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Nina Simon.

Museum Director Nina Simon on Inspiring Visitor Participation

On April 22, 2011, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage hosted a sold-out event with culture provocateur Nina Simon, author of The Participatory Museum and the mind behind the influential blog Museum 2.0. Simon conducted a discussion and interactive workshop with local arts and culture practitioners from the Philadelphia area, and shared her vision for the future of cultural institutions as personal, dynamic, and collaborative places for visitor engagement.

The self-described “stump speech” on the importance of audience participation in museum and exhibition spaces was Simon’s last before she went on to assume the role of executive director at the Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center in Santz Cruz, CA. She touched on the key themes and points from her book, The Participatory Museum, and she provided some examples of museums and visitor spaces where imaginations are running wild, thanks to audiences making connections with innovative spaces and exhibits. Simon’s short list of exemplary museums, institutions, and websites that integrate participatory experiences into their work included the Johnny Cash ProjectArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI, Human Library, the V&A World Beach Project, and One Million Giraffes.

Watch our exclusive videos of our April 2011 event below, posted in two parts: Simon’s “Inspiring Visitor Participation” presentation and a follow-up Q&A session with audience members and online viewers.

Nina Simon's "Inspiring Visitor Participation" presentation, filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on April 22, 2011.

Nina Simon's audience Q&A session, filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on April 22, 2011.

Download Simon’s PowerPoint presentation from our April 22, 2011 event (PDF) >