Why I’m Coming: Eileen Campbell

EileenCampbellBecause I’ve spent too much time, in the last few years, too far from home. Let the easterners come here, to my beautiful coast. The hills are still green, the lupine and poppies are blooming, and the brown pelicans are back, gliding in formation over the waves.

Because I want to play with creativity, and creative people, stakes-free. Creative endeavors at museums get wrapped—and rapped—with deadlines and politics and rules and procedures. I want to create some things that get to stand up free and whole, un-nibbled, just to remind myself that I can. And I want to create some things with other people, working together instead of at cross-purposes, just to remember what that feels like.

Because the world is changing, and I think it’s better to shake myself up a bit, give myself a whack upside the head, than to sit still and wait for a changing world to do it to me. You can’t move forward without first upsetting your existing balance.

Because it’s good to play. All young mammals play, but humans are unique: we continue to play into adulthood. Play makes us human, makes us smart, allows us to create—but museums tend to forget this in the intensity of their mission focus. How could I not participate in something that takes 100 museum professionals and, for two whole days, tells them to play?


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