Presentation for the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, 2008.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - Washington, D.C.
Ethnic museums are often created in response to a given minority population's perception of exclusion from mainstream museums. Their stories have not been told, or have been too often told with malice. They want to tell their own story; however, no ethnic community has one story, can speak with one voice, has one perspective, or has one vision. How can ethnic museums synthesize different visions, stories, and experiences and incorporate them into the museum structure, exhibits, and public programming? This presentation explores the founding of the community-based Arab American National Museum.