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 Laboratory for New Audiences 2013-2014

Reimagining NYC’s Cultural Institutions    

How can New York City’s museums, zoos and gardens reach new and diverse families as the demographics of the city and its families shift?  This question was posed to participants at Cool Culture’s Laboratory for New Audiences – and they were challenged to develop an answer. 

About the Lab

Museum educators from 21 participating cultural institutions used design thinking to reimagine the future of museum education and envision new ways of serving diverse family audiences.  Working with cross-institutional teams, museum educators aligned their institution’s resources with community needs and each designed a prototype solution by the conclusion of the lab. 

Cool Culture and the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum served as facilitators and taught core design thinking skills.  The Lab took place during six intensive sessions starting in October 2013 and concluding in April 2014, each with its own unique themes, speakers, and presentations. Learn more here.  

Journey of a Prototype: Art Vest & Digital App

These graphics highlight the processes that two teams undertook to reach their final prototypes:


Advisory Council Members 
  • Elissa Blount Moorhead – Parsons The New School for Design
  • Lisa Harper Chang – St. Louis Regional Arts Commission
  • Spencer Crew, PhD – George Mason University
  • Lynn Dierking, PhD – Oregon State University
  • Beverly Falk, EdD – The City College of New York
  • Tom Finkelpearl – New York Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Leah Gary – The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation
  • Rahsaan Harris, PhD – Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
  • Andrea Hoffman – Diversity Affluence
  • Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD – Urban Planning and Cultural Policy Specialist
  • David R. Jones – Community Service Society 
  • Patricia Lannes – Cultures And Literacies Through Art for the 21st Century (CALTA21)
  • Windy Lopez-Aflitto – American Express Philantropy
  • Kerry McCarthy – The New York Community Trust
  • Timothy McCue – The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation
  • Harriet Michel – National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Malia Simonds – Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Gretchen S. Sorin, PhD – The Cooperstown Graduate Program
  • Steven Seidel, EdD – Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Auntaneshia Staveloz – National Museum of African American History & Culture
  • Deborah Thompson Velazquez – Altman Foundation 
  • Helena Vidal – Independent Consultant
  • Cathleen Wiggins – Bank Street College of Education
  • John Wright – The Wright Group
  • Jason Yoon – Queens Museum of Art
Partner Institutions & Staff
  • American Museum of Natural History- Sarah Moshenberg, Adina Williams
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden- Ashley Gamell, Patricia Hulse
  • Brooklyn Historical Society- Alex Tronolone, Emily Potter Ndiaye
  • Brooklyn Museum- Allison Day
  • Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine- Teresa French, Marnie Weir
  • Central Park Zoo/ Prospect Park Zoo- Emilie Hanson, Allison Hague
  • Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum- Sarah Freeman, Michelle Cheng
  • El Museo del Barrio- Mary Ann Bonet, Maya Shugart
  • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum- Sheri Levinsky Raskin
  • The Jewish Museum- Rachael Abrams, Rachel Katz Levine
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art- Emily Blumenthal, Brittany Prieto
  • Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art- Morgan Parker
  • New York Transit Museum- Polly Desjarlais, Virgil Talaid
  • The Noguchi Museum- Anne Spurgeon, Heather Brady
  • Queens Museum
  • Rubin Museum of Art- Marilyn Casey, Laura Craft
  • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture- Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf
  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum- Emily Rivlin-Nadler, Alyson Luck
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem- Erin Hylton, Shanta Lawson
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling- Charlene Melville, Susan Delvalle
  • Weeksville Heritage Center- Rylee Eterginoso, Lashaya Howie




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