a new punk.

Posted on May 17, 2019


A couple of weeks ago, I put out a call for a collaborator, co-host and co-producer for Museopunks, the podcast for the progressive museum. I was overwhelmed by how many people reached out to find out more and put themselves forward. I had in-person or phone calls with nine potential collaborators, who ranged from people I knew very well to strangers with impressive or intriguing backgrounds within the sector.

Through those discussions, a few things became clear:

  • Museopunks has become more than a podcast for me. It is how my professional identity expresses itself. It is my professional practice. The potential collaborators who stood out where the ones who understood that innately.
  • Museopunks is vehicle for discussing boundary-pushing work in museums with an intersectional approach and nuanced focus. But because Museopunks tackles wide-ranging topics, the best collaborator was not necessarily someone with deep knowledge around a single aspect of progressive museum practice, but broad curiosity about museums, their place in the world, and their institutional practices.
  • Since my collaborator will help shape the show, I wanted someone who was aware of the important issues in the sector and who has vision for ways that we can approach them in a “museopunks” way. I had one conversation with a potential collaborator who had great vision, but whose approach to storytelling was so different from my own that it felt like we were talking about a different show. Although collaboration will change the show by necessity, it was critical that my collaborator shared my vision of the work itself.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have, indeed, found a new Punk to join the show: Ed Rodley, Director of Integrated Media at the Peabody Essex Museum. Ed and I have worked together on a number of project over the years, including CODE|WORDSHumanizing the Digital and the MCN2015 Conference. He is one of the smartest museum thinkers I know, and I never stop learning from him. As a bonus, we just finished working on a Museopunks episode together (recorded before I started looking for a collaborator, but probably part of the inspiration for doing so).

Although I’ve (perhaps unsurprisingly) ended up with a collaborator whom I know well, and have worked with for years, this process was a wonderful, generative one and has encouraged me to think more creatively about other ways that Museopunks might be able to explore other forms of collaboration, such as having regular guests and correspondents-from-the-field. While I do not know exactly what form that will take, the next few months will include some behind-the-scenes discussion, exploration and experimentation, as we look at the longer term impact of these discussions. I hope that many of the people I connected with in the last few weeks may be part of the future of the show.

Thank you to everyone who reached out, or who forwarded my post to friends and colleagues with recommendations for connection. It was wonderful to get better acquainted with listeners, colleagues from the sector, and potential collaborators. We have a sector filled with brilliant people, y’all. 

And Ed… welcome to the show! 

Posted in: Museopunks