smanny)  will be leading an informal discussion on empathy in mission and practice at the NAME Marketplace of Ideas.
  • Wednesday, April 29 at 9:00 am: I’ll be chairing a session  called Empathy in Mission and Practice:  Why Should We Care? Colleague Elissa Frankle (@museums365) will be live tweeting at #EmpatheticMuseum.  We’ll be joined by  Stacey Mann, Rainey Tisdale (@raineytisdale), Janeen Bryant, and Matt Kirchman (@ObjectIDEA).

Discussions about #museumsrespondtoFerguson are multiplying so quickly that it’s hard to keep track.  At AAM :

  • Monday, April 27 at 3:15 pm: I’ll be leading an informal discussion at the NAME Marketplace of Ideas.
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 1:30 pm: Mary Ellen Munley of The Museum Group  and I will moderate a conversation on #museumsrespondtoFerguson–the origins and the continuing impact of this initiative.  This session will be held at the Glenn Hotel.
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 10:45 am: Melanie Adams, Managing Director of the Missouri History Museum, will lead a session entitled Missouri Burning: Turning Conflict into Conversation.

I’ve also recently learned of two day-long  museum programs related to Ferguson.

  • On Friday, April 17, the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM) sponsored Silent No More–St. Louis, the first of three training workshops to assist museums in convening and coordinating conversations around difficult topics.  Check their website  for more information on the rest of the series.
  • On Saturday, April 25 the National Museum of African American History and Culture will hold a symposium entitled History, Rebellion, and Reconciliation, examining race, justice, and community activism.  Held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC,  the symposium is free and  open to the public, but registration is recommended, at  (202) 633-0070 or You can also watch the live stream and follow the Twitter feed at #HRRlive.

The #museumsrespondtoFerguson Twitter chat continues at 1pm CDT on the third Wednesday of each month.  The last one was April 15.

I look forward to continuing all our conversations either through comments here at or on Twitter @gretchjenn, #museumsrespondtoFerguson, and #EmpatheticMuseum.  Most of all it would be wonderful to meet you face to face in Atlanta!





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