Laboratory for New Audiences Sessions

 

Sessions 1 & 2: Design Thinking Intensive & Orientation

Session 3: Complementary Learning: School, Family & Community Connections

Session 4: The Family as Context for Learning in Museums

Session 5: Building Relationships & Cultural Competency: Partnering for New Audiences

Session 6: Lab Culminating Presentations

Additional News & Links

 

 Sessions 1 & 2: Design Thinking Intensive & Orientation

10/7/13 & 10/8/13, Cooper-Hewitt Design Center (Harlem)

Participants received an introduction to the Lab and to the Design Thinking process, and used this innovative problem solving method to create prototypes that support novice museum-goers in accessing and engaging in cultural institutions. At the conclusion of this Design Thinking intensive, participants identified a challenge to address in small groups throughout the remainder of the Lab series.

Agenda

 

“I am still digesting all the rich information and conversation that came up in the two day (very aptly named) intensive. The Design Thinking process has been so helpful in slowing down and really listening. It’s startling how long it can take you to actually hear what people are saying. I look forward to diving in even deeper as the program progresses!” - Emily Rivlin-Nadler, Associate Manager, Family Programs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Session 3: Complementary Learning: School, Family & Community Connections

12/9/13, Dorothy Day Early Childhood Center

Participants spent the day at a local public early education center to see firsthand how creating a network of learning opportunities across school, home and community positively impacts families and early learners. We examined the documented impact of learning networks from the perspective of museum educators, parents, and preschool teachers who took part in Cool Culture’s multi-year partnership program. Short observations in the classrooms provided a glimpse of early childhood curricular themes. Participants created a second iteration of their selected program prototypes.

Agenda


     

I [am] literally buzzing about how engaging and inspiring the lab was. I haven’t felt so excited, frustrated, and empowered by programming in a long time. I really appreciate Cool Culture organizing such an amazing opportunity for NYC museum administrators.” - Alyson Luck, Manager, School, Youth, & Family Programs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Session 4: The Family as Context for Learning in Museums

2/3/14, Central Park Zoo

This session’s focus was on the family as a context for learning, and how to foster free-choice learning in cultural institutions. Participants examined the role that families’ culture and language play in learning, and discussed how museums may work together with families to co-create meaning across cultures. Participants were able to discuss their prototypes with Cool Culture parents, and draft a third iteration of those prototypes.

Agenda

On behalf of families with children who are a part of Early Childhood Education Programs, I want to thank you for speaking our language… thank you for helping in providing an exciting and engaging cultural experience for us new museum goers.” -Danielle Sullivan, Cool Culture parent

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Session 5: Building Relationships & Cultural Competency: Partnering for New Audiences

3/10/14, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

In this session we explored how class, culture and ethnicity impact cultural participation and relationship-building with new audiences. We developed strategies for creating culturally-responsive learning environments that are transparent, flexible, and iterative in design. Lab teams drafted their fourth version of selected program prototypes, as well as discussed the opportunities and challenges in engaging diverse communities, to be documented in The Blueprint for New Audiences.

Agenda 

   

Cool Culture holds itself to such a high bar for professionalism, social activism, and innovation – now that I’ve gotten to know Cool Culture better I am even more impressed.” - Ashley Gamell, Brooklyn Botanical Garden

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Session 6: Lab Culminating Presentations

4/29/14, Centre for Social Innovation

Lab teams presented the strategies, solutions and prototypes developed over the course of the Lab to an expert panel of community stakeholders, museum directors, and foundations. We reflected on the Lab experience and discussed next steps for furthering the work. Cool Culture will continue to document areas of interest and new needs that have been identified during the Lab, and share a timeline for the publication of the Blueprint for New Audiences.

Agenda


To see the beginning formation of the insights given and how the journey began to take form as rolled up pieces of constructions paper and tooth picks and eventually turn into well throughout, creative and professional presentations is remarkable.” Danielle Sullivan, Cool Culture Parent

Congratulations on your terrific final presentations… the work was impressive and the energy in the room most impressive!” - Deborah Schwartz, Brooklyn Historical Society

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Additional News & Links

Arts education and early childhood education in NYC has been a hot topic lately, with Mayor De Blasio’s plans for universal pre-k and after school programming, NYC School Chancellor Carmen Farina’s allocation of a $23 million budget for arts education, and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer’s report on the needs for more arts programming in public schools.

The Lab is not just about generating ideas and prototypes but putting those ideas and prototypes to use in the real world. Many museum professionals and educators associated with the Lab have been doing amazing things to advance arts access and education for all.

Tom Finkelpearl, Director of the Queens Museum, who is on the Lab Advisory Council and spoke at the launch of the Lab was promoted to Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City.

Paper, "Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums," commissioned by the American Alliance of Museums. Auntenisha Stavelov, State and Community Partnerships Manager of the AAM is on our Advisory Council and has been appointed by the AAM President to spearhead a new diversity and inclusion initiative.

Cooper Hewitt, whose Director of Education Caroline Payson is a member of our Advisory Council, has launched a resource for educators to introduce them to the potential of design thinking and prototyping to address educational and institutional issues.

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