Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Do You Like...Food?

Have you taken our food survey yet? It's short and sweet - so why don't you check it out?

The Ann Arundel County Historical Society has sent the Museum copies of their most recent quarterly publication, the Anne Arundel County History Notes! This edition features the cover article "The Jewish Presence In North County" by Jennifer Keats Curtis. This article used our own Karen Falk, curator here at the Museum, as an information resource (along with other Museum resources). Be sure to pick up a copy at the Museum's front desk and read about the Jewish experience north of Annapolis!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Does A Typical Week Look Like for JMM Education?

These are just photographs of three of several programs offered during the course of seven days in April at the JMM...

On Wednesday, April 22nd, the JMM welcomed upper middle school students from Sacred Heart, a Catholic school in Mount Washington to tour the Museum. After their tour, students listened to Holocaust survivor, George Rabinek, share his life experiences. That afternoon, a group of museum studies students from Johns Hopkins received a special treat: a behind-the-scenes tour! Only offered to small, older groups, the students were able to see the downstairs collection area in a tour led by Senior Collections Manager, Jobi Zink.
Johns Hopkins students behind the scenes tour

On Thursday, the JMM hosted teachers from Howard County Public Schools for the professional development workshop, Echoes & Reflections, led by Danielle Goldberg from the Anti-Defamation League. The JMM has hosted this workshop for teachers from several jurisdictions and is happy to include more.
Howard County Public School Teachers at ADL workshop

At the same time, JMM volunteers were out doing some professional development of their own, touring the Irish Shrine and Railroad Workers Museum. Additionally, JMM education staff led a program for 7th graders from Federal Hill Prep, a Baltimore City Public School.

On Friday, a group of students from Lakeland Elementary, a Baltimore City Public School, toured the Museum. That Sunday brought several groups, including the penultimate session with Kol Ha Lev, a religious school who was showcased in last month's educator e-newsletter. On Monday, one of the education staff led an outreach program at Beit R-J, Baltimore's joint religious evening school for high school students belonging to several Reform affiliated synagogues.

Tuesday brought a large group of students from Potomac High School, a public school from Prince George's County. The students not only toured the Museum and exhibits but also participated in an Archival Exploration in our library on the topic of immigration.
Potomac High School students in the library

On Wednesday, April 29th, the JMM welcomed students back from Oakland Mills High School, a public school in Howard County. Oakland Mills had brought a different set of students last October. That afternoon, an adult group from Holy Communion Lutheran Church participated in our tour program.

Just another typical week for the education staff at the JMM!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Return to Reality

AAM just flew by! I met so many interesting museum professionals, including a young woman from the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. She told me about a wedding held at her site (not a common experience) with two people dressed in haz-mat suits and gas masks! In addition to meeting many new people, it was a great chance to re-connect with many of my colleagues. I serve on the Small Museum Association conference committee and was excited to see how many people from the February conference attended. Additionally, I had the chance to attend several more fascinating sessions, including one on Hearing Art and Seeing Music, which involves a partnership between The Kreeger Museum in DC and Catholic University using museum educators, teaching artists, and musicians, as well as one on the The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, which includes "historic sites specifically dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies." Besides all of the great sessions I attended, I'm pleased to say that my session on website development received warm praise and a strong attendance. Not that all of my time was spent in sessions. I enjoyed a lovely time with the Museum Education Roundtable at the American Philosophical Society, a nice reception with other accredited AAM museums, as well as a chance to meet with colleagues in other fields, such as registrars. (I'd like to point out that the registrars had not one but two sponsored receptions - completely free - and that the educators didn't have even one!!) Anyway, overall, I have to say that AAM was a big success, very educational, and tiring! I'm feeling both enthused and drained - though I suspect enthused will win out!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Live at AAM!

Greetings from lovely but rainy Philadelphia!

JMM Collections Manager, Jobi, and I (Lauren, Education and Program Coordinator) are currently at the American Association of Museums annual meeting. This is my first AAM conference as well as the biggest conference I've ever attended, with over 5,000 attendees. We've taken over the entire Philadelphia convention center.

I've attended some interesting sessions, including one on engaging immigrant communities and another on using Web 2.0 to reach international audiences. Did you know that the Dresden Museum has a 1:1 replica of their entire museum on Second Life? The curator giving the talk showed photographs of the exterior, grounds, and galleries within the museum next to photos of the museum recreated in Second Life - an alternate, virtual reality universe online. It was astounding.

And of course, there have been some fun parties too! On Thursday night was the Opening Night party at the amazing Please Touch Museum. Running around PTM reminded me of all the children's museums I visited as a child - combined. They have a historic, running carousel! So much fun. Not to mention the dessert bar, great band, and University of the Arts bucket band, Rumble.

They keynote speaker, Walter Isaacson, was quite engaging. I'm still not certain what he has to do with museums but his stories about Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein were wonderful. One of those situations where, even though I knew what was going to happen next, I was still on the edge of my seat. Was Einstein going to receive the Nobel Prize? How did Franklin get started in Philadelphia? I did immediately buy both biographies to have him sign. Even though I'm married to a librarian...

I'm giving a session on Tips and Tricks to Maximize Your Website - Not Your Budget as part of Small Museums Day at AAM. My co-presenters include Heidi Glatfelter, who does marketing and pr for Jerusalem Mill - a small museum in Maryland - and works for a consulting firm, Market Early America and Laurel Forsythe of the Ruthmere Museum. Unfortunately, Laurel had a family emergency and won't be able to attend. Hopefully, it'll go well!

I'll post again after I return. Thanks for reading.

Jobi at AAM

Convention Center lobby - the convention center used to be a working railroad terminal

In all the times I've been to Philly before, I'd never seen Independence Hall before!