by • 20 Feb, 2011 • Thoughts about museumsComments (4)10163

What industry are you in?

What industry are you in?

This is a question and a thought experiment. Which category do you pick, working on new media, participation, communication, etcetera, etcetera, in a museum, when the wild card “other” is omitted? I’m sure the answer says something about how we perceive the role of a museum in society.

Considering the options in the example above, I disagree with the obvious “Nonprofit” choice. Museums with hundreds of millions in assets may not be after profit, but they’re a long way from the struggling charity applying for this label as well. Also, I believe, we’re about adding value to the lives of many, which in a way is very much about profit.

I’m definitely not into banking or automotive or medicine between nine and five. There’re enough people I know, however, who work in museums and dedicate their time to finance, law and retail. That’s more about profession, though, not about industry.

So in what industry is a museum? Education, certainly. Art/Architecture/Design, occasionally. Government, too often, unfortunately. More than anything, though, the museum of the future is Media/Entertainment, I believe. Media to reach people with our stories and entertainment to engage them. The industry of imagination and inspiration. Of begeisterung and participation. That’s the industry I’m in, most of the time.

What do you usually pick? And why?

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  • I’m always stumped by this question yet I’ve never thought to choose Media/Entertainment. It makes sense though considering our need to engage a different, larger, more diverse audience. In the past I’ve been very literal about answering so usually end up with nonprofit, education, art/design depending on why I’m completing a form but no more – you’ve convinced me to embrace Media/Entertainment (or similar) to indicate that museums are 21st century and alive. Thanks

  • Daud

    I think I’d go for education- considering that’s my department. Also I think think the goal of our museum is to use media/entertainment to educate.

    So am I saying entertainment is just a means to an end and that the end is education? No, I think fun is actually just learning in disguise.

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  • Mike Warren

    I’m in a Real Estate Industry and I can share some thoughts to those who want to develop their knowledge about this industry. Edutainment