Defining Open Authority in the Museum Time Saturday 23rd November 11:15am to 12:45pm Place Soprano A, Hyatt Regency Montreal Lori Byrd Phillips @LoriLeeByrd Digital Content Coordinator, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Elizabeth Bollwerk @ebollwer University of Virginia; Burke Museum of Science and Culture Edward Rodley @erodley Associate Director of Integrated Media, Peabody Essex Museum Jeffrey Inscho @StaticMade Web & Digital Media Manager, Carnegie Museum of Art Porchia Moore University of South Carolina In recent years, the idea that the museum experience can become an active partnership between the institution and its visitors has become nuanced. Developments in the realm of accessibility have dovetailed with the concept of co-creation, whereby collaborative online communities, the open source movement, and other organic communication platforms have inspired a reexamination of authority within the museum. This new form of "open authority" aims to combine the expertise of cultural professionals with the insights and contributions of diverse audiences. The open museum blurs the boundaries between online and on-site environments, empowering museums to be more responsive to community needs and interests. It sees the visitor as a collaborator and active contributor in creating and interpreting content, and the curator as an engaged, expert facilitator. Through creative collaboration, active partnerships, and mutual trust, open authority creates unique, dynamic, and compelling museum experiences. The panel will include leading thinkers about this developing model for museum authority, which is not so very new after all. They will discuss the theory and framework of open authority, along with challenges and successes in the broader effort for institutional change. The roles of diverse perspectives and community collaboration will be addressed, including examples. There will be time for questions after each presenter, and at the end to discuss emerging themes.