Sunday, November 28, 2010

Observational Blog 12: Co-Creating Projects

Nina Simon discusses co-creating projects with visitors and its benefits. Co-creative projects need to begin with the community. She gives three main reasons for communities to use co-creative projects, “To give voice and be responsive to the needs and interests of local community members. To provide a place for community engagement and dialogue. To help participants develop skills that will support their individual and community goals,” (263). Simon claims, “co-creative projects progress very similarly to collaborative projects, but they confer more power to participants,” (264). In the exhibition If Tired Hands Could Talk: Stories of Asian Pacific American Garment Workers featured at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, WA, used oral histories to compile the content. Exhibitions that focus on oral history can be very powerful and will also give the public the feeling of being a part of the museum. It can be easier to relate to since the content would be told in a more relaxed tone.
            Simon discussed the project team is composed of three groups, “A Core Advisory Committee of 12-15 community members with specific and diverse connections to the topic at hand, who lead the project development. Staff, who facilitate the process as technical advisors, project administrators, and community managers. More informally engaged community members, who participate as contributors and collaborators to the projects,” (266). The CAC will assist with creating personal views of information for the exhibition. The staff of the institution will assist with the planning and execution of the project and ensure that the community members feel they are participating in something worthwhile.
            Co-creative projects can generate a new kind of exhibition that involves the community in a different form than collaborative projects. It can produce a more personal experience and relate to the public in different ways. They can feel as if they were a part of something special as they see their words on the walls of the museum; although the same thing can be said of collaborative projects and other participatory activities.

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