March 20, 2020 | 20 Marzo 2020
We at The Empathetic Museum are mindful of and concerned about the current and future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our many communities, especially the vulnerable. At a time when our values and instincts drive us to be of service to our communities, our hearts go out to everyone, and we hope that our empathetic museum principles provide inspiration for our work whenever possible. READ MORE >
Visitor-centered. Civic-minded. Diverse.
Inclusive. Welcoming. Responsive. Participatory.
The qualities of 21st century museums are impossible without an inner core of institutional empathy: the intention of the museum to be, and be perceived as, deeply connected with its community.
Assuming an empathetic institutional stance has little to do with sentimentality or inappropriate emotionalism. Instead, just as empathetic individuals must have a clear sense of their own identities in order to perceive and respond effectively to the experience of others, the empathetic museum must have a clear vision of its role as a public institution within its community. From this vision flow process and policy decisions about every aspect of the museum- audience, staffing, collections, exhibitions and programming, social media, emergency responses - all the ways in which a museum engages with its community(ies).
Institutional empathy must live at the core of our museum practice –exhibition and new media design; inclusive and diverse exhibition design and programming in terms of race, ethnicity, accessibility, and sexual orientation; immediate and effective responses to crises in the local community.
Updates & Publications
The Empathetic Museum:
A New Institutional Identity
A reflection on the trajectory of recent EDI trends and what comes next for museums and cultural institutions.
Now at Curator Journal
Or, contact us to request a copy
The Zeitgeist of Tyranny: What Should
Gretchen Jennings has written a new article over at Museum Commons, asking museums to think about themselves in the broader democracy, echoing,
"Do not obey in advance."
Professional Development Workshops:
Looking to spark concrete and actionable growth in your organization? Learn more about our workshops and contact us to schedule a conversation.
AVAILABLE IN SPANISH
Our Maturity Model rubric and Instructions are now available in Spanish! Thanks to our newest Empathetic Museum member Nayeli Zepeda, Art Historian and specialist in museum education, and Editor, Daniela Ekdesman. To download, please contact us using our webform.
Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2013)