Collection of museum directors hits Philly

    Thousands of museum directors at the annual American Association of Museums conference are looking for ways to be more vital to their communities.

    Leaders of the nation’s museums have gathered in Philadelphia to discuss ways to keep their cultural institutions financially afloat in an economic downturn. Thousands of museum directors at the annual American Association of Museums conference are looking for ways to be more vital to their communities. From WHYY’s Arts and Culture desk, Peter Crimmins says the buzzword is “collaboration”.

    Listen:

    [audio: 090430pcmuseum.mp3]

    In Cleveland, Ohio, three museums share costs and resources as the Cleveland Cultural Collaborative. In Sheboygan, New York, the school district operates the local museum on a time-share basis. Ted Silberberg is a museum financial consultant. He says that for museums to survive the recession they must not compromise their missions, but they must be flexible.

    Silberberg: It’s quite positive in many cases that museums are being forced to look at what are the kinds of strategies we can employ to attract people that normally don’t attend my kind of museum.

    Because many museum endowments and corporate donation have been hurt by the recession, museum directors are focusing ticket sales. The conference also has several sessions about using electronic social networking media to build patronage.

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