Coast to Coast Creativity


We’re only part-way through 2015 and we’ve already had great creative practice workshops and conversations all over the US.  In March, Linda led workshops with the Maryland Association of History Museums and Historic Londontown and Gardens.  In May, both Rainey and Linda headed west to San Francisco to facilitate workshops with the John F. Kennedy University Museum Studies Program and the interpretive team at the Asian Art Museum.  In June, Rainey keynoted the Connecticut League of History Organizations annual conference, integrating creative practice and material culture.  Also that month, Linda led off the 2015 webinar series for the Creative Learning Factory of the Ohio Historical Society.

Upcoming, you’ll find Linda speaking at the Small Museum lunch at AASLH in Louisville, KY and both of us returning to the topic of objects and emotions, at the New England Museum Association conference in Portland, Maine.

Interested in a workshop for your museum or organization?  Contact us to learn more.

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Musical Incubations, Fantastic Failures and More!


We had a great time with the New England Museum Association’s Young and Emerging Professionals group at the USS Constitution Museum in early June.  We never want to do just a plain old booksigning, so we brainstormed activities that we hoped were both fun and engaged participants in some creative thinking of their own.  Rainey led off with the Speed Networking/Creative Steps Danceoff, which sparked such great paired conversations.  We followed up with the Failure Olympics, where small teams created their Failure Nation flags (crumpled paper?  just the flagpole?) and shared their biggest museum fails and lessons learned.  From each small Failure Nation, the winners took center stage to share those great stories–the winner?  A great story about dead ants, ant farm maintenance and an exhibit opening.   Lesson learned?  Don’t be shy and ask for help!  Thanks to everyone who came out on a cold rainy night,  to the USS Constitution staff for hosting us, and for the YEP and NEMA teams for making it all happen!


Engage with Us & the Creative Museums Movement

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Over the past few months we’ve been thrilled with the response to Creativity in Museum Practice. The most heartening part is that museum professionals are telling us it’s already making a difference: they’re boosting or renewing their own creative practices, talking to co-workers about creativity, and taking steps forward in their work. We love talking to colleagues about creativity–hearing your stories, answering your questions, strategizing your creative challenges–because our goal all along was not just to write a book and call it a day, but to start a creative museums movement that would spread throughout the field. So with that in mind, here are a few upcoming opportunities to engage with us and with creative museum practice:

If you’re attending the American Alliance of Museums conference in Seattle May 18-21, 2014, please join us for one (or both) of our creativity events:

  1. We’re holding an informal creativity meet-up in the skybridge between the two halves of the Museum Expo (Level 4 of the Washington State Convention Center) from 4:00 to 5:00 on Monday, May 19. We’ll have creativity tattoos, art supplies to trick out your name badge, and fresh pressed juices from Evolution Fresh. Bring your creativity questions and meet other colleagues working to build creative museums.
  2. We’re signing books in the conference bookstore (Level 6, Washington State Convention Center) from 3:00 to 5:00 on Tuesday, May 20. Bring your own copy or buy one from the bookstore.

For folks in the Boston area, we’ll be holding a workshop and book signing, sponsored by the Boston Emerging Museum Professionals, at the USS Constitution Museum from 6:00 to 8:00 on Thursday, June 5, 2014. This event is a twofer: Anne Ackerson, co-author (with Joan Baldwin) of the recent Leadership Matters, will also be there signing books and talking museum leadership. Creativity + Leadership = Creative Leadership–what could be better?

If you can’t attend any of these events, have no fear: we’ve got a couple of new online resources to help you engage:

  1. Colleagues from across the country joined us on April 30 for a lunchtime webinar sponsored by the New England Museum Association. We were blown away by the level of interest and discussion–it was NEMA’s highest webinar participation to date. You can replay the hour-long webinar here.
  2. On April 4 Linda spoke about creative practice with Carol Bossert on her radio show The Museum Life. You can listen to the hour-long interview here.

Every day, you inspire us. Together we can build a creative museum field.


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Meet the Authors and Book Signing

In New York State’s Capital District?  Come join, Rainey, Linda and 2 other great authors for an evening of conversation and networking.  You’ll find:

  • 2 great new books about museums for museum staff and board members
  • 4 thoughtful, curious and insightful authors
  • 1 fun evening seeing old friends and making new ones!
  • Creativity in Museum Practice by Linda Norris and Rainey Tisdale
  • Leadership Matters by Anne W. Ackerson and Joan H. Baldwin
  • and your very own creativity tattoo!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 5 – 7 pm

Rensselaer County Historical Society/57 Second Street/Troy, New York

-7Just a few photos from our book signing at the 2013 NEMA Conference in Newport, Rhode Island on November 14.  Great appreciation to all who came out to join us.  Photos by Liz Holbrook–thanks Liz!


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