I suspect (unfortunately) very few. .
Museum folk talk a lot about the homogeneity of our field, and about what makes it hard to build a diverse staff: ossified job requirements, low pay, uncongenial work environments.
But the very first hurdle we face is inspiring kids to fall in love with the idea of working in a museum.
How do we do that? What kinds of experiences, big or small, fire the ambition of a child to one day be a curator, registrar, exhibit designer, educator or collections manager?
Your Futurist Friday assignment: watch the story of how one little boy fell in love. This 4 minute video animates the story of Bill Stanley's first intimidating and inspiring encounter with a curator. The video (which was recently honored with a 2016 MUSE award) is also a loving tribute to Bill, director of the Collections Center at the Field Museum, who died last year during a field expedition to Ethiopia.
After you wipe your eyes (which I have to do every time I watch this video), spend a moment and think:
- As a child, did you have the equivalent of Bill's "butterfly experience?"--a moment that set you on your personal evolutionary path?
- When was the last time a child came to you with a discovery, or a question, that let your share your passion for what you do?
- What can museums do to create such "butterfly moments"--personal, inspiring, evocative interactions --for kids from all kinds of families, neighborhoods and backgrounds?