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SPARKING INCLUSIVE DIALOG
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
REALITY CHECK
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Effie Kapsalis, Smithsonian
Institution Archives
@digitaleffie
Lanae Spruce, Smithsonian
National Museum of African
American History and Culture
@_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
The first U.S. National Museum Building Committee, 1880, 78-10099
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Smithsonian Institution Archives “Women in Science Wednesday” Campaign
#OPENGLAM
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Trailer - http://s.si.edu/2cQ6PU1
Research - http://s.si.edu/2d8MNQS
HOWEVER…
IS OPEN ENOUGH?
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Though 28 percent of museum staffs are from
underrepresented minorities, the great majority of
these workers are concentrated in security,
facilities, finance, and human resources
jobs. Among museum curators, conservators,
educators, and leaders, only four percent are
African American and just three percent Hispanic.
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey,
https://mellon.org/resources/news/articles/Diversity-American-Art-Museums/
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Screenshot of African American Contributions to the Smithsonian: Challenges and Achievements
IS OUR HISTORY INCLUSIVE?
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
“Color History with the Smithsonian” Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon
WHO’S WRITING HISTORY?
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Smithsonian Secretary Skorton’s Youth Advisory Committee
WHO WILL WORK AT OUR
MUSEUMS IN THE FUTURE?
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall
“…we have a responsibility to lift as we climb.”
- Johnnetta Cole, National Museum of African Art
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
SHAKE THINGS UP
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
THE NUMBERS
“What would occur if we created social media
strategies that targeted visitors of color— would
this effort result in an increase for both virtual and
physical participation?”
Porchia Moore
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
CONNECTING WITH BLACK
TWITTER
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
1. LISTEN
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
2.
SHARE STORIES
OUTSIDE THE COMMON
NARRATIVE
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
3. HIGHLIGHT DIGITAL
COLLECTIONS
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
4.
BE OPEN TO
CRITICISM AND
ADJUST
ACCORDINGLY
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
CULTURAL HERITAGE SOCIAL CHANGE SUMMIT
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses
http://www.chscsummit.net/
#CHSCsummit
THE
END.
@digitaleffie @_BlackMuses

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SPARKING INCLUSIVE DIALOG

Editor's Notes

  1. 20 minutes
  2. History often looks like this. How relevant is this to me? I’m a woman and half of my ancestors weren’t even in the country at this time. So I’ll describe some of the steps we’ve taken to increase the visibility of different populations represented in our collections.
  3. Pulling out little-documented women scientists. From campaign, to wikipedia edit-a-thons…
  4. Say you’ve gone open and put it all out there for the world to grab. Is it still reaching everyone? Does the average person even know what to do with an API? Who is downloading your data sets? Who attends your hackathons?
  5. This hit home at my daughters school. Local African American residents were not getting to the Smithsonian, a large complex of FREE museums less than 3 miles from home. Part relevance, part resources.
  6. We need to document and create more diverse histories even if it’s not our main mission.
  7. We need to involve more diverse producers of history.
  8. “Two recent studies paint a stark picture of the lack of ethnic and racial diversity among top museum staff in the US. While people of colour represent 38% of the country’s population, they make up only 9% of museum boards and 16% of the administrators, curators, conservators and educators who make decisions about what is exhibited and preserved as culturally important.” the Art Newspaper We need to pay our interns. Low income young people can’t afford unpaid internships.
  9. And we need to do this. It’s a powerful symbol to have this museum occupy real estate the U.S. National Mall.
  10. Warhol museum done wonderful work on accessibility of the museum with deaf and blind populations. Engaging Refugee Populations on Berlin’s Museum Island - training Syrian and Iraqi refugees as museum guides in order to give tours to Arabic-speaking refugees. V&A’s new museum is drawing its curatorial staff from East London and offering traineeships to those that live in the area. Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, meanwhile, announced a new initiative last week to hire diverse-owned investment firms to manage a portion of its $116m endowment.
  11. Some museums shy away from addressing topics like race, equity and inclusion online or in-person because it’s deemed too controversial. In 2010, The Center for the Future of Museums reported that of the core group of museum visitors, only 9% are people of color. As custodians of antiquity, museums can—and must—become spaces to use the past to understand the present and better the future.
  12. According to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, 28 percent of African Americans who use the Internet use Twitter, compared to 20 percent of online white, non-Hispanic Americans. In addition, 11 percent of African American Twitter users say they use Twitter at least once a day, compared to 3 percent of white users.(Source)
  13. Museums can directly appeal to the large number of African Americans present on this platform by creating content that appeals to the base.
  14. The large http://www.iconsdb.com/icons/download/black/twitter-512.gifnumber of African American users on Twitter led to the creation of a sub-group known as Black Twitter. Black Twitter is a group of interconnected Twitter users who share a common cultural identity and have the ability to drive trends on issues of importance to the group. Museums are often reluctant to get involved in online conversations that are driven by African American sub-groups like Black Twitter, because they may feel uncomfortable joining in on these conversations and ill-equipped to deal with the fallout of a misguided tweet or post. Museums often join trending conversations like #Olympics, or #SuperBowl, but rarely tweet real-time content that is driven by Black Twitter. Biases and the diversity of a museum organization directly impacts how they approach their social media practice. For example, years ago we only saw museums like NASM, NMNH, and NMAH highlighted on @Smithsonian’s feeds. Working together with the team, we developed strategies for them to make sure that museums and cultural centers like NMAAHC, NMAI, APAC and Latino Center were also highlighted. Today the @Smithsonian account shares content that is reflective of the diversity of all 19 museums and cultural centers.
  15. Social listening is an important tool to use in social media practice. We are constantly following social conversations in real-time and listening to the concerns of our audiences. For instance, a popular conservative TV host made a historical error in saying that African Americans were not involved in the building of the White House. The digital engagement team worked with a NMAAHC curator to share objects in the museum collection that provided tangible evidence of the role of enslaved persons in the creation of National Monuments and Memorials.
  16. Museums can and should become more comfortable joining online conversations that are non-conventional. This is not a request that should be taken lightly. It will often require stepping outside of the typical museum comfort zone and becoming familiar with the unfamiliar.
  17. NMAAHC has a collection of over 37,000 objects related to African American life, history, and culture. We work with our collections team to tell stories through our objects and provide historical context for contemporary discussions. We have also implemented a storytelling tool on our website that offers a deeper look at popular objects and use our social media platforms to tell new stories that offer different perspectives on American history.
  18. Being inclusive is making sure that your museum features diverse stories as practice and not programmatic.