With budgets tight this year, I could only make a case to attend one out-of-town event and I felt that C2 would be much more beneficial to me and my organization than any conference. Also the topic of creativity and collaboration is spot on; I am currently in the middle of design phases for a new museum and am constantly challenged to explore new ideas for this project.
Another big reason is the planning team and the worskshop superstars: I am inspired by the entire cast! I feel fortunate to be able to spend some quality and intimate time learning from everyone who is planning and attending.
And lastly, the comments of Darcie and Judy indicated to me that NAME doesn’t hold these events that often and that the last two retreats left people feeling incredibly inspired and renewed. I am new to NAME and I don’t want to wait another 10 years for the next one.
I’m coming to the retreat because my colleagues and I at Open Museum <www.openmuseum.org> are wrangling day in and out with the question of collaborative creativity. We are trying to build what we hope will become a performance venue for creatives and a destination and resource for enthusiasts of the arts, culture, history, natural history, … your choice of content.
During the retreat, I hope to stretch my conception of an adequate exhibit by working with people from diverse backgrounds who share an interest in design. I am lured by its unconventional format. Although I must admit to being a bit nervous, perhaps because of my age, the retreat approach appeals to my hippy heart; I built shanties and ate with chopsticks during college in the 80’s and did a bunch of eclectic “stuff”: <http://www.heritance.org/people.html#maureen> before 2001, when I moved to France to live on a barge with my spouse and three children.
We moved back to rural Vermont in 2006, when I founded “Heritance”: <www.heritance.org>, a non-profit that promotes Open Museum practices. In fall 2008, Heritance decided to shift its program focus to a collaborative internet project, Open Museum.
This retreat comes at a very special time for me. After 30 years at the Museum of Science, Boston I decided it was time to make a change. Although I hope to stay connected to special projects I formally left the museum on April 2nd. Over the years at the museum I have had wonderful opportunities to develop new programs and exhibits. I am most proud of starting the development of our youth programs which changed the culture in the museum – giving both staff and visitors a first hand experience at just how much teens, and especially urban teens can contribute to a community. The learning flew in so many directions.
But at some point I was starting to feel stale – the creative pieces of the work did not feel creative any longer. And just as importantly, the Youth Program work was in a good place, with enough good staff and strong support from management.
An opportunity arose and it seemed perfect for this moment in my life. My former museum colleague, Jan Crocker, decided to start her own exhibit development company, Jan Crocker LLC and invited me to join. New challenges – some risk and lots of wonderful creativity and collaboration with some very talented people. So I am embarking on my next new adventure and this is my kick-off! Thank you for timing it so perfectly for my life.
I’ve been working in exhibitions at the same museum for 16 years now, and I think there is a danger that my colleagues and I will fall into comfortable, familiar patterns of working that are less and less creative. So, it is important for me to go outside my place of work to seek inspiration. I’m hoping that I’ll return inspired and ready to shake things up. The fact that the retreat is about collaboration and creativity together is key. I want our teams to work more creatively together. On the one hand, I want the staff who has been around a while to find new ways of working creatively together-on the other hand, I have newer, younger staff whom I’d like to get started out on the right foot. I suppose you could say that I’m hoping to catch the creative collaboration virus so that I can bring it back and infect the whole place.