Fall Updates, Events & Quote of the Week
While it’s not officially fall yet, it’s definitely starting to feel that way, so I want to take a moment to mark the change of seasons with a post about what I’m working on right now and what’s coming up on my calendar in the next few months.
Yes, I’m doing a Fall Institute for Changemakers!
I’m especially excited to share that I’m doing another Fall Institute for Changemakers! Many people expressed interest in the Summer Institute, but couldn’t make that time work due to vacations or other conflicts.
We had such a great group in the Summer Institute and I’m excited to build on what we learned for an Institute that would start in mid-October.
This Fall Institute will be organized in a similar structure to the Summer Institute that finished up in August. Earlier this summer, I shared a post that took a deeper dive into the strategies and questions explored in this 4-week online intensive. I recommend taking a look at this post again to learn more.
Here is more information about the 2023 Fall Institute, along with a link to register.
I have a few different speaking engagements coming up that I am excited to share with you, including my very first book signing (yes, FIRST, since my book came out during the pandemic and … well, you know what happened).
On Friday, September 22nd, I’ll be at the Saint Louis Art Museum in St Louis, MO, with a talk called “Self-Discovery, Connection, and Empathy in the Art Museum.” The event starts at 6 pm and is $5 (free for members and students). I worked for several years with the Education Department there and I am looking forward to being back! I’ll also be doing a book signing - my first ever, after so many years of virtual talks! If you happen to be in the neighborhood, I’d love to see you there.
On Tuesday, September 26th, I’m giving a virtual keynote address for the German Association for Learning and Education in Museums conference. The conference is focused around the theme of “well-being in museums,” and my talk will share ideas about how museums can be more human-centered. I’m so grateful to be invited to participate in another German museums conference.
At the end of November, I’ll be traveling to Los Angeles to be part of the 60th anniversary celebrations at UCLA’s Fowler Museum. I’m working with the incredible education team there to plan a program centered around museums being more community-centered. I’ll have more details to come as the date gets closer. If you are with a museum or nonprofit in the Los Angeles area and you’re interested in working with me while I’m in town, please reach out.
I’ve also been working steadily with my partner Bryna on something very exciting that we are launching this week.
For the past few years, we have been growing a business called “Super Nature Adventures” that partners with agencies, non-profits, and schools in a variety of ways to bring together place-based thinking, fun illustration and map design, and a love of learning to build meaningful connections.
During this time, I have also been working (with Bryna’s partnership help behind the scenes) on this Substack and in other ways as well as a museum consultant, with a focus on supporting institutional change work, equity-centered and human-centered practices, and community partnership support.
Often, the kind of work we’ve done within these two businesses has overlapped, whether it's working with museums and art institutions on place-based work, or focusing on issues of access and equity as we develop maps and other materials for learning outdoors.
Through our work on both of these directions, our clients have included Portland Parks & Recreation, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Parks Foundation, Confluence, Great River Greenways, Forest Park Conservancy, Lincoln City Parks & Recreation, HOPE Dementia Support, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, and several schools, as well as Monument Lab, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals, the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, the Seattle Children’s Museum, and The Frick Pittsburgh.
So for the past few months we have been working on officially merging these two businesses.
We are excited to share our new name Art Nature Place as a reflection of this consolidation.
Art Nature Place communicates our creative approach to our work and passion for supporting arts & cultural institutions. It speaks to our commitment to access, learning, and connection to parks, public spaces, and the outdoors. And it recognizes the community-centered and place-based ways that we engage with almost everything we do.
Let’s work together to make important change happen and create deeper connections to the world around us. If you are interested in working with us, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, as promised a quote to leave you with.
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I love quotes. The wisdom and the words of others can be so inspiring. A good quote can get us thinking, make us wonder, spark new ideas, and even get us unstuck when we’re feeling a bit stuck.
So here is one quote that I encountered this past week as I read Mónica Guzmán’s book I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times (2023). In the book, she writes about the power of curiosity and the need for us to listen to each other more and have conversations … real conversations. I’ve been a believer in the power of conversations for a long time, so her book really resonated with me. So I leave you with these simple yet powerfully true words:
“Conversation, in all its messiness, helps us explore where our perspectives meet, digging up insights that help us see the people around us more clearly.”
- Mónica Guzmán, I Never Thought of It That Way
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