I am the new director of a The World Kite Museum in Long Beach, WA. We are a small museum with a very specific focus: to educate the public about the science, art, history, and culture of kite flying. It may seem that the topic of kites is a rather specific niche, a narrow focus on paper, but what truly excites me as a museum professional is the possibilities for interdisciplinary educational programming based on this topic. Studying and educating about kites offers the opportunity to discuss aerodynamics, fashion, Asian arts and culture, photography, sports, nautical engineering, and physics just as an example of the diversity of content available to mine for exhibit and program development. It is going to be a long, exciting journey to bring this museum up to date with current educational theory, exhibit displays, interactive elements, and digital presence, but I believe I am up to the job.
I am a graduate of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Master of Arts program for museum studies. In my studies I focused on museum education and exhibit development. I bring to the world of Kite my ability to understand the intrinsic needs of a nascent museum organization, my creative problem solving ability, and a tenacious passion for educating the public in informal learning environments. What I am hoping to achieve by creating this blog and a variety of digital media outlets for WKM is encouraging the public to help this museum grow into a destination that meets the needs of both the local community and the larger audience of the Pacific Northwest. I think creating a dialog about what we’re doing, how we are tackling the topic of building a museum into a sustainable business model is worth sharing in a public forum. I hope the digital community will respond with a rallying cry of “I have an opinion about that!” So I encourage you all to help us to learn, grow, and soar to new heights.