Calling all experimenters! Calling all educators (in museums, classrooms, colleges)! Are you tired of the same old, same old? Interested in playing outside of your comfort zone? If you are headed to New Orleans for the National Art Education Association or based in New Orleans — and looking for a fresh, fun, experimental way to connect with art and with other educators — we’re mashing it up at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on the evening of Thursday, March 26th.
WHEN: Thursday, March 26th – experimenters gather at 6:00pm, everyone else gathers at 7:00pm
WHERE: Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp Street, New Orleans — gathering on 5th Floor at both times.
Join us and throwdown your experimental best with students, colleagues, and members of the NOLA community. We’re opening it up to everyone – you don’t have to be a museum educator or an NAEA attendee. Fan of the Ogden? Casual museum-goer? K-12 art teacher or college faculty? Person who’s just curious? Join us in shining new light on selected objects in the collection, and connecting with other educators interested in collectively pushing our teaching practices.
We’re doing this because we fall into safe patterns in our lives. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Why change our teaching style and methodologies if they are ‘working’? Unfortunately, playing it safe also leads to stagnancy. So let’s shake up the museum experience, throwdown style. Bring your best, but also walk away with fresh ideas and perspectives.
We want to think together and outside of our comfort zones. Try something that scares you and work with someone you’ve never worked with before. That night, interested educators are invited to meet up at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art at 6:00pm, at which time we’ll create small teaching groups, get randomized object assignments, and receive prompts to rapidly prototype short experiences with these objects. Each group will get 45 minutes to plan a 5-7 minute experience to share with a public audience that night. Starting at 7:00pm on the 5th Floor, each group will share their 5-7 minute experience with their assigned object in the galleries — inviting NAEA attendees, educators, students, museum visitors, and the NOLA community to participate in this rapid succession of arts experiences.
After we make our way through this series of in-gallery experiments, we invite colleagues to grab dinner afterwards to reflect on our experiences together, new connections, and burning questions. There are several great restaurants within a short walking distance of the Ogden (and we can make some recommendations the night of, if people are interested).
How Can You Be Involved?
AS AN EXPERIMENTER:
If you are interested in being a risk-taker, and being a part of one of the small groups that tackles this challenge, please contact Jen Oleniczak at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of March 26th. We want to hear from you before we all get to New Orleans! We’ll all need to be at the Ogden (5th Floor) at 6pm to form teams and begin the challenge.
AS A PARTICIPANT:
If you’re not quite up for experimenting yourself but want to be a part of these experiences, everyone is welcome to gather at the Ogden (5th Floor) at 7pm. We’re also excited to be opening these experiences to the larger Ogden audience that evening. Please share this event with everyone, including educators from outside the Museum Division of NAEA.
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Will every experience work be a success? Probably not, but we’re not trying to creating the perfect program – we’re trying to push our comfort zones and our ideas of how to approach museum objects. When we constantly try not to fail, we never succeed. And, as educators, its important for us to designate safe spaces for risk-taking and experimentation in museum teaching.
So let’s throw it down New-Orleans-style and see what happens!
Jen Oleniczak, The Engaging Educator
Rachel Ropeik, Brooklyn Museum
Deborah Randolph, Southeast Center for Contemporary Art
Ellen Balkin, Ogden Museum of Southern Art
Mike Murawski, Portland Art Museum