Friday, June 18, 2010

Museums as Community Catalysts: Museum of Northern Arizona

Many museums aspire to be “conveners,” “dialog centers” and “safe places for conversation.” So it’s nice to be able to share stories of museums living up to this aspiration. This week the Museum of Northern Arizona provided a forum this week for the Center for the Future of Arizona to engage 55 local residents in discussion of their views about what issues candidates for state office should address. How can taxation be distributed equitably? What does health care look like in a civilized society? How should Arizona deal with immigration and illegal residents? How can the state attract back residents who have left the state? How can politicians improved education?

The Center for the Future of Arizona is attempting to build consensus about what Arizonans want in this century, in order to help policymakers focus on what is important. What better partner in this effort than a museum which can put these questions in a broader historical, ecological and sociological context? Props to museum director Robert Breunig for providing a stage, and helping ask the hard questions…