FSU Museum Education and Visitor-Centered Exhibitions (MEX) faculty members Dr. Pat Villeneuve and Dr. Ann Rowson Love, along with doctoral student Jay Boda, presented at a special conference held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Museum Studies program at the University of Leicester. During her fall 2010 sabbatical, Dr. Villeneuve served as a visiting professor at the university. The conference, held April 20-22, 2016, took place at Stamford Court in Leicester, a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England. The conference’s theme was The Museum in the Global Contemporary: Debating the Museum of Now.
Dr. Villeneuve, Dr. Rowson Love, and Jay Boda gave a presentation titled “The Beauty or the Beast? Advancing Visitor-Centered Exhibitions” in which they explored a new, innovative model of collaborative museum curation. The model, termed as edu-curation, involves educators and evaluators coming together to facilitate collaboration in visitor-centered research and exhibitions.
To add a visual aspect to the presentation, Jay Boda created a short video titled “Beauty or the Beast- Final Leicester (MEX2).”
In addition, Dr. Rowson Love gave a separate presentation titled “From Mosh Pit to Mash-Up: Global Contemporary and Millennial Participation in Museum Fundraising and Volunteership” in a session along with Dr. Yuha Jung from the University of Kentucky. Together, they used music samples to explore the concept of systems thinking for museums to engage the Millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) as patrons.
Their presentation examined the applicability of systems thinking to museum management in order to address challenges related to fundraising. These challenges, especially in the United States’ context, are the increasing diversity of demographics, decreasing government funding for museums, and different giving patterns of the Millennial generation.
Dr. Rowson Love and Dr. Jung explained that musically, a mash-up is formed by taking complex and synergetic sounds and forms, creating new interconnected music. A mash-up is a fitting metaphor for thinking about the global contemporary influence on museums today and is closely related to the theory of systems thinking.
Unlike the conventional model, systems thinking applied to museums sees them as very complex open systems whose elements affect each other and are part of a larger environment. Using systems thinking to manage museums encourages museum professionals to draw ideas from beyond museum practices and include ideas from different museum professionals, departments, and community members through team-based network model. As a result, this perspective forces museums to create new ‘mash-up’ practice that is based on multiple perspectives and reflects dynamic changes in their external environment.
The department congratulates Dr. Villeneuve, Dr. Rowson Love, and Jay Boda on their dynamic presentations and looks forward to hearing more from the MEX program.