Being a museum professional has its ups and downs, but there are few in the field who would rather be somewhere else. Rarely does one find someone as passionate about their chosen career than those who work in museums. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we decided to share some of the things that we love about museums.
Spirit of Collaboration
While the spirit of competition is alive and well amongst museums, it is often outshone by the spirit of collaboration. There are a litany of museum-based organizations that bring together the best and brightest from a variety of institutions, and a seemingly endless line of professional development opportunities. Beyond that, it isn’t unheard of for local museums to collaborate on larger projects, like the Philadelphia Science Festival and Science on Tap, or to share ideas and inspirations.
A Culture of Creativity
One of the best parts of working in museums is the opportunity to be creative. Whereas in a classroom setting an educator may be bound to books or tests, a museum educator can explore a topic in more dynamic ways. Instead of a diagram of blood flow, visitors can walk through a giant heart at the Franklin Institute. A math worksheet is replaced by a kid-sized supermarket and cash register at Please Touch Museum. A textbook photo of a dinosaur is blown away by a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex at the entrance to the Academy of Natural Sciences. Museums have the freedom to be creative and add onto the everyday education of their visitors.
Let’s be honest, one of our favorite things about working in a museum is getting into museums for free. Often times, your museum ID grants you reciprocal admission to a number of other museums, and if not, the camaraderie amongst museum professionals tends to help.
Most organizations in your vicinity will allow you to peruse their galleries free of charge, and should you work for a museum that belongs to an international organization such as ASTC, there are museums all over the globe who will welcome you without admission. For a true museum geek, not much is better than having a world of museums at your disposal.
When You Work At A Museum. It’s just the best.
Most EMPs are at an age in which they enjoy quirky activities, trying new things, and drinking. That being said, the recent upswing in programming aimed at the 21-35 demographic makes being a museum professional even cooler. Whether roaming the galleries at PAFA with life-sized, sarcastic puppets, heckling an awful Sci-Fi film at the Academy of Natural Sciences, or perfecting the Charleston with your favorite flapper at the Museum of Elfreth’s Alley, there is always a new way to see your favorite institutions.
Obviously there is an endless list of reasons to love working in a museum. Share your thoughts with us, and let us know why you love being a part of the museum world in the comments below!