Activating exUrbanScreens: Applying Curatorial Design toward Affective Experience in Civic Media Spectacles

Abstract. As the character of aesthetic experience becomes more complex and multi-faceted, exhibitions become interfaces that actively mediate between physical and invisible realities. Challenging more conventional forms of exhibition-making, this situation becomes exaggerated when producing affective exhibition experiences in non-conventional event-structures and site-specific contexts. This article explores how digital mediation and spatial practice can be productively […]

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Intentional Civility

Abstract. The meaning of civility is culturally dependent—as are the rules associated with the term. If museums and their staff want to welcome all peoples, then the rules of civil behavior have to change to reflect that intention. Yet museums have mostly lived with the traditional, class-dependent notion of etiquette. The area that the concept of civility […]

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Cultivating Connectivity: Folklife and Inclusive Excellence in Museums

Abstract. Today there is a growing global awareness of the need to address issues related to the safeguarding and use of both tangible and intangible heritage. By engaging with communities in the documentation of local cultures—especially their folklife, or in other words, their traditional intangible cultural heritage—museums can create collections that will serve as foundations for […]

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aking Meaning on the Mall: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival as a Constructivist Museum

Abstract. George Hein, museum education theorist, asserts that there are five qualities a “constructivist exhibition” must have (1998, 35). The authors, assembling observations of visitor engagement and qualitative data from the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, compare the event to Hein’s constructivist exhibition criteria, to assess whether the Festival allowed visitors to “make meaning,” and to see whether […]

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The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Cultural Heritage Policy in Colombia: A Case Study

Abstract. As Colombia began to develop its Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) policy, it signed an agreement with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to collaborate on a Smithsonian Folklife Festival of Colombia’s national living traditions, to be shown on the National Mall in 2011. This essay addresses the role of the Smithsonian Folklife Center […]

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