MIDEA and NMC at MCN is a Win-Win

Austin Texas - Home of MCN 2010

Hello Mideans

Got to see a number of you last week in Austin at the MCN 2010 Annual Conference.   It was terrific to see members of the two organizations meeting and mingling.   There was a lot of energy, conversation, great ideas, and enthusiasm for all things museum-related going on at the Sheraton and the conversations didn’t stop once the doors to the presentation rooms were closed for the afternoon.  We continued our discussions while we walked, ate terrific bbq, gawked at the costumed-revelers on the streets of the city, and even managed to exchange a few ideas for new projects on the dance floor.  How fun is that!

Larry Johnson, CEO of the NMC. kicked events off for the conference as the Keynote.  His topic: “Generations.”  You can watch the keynote here.

MIDEA members Erin Gentry (Arthouse), Alexander Freeman (Artpace), Cassandra Smith (Austin Museum of Art), and Adam Rasmus (Ballet Austin) were on the dais with Rachel Varon to introduce the good work of MIDEA to a new audience.  I always love seeing what our members our working on and have to say that everyone did a terrific job showcasing his or her institution.  I was particularly struck with Adam Rasmus’ presentation of work done for the Ballet Austin.   I got so caught up in the story being told on the screen that I quite forgot I was in a conference session.   The video conversation with the choreographer for the ballet was compelling and so immediate that for a brief time I was absolutely convinced he was talking just to me.  The power of great media to engage the viewer never fails to amaze me.

Susan Marcus, of the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, took to the stage during the conference as well.  She was part of a session that also included funders from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Susan talked about the work of the Marcus Foundation in conjunction with NMC to fund the first Digital Education Project for Texas Art Museums (“The Texas Project”) and now MIDEA.  Imagine what the world of museums and art education would be like if there was a Marcus Foundation in every state?  That’s my dream.

And, last but not least, folks, MCN was the site for the official launch of the 2010 Horizon Report:  Museum Edition into the museum world.  Larry Johnson, and two the the Horizon Report Advisory Board members,  Nik Honeysett (J. Paul Getty Museum) and Nancy Proctor (Smithsonian) and yours truly discussed the report at a well-attended round-table session that included delegates from three continents.

All in all MCN 2010 was a win-win for everyone.  I’m glad I was able to be there, but wish you could all have been there too.  Keep up the good work MIDEA members.  Post your projects.  Share the wealth.  You transform the art education landscape on a daily basis.

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