Category Archives: Uncategorized

And the adventure begins…

Tomorrow, I’m off to Los Angeles for the 2010 American Association of Museums Annual Meeting! This experience is available to me thanks to a generous award from AAM, the Emerging Museum Professionals Fellowship, a conference travel grant from the Art and Administration program and the Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy at the University of Oregon, as well as graduation gifts from my always supportive family. I will blog and post pictures while I am at the conference and leave messages on my Twitter @mjfreelance. Comment if you’re going to be at the conference and we can meet up! L.A. sunshine, here I come!


Starting the New Year with a Look Back at the News of 2009

Instead of trying to put together my own overview of 2009, I leave it to those much more capable of doing so to document the news of exhibits, art, and museums from across the U.S. for 2009 as we look forward to this new year. While you still have some vacation time, take a look at the links below!

I personally look forward to featuring more emerging arts leaders on MJ Writes, as I did last year when I posted a fascinating Q & A with Colleen Dilenschneider. I hope to bring you more musings on the museum industry, especially as I delve into it head first after graduation in May. I am especially excited to attend the American Association of Museum’s Annual Meeting in Los Angeles this spring, and can’t wait to learn and network and emerge myself in all things museum-y. I encourage you to follow me on Twitter @mjfreelance, and email me at mjwritesblog (at) with comments, information, or just to say hello!

Notable Museum Shows in 2009 (WSJ)

Portrait of a Challenging Year for Museums (WSJ)

Year End Museum Wrap-Up for Cincinnati
(City Beat)

Best Art in 2009 Rooted in the Past
(Wicked Local)

Review of Arts in 2009 on Culture Monster
(LA Times)

Museum Future Predictions
(New Curator’s reflection on CFM’s post below)

Reflecting on the Future Museum
(AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums)

Happy Holidays from MJ Writes!

Between finals, traveling to Arizona for the holidays, and catching up with family and friends, my poor little blog has been woefully neglected. So I’m going to postpone my next post until school begins again January 5. I will see you all then, and will have more profiles of emerging arts leaders, more musings about the museum world, and general ramblings about my thesis research, job searches, and new venture developing an understanding of my other passion: wine.

Have a lovely time with your loved ones and see you in the blogosphere in 2010!

Join the MJ Writes Facebook Group! (I know I’m a little behind the curve…)

We’re all busy people, and I sure as heck check my Facebook more often on a daily basis than I do most of the blogs I read. This is the logic behind launching the official MJ Writes Facebook Group. Through the group, I can quickly spread the word about exciting, upcoming events, new posts on MJ Writes, favorite links, blogs, news stories, and the like, and these updates will conveniently show up on Facebook! As a group member, you have the opportunity to share museum-y and artsy links as well, allowing more voices to be heard (I get a little tired of reading my own stuff). If you are a Facebook junky like me, join the MJ Writes Facebook Group!


The Path to Success in the Museum World: Finding the Story

Colleen Dilenschneider of the blog, Know Your Own Bone, just wrote a fantastic post about an informal survey she conducted on the academic backgrounds of 17 top museum directors in the states. Take a read by clicking here! Her conclusion? There isn’t one path to success–at least not in the museum world, and at least not in terms of a specific graduate degree. What struck me the most after reading her article is that knowing business and knowing art are extremely important if you want to achieve top management at a museum, as if this was not already obvious. However, what has really propelled these individuals into positions of leadership are not their qualifications–the Ph.D. behind their name or the thesis they wrote on 19th century art–but their relationship-building skills.

Over the summer, I worked in a Development Department at a major regional art museum and one of the main points I took away from that experience was the fact that most museum directors are terrific at raising money, and that development work is first and foremost about learning to listen to people, finding a story, and making a connection. Degrees and universities vary, but the mark of a true museum leader is their ability to find the story, to locate the uniqueness in every situation and in each person they work with or who they meet. Infusing a situation with genuine interest more often than not results in the other person returning the gesture and wanting to build a relationship further with that leader and their institution. This is something for all of us who are aspiring or current museum leaders to keep in the forefront of our practice. Thank you for another great post, Colleen!

Emerging arts leaders! Join the conversation at the Salon.

Emerging Leaders Network of Americans for the Arts and the 20UNDER40 anthology is hosting the Emerging Leaders Salon on ARTSblog. The Salon started today and will continue through October 23. Head over now to make your voice heard! Click here to make the jump.

Hello all you lovely readers!!

I’m back, back, back in action! Between finishing up my summer internship in Portland, visiting family in the Midwest, moving back to begin my second year of graduate school, and beginning a new job, plus (gasp!) being without Internet for three or more weeks, I have finally come back to MJ Writes. I will begin posting next Monday, so be sure to check back after the weekend. See you soon in the arts and museum blogosphere!