Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 | matterap
At the Tenement Museum, we present the history of immigration to New York’s Lower East Side with the stated intention of using history as a tool to address contemporary issues surrounding immigration. This mirrors the theory presented in The Presence of the Past that people look to history, or the past, for guidance in their daily lives and decision-making. I find that visitors often get mired down in the powerful history at our site, begin romanticizing the past and fail to make a connection to the experience of contemporary immigrants or how this often polarizing policy issue is so extraordinarily relevant. Can social media become an agent by which the museum fully realizes all aspects of its mission? Can social media create and extend the museum as a safe space for dialogue and reflection about the complexities of contemporary immigration or other pressing social topics? As manager of our young professionals group, I am especially interested in discussing how this demographic might be more meaningfully engaged in this and other conversations.
Items for discussion:
Intersection of social media and social missions
Addressing controversial and political issues such as immigration in a neutral space
Creating a safe, complementary space where visitors can continue their exploration of issues addressed at the museum (including calls to action)
Engaging young professionals and encouraging dialogue and involvement – does this lead to membership initiative, fundraising, etc?
Challenges and obstacles to employing this framework