Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Extended Team Meeting - 09/29/10

Amazing number of people involved with making sure that MM @ CCM is a great success: Exhibit Developer, Project Manager, Education/Community Developer, Designer, Exhibits & Design VP, Visitor Advocate, Lead Preparator, Individual Giving VP, Individual GIving Manager, Marketing VP, Preparator VP, President/CEO CCM, and yours truly the creator/ curator/ collection expert. Probably there are more people who will join the team when needed and of course there are all of the people who help, on a day to day basis, make the museum to be a wonderful place for children.

We had been talking about MM@CCM opening sometime in April but now it looks like it will be closer to May (and may change again.) Better to have enough time to go through the architectural type phases of 1) Concept Design, 2) Schematic Design, 3) Design Development, and 4) Fabrication and Installation. Other things being worked out parallel to these include development (which I have learned means fund raising,) public relations, marketing, publicity, material preparation, etc.

At todays meeting each person brought and/or talked about a small object that is/was important in their life. We will start off each meeting in this way. We reviewed the scope of the MM@CCM project, team norms and expectations for working together, and the CCM exhibit development process.

The meeting ended with reflections on why we value "little things," the difference between "little things" and miniatures, the nature of collecting, what "small" means in the life of a child, and other ideas that are now on the "Team Table" to help with the process we are going through. 

The group has homework for our meeting next week. We are to think about and draft some "BIG IDEA" statements which are one sentence statements (no more than 25 words) that sum up the idea behind and purpose of the exhibit.

Just because I can't help but nurture, each participant received a laminated MM book mark (with a tassel of glow in the dark beads) and we had mini chocolate chip and mini oatmeal raisin cookies along with M&M Peanuts. Does the M&M stand for Michael's Museum? We'll see.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Extended Team Meeting Kick Off

The next meeting of MM@CCM is scheduled for Wednesday, September 29. Joining this meeting of the team will be a person from Visitor Relations, Public Relations, Marketing, and Development (fund raising.) I am bringing bowls of M&M Peanut, mini-chocolate chip cookies, and mini-oatmeal raisin cookies as well as a "Welcome Gift." You'll find out more about the gift next BLOG.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Meeting

Today was the first Core Team meeting of the "Michael's Museum at The Chicago Children's Museum Project." Attendees included: Exhibit Developer: Katie S., Project Manager: Michele B., Education Developer: Natalie B., Designer: Jenny S., Exhibits & Design Res: Lousie B., and yours truly Content Expert/Curator: Michael H.

We started the meeting by each sharing a favorite childhood memory or small object which included: a small round green wooden box that contained a hollowed out bead with a carved ivory elephant inside (no larger than ¼ inch;) a plastic case of colored pencils, sharpener, and eraser (no larger than a credit card and maybe ⅛ inch thick;) a silver link charm bracelet (no larger than 2" in diameter to fit the arm of a young child and which had a companion bracelet that her mother wore;) a magic genie type pitcher with its invisible occupant; Guatemalan worry dolls, a collection of beach glass and a polished fossil stone; and a fifty year old, hand carved wooden horse with it's equally old companion horse, on loan from the collection of The Ragdale Foundation.

First, each team member explained their role on the team, next was a discussion of our understanding of the scope of the MM@CCM project, then an explanation of CCM's exhibit development process and finally a look at the "Hopes & Desires" for MM@CCM. A time line was developed for concept design, schematic design, design development, and exhibit fabrication.

Next week we look forward to the kickoff meeting with the Full Team which will also include the addition of a: Visitor Advocate, Preparator, Marketing Representative and Development Person.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MEXICO: Festival of Toys

Yesterday I had the honor of attending the opening day celebrations for the MEXICO: Festival of Toys exhibit at The Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier. What seemed like several hundred dignitaries, museum staff, board members, media people, and friends of the museum were in attendance. A light breakfast of juice, coffee, and Mexican Pan Dulces was served.

The exhibit itself is overwhelmingly beautiful and engaging. From the Papel Picada (colorful laced flags) hanging in the museum entry area to the colorful ribbons fluttering above your head in the Great Hall, the over 600 toys of all varieties, shapes, and sizes invite you in to play and to learn about the Mexican culture. 

The children and the child in each of us can revel in the creativity of the toys on display. The interactive adventures created to compliment the exhibit allow one to explore, and create. All add up to a well spent afternoon (or morning) experience.

Children's toys present a universal language of a culture. They are used not only for amusement but also to teach and to explain. Toys enable a culture to preserve its past while looking to the future. Don't miss this exhibit … even if you think your children (or you) are too old to play again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It Begins

Dear Michael's Museum Mates,

It begins. The first meeting for Michael's Museum at The Chicago Children's Museum (MM@CCM) takes place on September 20, 2010.

A day or two later, you can look for a report of what took place at this meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to set the paremeters of the project, meet team members, define roles, as well as potential strategies to develop and design this experience.

A regular meeting schedule will be established at this meeting.