Changing Nature of Collaboration

To quote Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changin”. Technology has become an integral part of our lives which in turn demands for content to be available in various digital forms. People are changing too. Many of us in the cultural heritage field are generalists by nature or necessity, and it’s becoming harder to define oneself as coming from a single discipline. As times, teams, and tools change, how are we changing the way we conceptualize projects within cultural institutions? Digital projects within museums have a multitude of moving parts, particularly as digital departments evolve from “service” departments to true partners in exhibitions and museum-wide initiatives. Teams are thinking about everything from design and development to curatorial and brand-related concerns. Individual team members often have skills outside their closely defined roles. By working interdisciplinarily, or even anti-disciplinarily, team members can further develop their own skills and contribute to an overall culture of collaborative construction throughout their organizations. In this forum, project managers, curators, developers and educators will come together to discuss an array of perspectives on effective collaboration and to reflect on the outcomes of several projects. What are the advantages of having everyone working on a project at the table from the very beginning? What about the disadvantages? And how does this affect a project’s budget and timeline? We’ll also be discussing the ways in which roles are evolving more broadly and how project teams change as a result, how to break down stereotypes around departmental roles, and how to balance the museum field’s mentality of “expertise” with the “everyone’s-an-expert” spirit of such projects. Participants will leave with tools that they can apply within their institutions to help improve communication among teams, understand and balance budget and timeline needs, and create a structure that will ultimately lead to project success. Speakers Session Leader : Tina Shah, Senior Web Applications Developer, The Art Institute of Chicago Co-Presenter : Ariel Pate, Assistant Curator of Photography, Milwaukee Art Museum Co-Presenter : Taylor Peterson, Media + Interactives Project Manager, The Field Museum, Chicago Co-Presenter : Shaelyn Amaio, Producer of Public Programs & Community Engagement, New York Transit Museum Co-Presenter : Kris Wetterlund, Director of Education and Interpretation, Corning Museum of Glass MCN2016 Presenting Sponsor: Piction New Orleans, LA