Friday, 13 April 2018

THE NEXT GREAT ADVENTURE: TIME TO SAY GOODBYE

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

BY: SERENA YPELAAR

Well, this is it ... this week our #MMSt2018 cohort finished our coursework for the Master of Museum Studies! I'm so proud of my colleagues for all the amazing things we've accomplished together these last two years!

Of course, graduating from the iSchool means leaving the position of Editor-in-Chief. It's been a whirlwind year of growth, learning, and community, and I'm having a hard time writing this post as I know it will be my last for Musings.

I really, really don't! Source.
Having had the privilege of being your Editor-in-Chief this past year, I want to express how grateful I am for this invigorating role. Every week brought a new challenge, but I can readily say that each one taught me so much about leadership, the museum world, and the importance of working together to make good things happen.

Some of the lovely Musings team members at the Holiday Party!
From left (r): Emily Welsh, Julia Zungri, Kristen McLaughlin, Katlyn Wooder, Kathleen Lew, Amy Intrator;
(f): Jennifer Lee, Leore Zecharia, Sadie MacDonald, and yours truly. Photo courtesy of Serena Ypelaar.

When I stepped into the Editor-in-Chief position last April, I sought to enrich our digital presence through social media and facilitate more inclusive conversations by tackling challenging and underrepresented topics. We looked at how we commemorate individuals and events, especially difficult legacies. We looked at environmental sustainability and the future of museums. How can - and more importantly, how should - we do things differently?

We have the power to change the direction of museums and public dialogue through our work. Source.
There are so many directions we can take museums, as long as we don't overlook the possibilities. This week I've been listening to Hamilton band Arkells' new political anthem, "People's Champ", and I realized the lyrics sum up some of the themes we've tried to confront this year on the blog: You've got no vision for the long run / You've got no sense of history / You've got the world at your fingertips ... I'm looking for the people's champ! 

It hit me: museums can be the "people's champ".

We've learned that museums aren't neutral spaces. If we look back at what they've done in the past, what they're doing now, and what we can do going forward (which we've examined in our program and on this blog), we can actively initiate a more inclusive future in which museums truly serve their diverse and rich communities.

Talking about digital relevance with the Musings Panel at the 2018 iSchool Conference! Photos courtesy of Kathleen Vahey & Nicholas Ypelaar.
With their ideas, conviction, and professionalism, Musings' Contributing Editors have consistently impressed me from day one. I'm so grateful to have worked with such fantastic writers. Thank you all for the excellent content you've produced and for the discussions you've generated. It was a dream come true working with you and I can't wait to see what you do next!

A special thank you to Musings Administrator Amy Intrator for your positive attitude, enthusiasm and dedication. You're amazing and I couldn't have done any of this without you! Amy will join fellow writer Kathleen Lew to lead the blog as Co-Editors. Congratulations to you both! You are assets to the team and I know Musings is in good hands.

The wonderful Contributing Editors found me the perfect card...
Photo courtesy of Serena Ypelaar.
To our Museum Studies professors in the Faculty of Information - thank you for all your positive encouragement and support. We've learned so much from you, and your wisdom has helped us make the blog a thoughtful and engaging professional platform for museum-related discussion.

Best of luck to all my colleagues who are graduating this year, as well as those about to embark on their summer internships! I've loved being a part of the MMSt community and I know everyone will do great things.

Finally, to you, the readers - thank you for reading and for joining the conversation! The Musings community thrives thanks to you. Even though I'm leaving now, I can't wait to visit the blog in the future and see what Musings talks about next.

I had to, okay? Source.

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