The word museum may conjure an image of rooms filled with artwork or looming dinosaur skeletons, taxidermy or objects from cultures long gone. Museums have, traditionally, been places that collect, display and interpret the stuff of our society, the things we value for the information they hold, the way they make us feel or what they tell us about ourselves. Today, they are much more, providing places for people to gather, learn and even play.
Museums are also big business. Most cities boast to having at least one museum and many communities have anchored their economic development around a museum that can draw tourists. New museums are being built all over the world.
What does it say about us as a society that we value these institutions so highly? How can museums play even more central roles in their communities? Are museums nice places or essential places? For these and other issues related to museums today, tune in Fridays at 7 AM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Variety.
Carol Bossert loves the promise and potential of museums. She has spent her career working in and for these important cultural organizations that include traditional collection-based institutions as well as science centers, national parks, children’s museums and visitor centers. Since establishing her own museum consulting practice in 1998, Carol has worked with more than forty cultural institutions to help them develop exhibitions, programs and activities that engage audiences and transform communities. Her client list includes the Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, Great Lakes Science Center, International Spy Museum, North Carolina Museum of Natural History, and international clients in China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Carol is a planner, facilitator, writer and teacher. She holds a doctoral degree in biology and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Zoology from DePauw University. She is a graduate of the J. Paul Getty Museum Management Institute and has served professional organizations such as the American Alliance of Museums, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Visitor Studies Association and Museum Education Roundtable. She was a contributor to A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Careers, published in 2012 by the American Alliance of Museums. She is also a member of The Museum Group, an organization of senior professionals in museum practice.