I enjoy creative writing exercises, and specifically, when these exercises help me answer questions about why my community should go back to the museum. This is my some-what philosophical answer to: what is a museum?
Museums thrive on story. A museum provides narrative for an array of sojourner. An unexpected provocative question introduces a guest and allows the guest to ask for more. Museums visually capture the casual visitor, audibly attract their emotions, and academically improve the vernacular of avid learners. The atmosphere of a museum demonstrates exponential creativity in education. Great museums are not the expected.
Exhibitions are more then showcases, they answer the “So what?” questions that mavens are eager to express. The artistic, historical, scientific, and cultural experience becomes the story; a parable that greets the museum visitor where they are, and illustrates the many directions they can go. The combination of scholarship and showmanship is an experimental relationship that develops effective experiences. The public desires a journey. They crave symbolism when they approach artifacts. An effective story moves the museum guests through change because it is change that defines the human experience, and it is change that one hopes to evolve within the visitor. This I believe, that a museum is an opportunity resting on the shoulders of its story, a narrative that engages the audience, as well as its storyteller.