Public Perspectives is on my brain. This is an exhibit series for which we issue an annual call to Brooklynites – anyone in Brooklyn with an idea for an exhibit can apply. Then three proposals are selected by a group of cultural experts from the community. BHS works with the recipients to develop their ideas into an exhibit that’s on view at BHS for four months.
It’s an amazing experience for me to step back from what I do and help someone else through the process. I think it’s cool for members of the public to get a better idea of all that goes into making an exhibit – it’s a lot of work! A lot of fun, but also a lot of work. For example, when you write exhibit text it has to be short and concise – usually only 250 words for a label. That’s not very much. Less than this post!
We are accepting proposals for the next season RIGHT NOW. The deadline is May 15 and here’s the application. Get creative! And spread the word.
I’ve also been gearing up to give a presentation about Public Perspectives at the American Association of Museum’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Thursday. My colleague Kate Fermoile and I organized a panel called ‘Community-Curated Exhibit Programs: Activating Public Voice and Audience Outreach.’ We’ll be talking about our experience developing Public Perspectives over the past few years with colleagues from the Detroit Historical Society, where they also have a community gallery, and the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, which has for a long time held the philosophy that community input is integral to creating an exhibit.
The next Public Perspectives show at BHS is Living and Learning: Chinese Immigration, Restriction & Community in Brooklyn, 1850 – Present, curated by Andy Urban, a PhD candidate in History. The opening reception is next week, Thursday, May 7, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Come check it out!