Ben Fast

Culture - Community - Museums - Travel

Category: We the Humanities (page 1 of 2)

Posts related to my week as the We the Humanities curator

We the Humanities: Day 7 Recap

**Note: all tweets are still linked to the We the Humanities Twitter account, so the names and pictures will change each week as the account curation rotates to a new user**

My final day as curator of We the Humanities was quite laid back and fancy free.  The main topic I shared during the day was the results of my We the Humanities Canadian Museum Workers’ Survey in which I asked Canadian museum workers some questions about the state of the museum industry.  11 people responded, 8 from BC likely due to my connections with the industry in this province.  As the responses were anonymous, it is easiest to direct you to the Twitter feed where I go through each question and their public-censored answers.  See all the results here.

It took three hours to pre-schedule all the tweets on Hootsuite and just over six hours for all the results to go out with a tweet every five minutes.  What a process, but lots of fun to go through all the results.  Thanks to all who responded and shared the survey!

As it was my last day at the helm, it was already time to look forward to Charlotte Mathieson and her week talking Victorians, literature, Victorian literature, and much more.

This was also perhaps the most exciting thing to come out of the day:

The rest of the evening was devoted to trying to cram out these recap blogs (which I didn’t quite get done) and saying my thank yous to Jess and Kristina (founders of We the Humanities), the Museum of Vancouver, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and The Rooms for their sponsorships, and to all my new friends on Twitter.

It was a really interesting experience curating the account for a week, I learned lots and probably tried to do too much, but overall it was definitely worth it.  Check out We the Humanities to learn more!

And thanks so much for all the kind words from everyone including the WTH admins!

We the Humanities: Day 6 Recap

**Note: all tweets are still linked to the We the Humanities Twitter account, so the names and pictures will change each week as the account curation rotates to a new user**

After a slower Day 5, Day 6 was a cracker (that’s for the British followers)!

We looked at exhibits and technology, specifically technology in exhibits.  This could take any form, tech used in exhibit displays, people using tech in exhibits, exhibits only available through tech, etc.  Museums today still have collections, and collections go on display in exhibits.  It’s how most people engage with the museum, even with today’s online world.  Right?  …Right?  What has changed in exhibits over the past few decades?  How has technology impacted the way audiences look at (on-site) museum collections?  How does social media come into play?

One interesting element of the day was being able to pass along some comments from Bianca M. from Andre and Associates Interpretation and Design Ltd.  Andre and Associates Interpretation and Design Ltd. creates exhibits all around the world and Bianca has worked for them as an exhibition designer for 30 years.

Others also chimed in on this topic of tech in exhibits.

…Which quickly escalated into a heated discussion about the value of technology and the use of cameras in museums.  A big thanks to my friend Justine who sparked it all!  Here are some highlights and links:

I also apparently introduced the We the Humanities crowd to Selfie Sticks.  I’m so sorry…

Random stuff:

We the Humanities: Day 5 Recap

**Note: all tweets are still linked to the We the Humanities Twitter account, so the names and pictures will change each week as the account curation rotates to a new user**

Day 5 at We the Humanities was all about events!

…Well, it was going to be.  It relates somewhat to Day 1’s discussion about programming, but I wanted to know what events museums run?  What works and what doesn’t?  What were the tweeters’ favourite non-traditional museum visit?  How can small museums run successful events without a big museum’s budget?

So, because I had my head knocked off two days before in ball hockey and because we had already talked quite a bit about events, today was a bit off-schedule and random.

Yes, that random…

4921538549_1ff4f7a987_zThis was also the final day of We the Humanities being sponsored by a Canadian museum.  Today I was thrilled to welcome The Rooms, the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum of Newfoundland and is found at the complete opposite end of the Trans-Canada Highway (about 7000km away via various Google Maps routes).  The Rooms graciously provided an ornament of the S.S. Thetis for our third giveaway, and given that Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada) is a great road trip I asked people to give me their best road trip destinations.  Congrats to Matthew Smith for winning!  Thanks so much to Donna V. and the rest of The Rooms staff for their support.  More highlights from the discussion about The Rooms at the end of this post, but you can also find them on Twitter.

Carleigh’s suggestion is one I want to do sometime, a great location almost at the other end of the country!

The Royal Ontario Museum was mentioned a few times today.  They have some really amazing young professionals philanthropy programs:

Some other things shared around:

So close…

The Room highlights:

We the Humanities: Day 4 Recap

**Note: all tweets are still linked to the We the Humanities Twitter account, so the names and pictures will change each week as the account curation rotates to a new user**

Day 4 of my week at We the Humanities was all about my future — I mean it was all about internships and professional development within the museum sector.  I’m a student, I’ve been an intern, I will be an intern again!  How can museums foster a new generation of museum workers through education programs, work placements, and PAID internships?  (The notion of getting money for what I’ve spent 6 years in school studying is important to me)  What opportunities exist already, and what needs to be created?  Is it different in Canada than in other parts of the world?  Perhaps of all the days I had planned during the week, this one was most important to me and the one I hoped would spark the most debates and sharing of resources.

aggv-logoThis was also the second of the “sponsored” days.  The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, both the location of my second Co-op placement and where I work as a casual event host now, graciously supported my week as curator of We the Humanities by supplying four lovely Emily Carr gift cards.  I asked people to share what their favourite artist was and had some great responses back.  Congrats to Anabelle Castaño who won the prize!  Her suggestion was Charles Frederick Goldie.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for some highlights about the AGGV.

We even had two suggestions for Eyvind Earle!

Some resources about internships which got passed back and forth during the day:

  • I recently found Adopt an Intern on Twitter, a great organization helping Scottish students and businesses to arrange and conduct paid internships and work placements.  I really value their catchphrase and motto: #TalentnotTea!

One topic of conversation was the battle between unpaid and paid internships.  We covered a few sides of the argument, but most people (myself included) were more in favour of paid internships for students and felt unpaid limited growth possibilities and was taking advantage of young workers.  Some links we shared included:

Speaking of volunteering, my good friend Justine Drummond wrote an article about a project I worked on at the Royal BC Museum: “Creativity Comes Alive at the Royal BC Museum.”  It led to further discussion and great links with the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Some highlights from my previous co-op/internship placements:

Glad to see others have had great internships (through UVic as well):

And finally, highlights from a visit to the AGGV:

I love working at this gallery, the AGGV is a great place and does some amazing work.  Thanks everyone for supporting We the Humanities!

We the Humanities: Day 3 Recap

**Note: all tweets are still linked to the We the Humanities Twitter account, so the names and pictures will change each week as the account curation rotates to a new user**

Day 3 at We the Humanities continued from yesterday‘s great news: we reached our 2000th follower!  I’m so thankful to have been at the helm when this milestone was achieved, although I take very little credit for it.  The account rolls along thanks to all the amazing followers and the way they share knowledge of and interest in the Humanities.  It is such a pleasure to witness it!

Day 3 was all about partnerships and collaboration in museums.  This is especially close to my heart as I’m planning a thesis on museum partnerships and development associations/organizations.  I’m interested in how museums work together, work with their communities, and work with museum associations to develop the industry, build capacity, and further their causes.

logo_0Day 3 was also the first of our three “sponsored” days.  The Museum of Vancouver was generous enough to support me as first Canadian curator (and the guy tweeting museums all week) by donating two entry tickets to give away.  I tweeted about their From Rationing to Ravishing exhibit throughout the day as well, even though I know very little about fashion (right mom?).  See the end of this article for some highlights of the Museum of Vancouver tweets.  Thanks to Myles C. and the entire Museum of Vancouver staff for their support!  I asked people what their favourite museum website was.  Congrats Galen and Amy for winning the two tickets!

One exciting bit of news was how much news the We the Humanities account was making. Congrats Jessica and Kristina, in The Guardian this time!

This may have something to do with the Twitter account growing by 42 followers overnight…

Can partnerships happen simply over social media?  The answer was, rather unanimously and adamantly, yes.

Some good resources for collaboration in museums came forward including:

One online campaign has people “adopting” museums.  I said I would adopt one, so now I need to follow through.  But which museum?  Hmmm…

I was able to talk both about my thesis research into the topic of museums associations, and my recent trip to the UK.  Always important to keep in contact with the people I made there, and these two easily fit into the discussion.

What about sponsorships in museums?

I took a break in the afternoon to play some ball hockey at UVic (we lost our one and only playoff game, but we had a great time doing it!) and then attended Mark Zeuhlke‘s book launch.

Here are some highlights from the Museum of Vancouver tweets I sent out:

That tweet didn’t have agreement all around, but I think I swayed people to my way of thinking.  That polo shirt…

Older posts

© 2017 Ben Fast

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑