We got the chance to head down to Oaxaca, Mexico a couple weeks ago for the Conference of the Americas: Reimagining the Museum. Alongside our friends from the Kansas City Museum, Anna Marie Tutera (Executive Director) and Paul Gutierrez (Program Director) pictured below, there was a lot of good food and good takeaways from the conference.
A big focus of the three day event was coexistence. With people of diverse social, political, and cultural origins, how can museums help enhance our society? For the Kansas City Museum the goal is to give visitors the chance to experience Kansas City’s past, present, and future.
A few topics of conversation were:
- How today’s museum and cultural institutions are fostering greater social cohesion and social needs within different cultural contexts.
- The changing role of the museum from “Talking to Themselves” to “Exhibits that do not have answers but questions.”
- On the museum’s role of tourism, do museums that adopt to the needs and demands of tourism put the collections and traditions of the culture they exhibit at risk? Can they co-exist?
Learning more about how museums can be leaders in communities to promote a more conscientious society that embraces culture, collaboration, and respect has helped our team build on the Kansas City Museum mission – “to preserve, interpret, and celebrate Kansas City” and to be a hub for engagement.
It was a great experience traveling to Oaxaca which is such an incredible place in Mexico. The diversity of indigenous languages, practices and traditions, music, arts, and customs in the region served as a great backdrop for the conference. With the re-opening of the Kansas City Museum slated for 2021, we’re so excited to take what we’ve learned and implement it into our design process.