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Home   About   CFM Blog   Join AAM   Moving? New Job? Let AAM know. Dec. 1, 2011


The 3rd rail of museum ethics: Selling collections to pay for ... what?
Center for the Future of Museums    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This week in the CFM blog, the ethics of deaccessioning. Is it ethical for a museum to use the money it gets from selling collections to fund general operations? In the next 25 years, are the restrictions placed on the use of funds resulting from deaccessioning likely to become more or less restrictive? How and why will the restrictions change? Part of CFM's ongoing project, Forecasting the Future of Museum Ethics.

Exercise and Science Headlines

Charity giving far off pre-recession levels
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Charitable giving is trickling back up as the economy heals, but it could take years to return to pre-recession levels, nonprofit leaders say. Giving totaled $291 billion in 2010, according to the 2011 annual report by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. That's up 3.8 percent from 2009 and follows two years of declines. However, donations are still 6 percent below the 2007 record. More

The Power of Animal Magnetism

A new national survey called “Releasing Wild Success” identifies important new findings about visitor motivations, desires, and behaviors related to animals in cultural attractions. MORE


Survey: Nearly 6 in 10 plan to give to charity this holiday season
Philanthropy News Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly 6 out of 10 (57 percent) Americans plan to give to charity between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, a survey by the American Red Cross finds. The 2011 Holiday Giving Poll found that 80 percent of respondents said their finances were worse than or the same as a year ago; 71 percent expected to donate more or about the same as they did last year; 26 percent planned to give less; and 36 percent did not plan to give at all, with half of those (49 percent) saying they did not have the money to give. More

Overhead: The '3rd rail' of nonprofits
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Overhead is a touchy subject for many nonprofits. Donors who want most or all of their contributions to support an organization's cause may be overly critical of administrative costs and other overhead. Nonprofits, in turn, often feel pressured to keep overhead down and so may misrepresent those costs, reinforcing donors' unrealistic expectations. ♦ An interview with nonprofit consultant Tom Tierney, chairman of the Bridgespan Group. More

Barbies, punks, surfers parade in California cultural jamboree
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While globalization has fueled the proliferation of museums, galleries and art fairs around the world, New York remains the great magnet — the proving ground. In the U.S., when artists consider trading the East for the West Coast, a Big Apple chorus chimes: "If you leave New York, you'll just die as an artist." Los Angeles disagrees, or at least wants to shift the attention 3,000 miles west. Arts groups in Southern California have mounted "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980," a six-month, all-out offensive: The Civil Art War. More


Food trends 2012: Custom french fries
and grilled cheese infused vodka

ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wondering what new foods you can expect to eat in the new year? According to the trend report compiled by consulting firm Andrew Freeman and Company, you can look for custom french fry bars and grilled-cheese-infused vodka. During eight months of research from a variety of restaurant and hotel sources, they found that food in 2012 will be focused around American comfort food classics with a twist. ♦ Will the same consumers be attracted to museums that focus on "American comfort"? More

Museum Quality Large Format Printing


How to attract more Chinese tourists to the US?
Chinese Tourists in America    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Inbound travel to the U.S. from China is skyrocketing. Arrivals from China are forecast to increase a whopping 274 percent between 2012 and 2016. It's the fastest growth — by far — of any country, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. More

Contemplating the future of museums
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Museum tech blogger Maren Dougherty writes that "Earlier this month, several of us from Balboa Park attended the Museum Computer Network conference and THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) day in Atlanta. The events brought together about 350 museum professionals to discuss practical and theoretical issues related to museums' use of new technologies." More


Libraries and museums become hands-on learning labs
Mind/Shift at KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new competition sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced 12 winning libraries and museums that will receive $1.2 million in grant money to help push the boundaries of what these institutions look like, specifically helping to create facilities that are better "learning labs" for teens. While the grant recipients all plan on building different sorts of programs that meet community needs and match community resources, in general the emphasis is on providing a free and open community space for teens to explore digital media and technology — and to do so on their own terms. More

Put 3-D objects at your visitors' fingertips: UVaM on the iPad
IDEA blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Hopi doll with painted headdress springs to life, spinning under my finger tips on a new iPad app from the University of Virginia Art Museum. The delightful app presents 19 different objects in 3-D, to spin and zoom, providing an immediacy that rivals seeing an object in real life. In fact, it's better in many ways than peering at an object through a protective case because the objects can be spun through a full 360 degree, view under bright lighting, at high resolution. More

Local museums challenge each other in food drive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefTwo local Nebraska museums take on a late challenge during a friendly competition to help feed area families. Kearney's Great Platte River Road Archway and the Firefighters Museum are late contenders joining forces in the "Sharing of the Season Food Drive." The food drive is a challenge on area museums to see how many pounds of food they can collect over the holidays for their respective food banks. More

Make museums free: What we [Canadians] can learn from Britain and Washington
National Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canadian columnist Robert Fulford writes: "After two or three centuries in business, public museums have developed into one of the splendors of democracy, the only places where private taste meets elite scholarship and we all pursue our own passions at our own pace. ... Unfortunately, while charging money at the door supports the running of a museum, it also strengthens the wretched idea that the arts and sciences are the business of a few specialists and the well-to-do." ♦ Note that free admission to Britain's national museums is currently under threat. More

An imposing museum turns warm and fuzzy
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In some ways the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's expansion is like the many other recent building efforts by cultural institutions around the country. But in other ways, the architects suggest, the project presents a post-recession template, in which function and use of a space almost take precedence over aesthetics. More

Students create cell phone tours of museum
WJBC-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The work of some Pontiac Township High School students will be heard by thousands of future visitors to the Livingston County War Museum. The students have created some audio cell phone tours of the museum, located next to the Route 66 Hall of Fame and the Old City Hall Shoppes. Eric Sweetwoo's Illinois Studies students have researched various historic museum artifacts and individuals, written scripts and have even recorded MP3 messages, which museum visitors will be able to hear starting in January. More

Tools for the Future

Touchable holograms are here, the future is upon us
The Next Web    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefHolograms are one of the final frontiers of technology that we were promised by science fiction movies and books that has yet to really arrive in a big way. There have been some forays into it over the years, with some pretty solid results, but none of them has shown off the way that you will interact with these pretty images. Russian company Displair has released this slick demonstration video demonstrating holograms that are not only three dimensional, but also manipulable. The system consists of images projected onto cold fog and a Kinect-like sensor that detects your hand and body movements. More

Computers know you're sad, then try to help
SmartPlanet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
First Angry Birds, soon irate iPhones. Imagine you are angry and yelling on a cell phone. Now imagine if the cell phone got angry back. This becomes a conceivable possibility as Spanish scientists have developed the technology that allows electronic devices to "automatically recognize the emotional state of a person who is orally communicating with it." ♦ Is this how museum exhibits will interact with visitors in the future? More

3-D printing: Making it
The Economist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The personal-manufacturing movement — exemplified by Thingiverse for sharing user-created 3-D files and Fab@Home to exchange ideas about hardware and software — resembles nothing so much as the era when the MITS Altair 8800 kit, with its eight-bit Intel processor and S-100 bus, prepared the ground for the PC revolution that was to follow. More

21st century skills are so last century!
Donald Clark Plan B    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From education blogger Donald Clark: "[Dutch researcher Stephanie Ottenheijm recently] asked (radical, eh?) some youngsters what 21st c[entury] skills they thought they'd need. Not one of the usual suspects came up. They were less vague, much bolder and far more realistic. ... [T]hey wanted to know how to create and maintain a strong digital identity, be nice, recognize what's learnt outside school, learn how to search use my Facebook privacy settings. My suspicion is that they know far more about this than we adults." ♦ Can (or should) museums help contribute to this version of 21st century skills? More

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