By: Team Slover Linett

January 28, 2020

We gather inspiration from myriad, sometimes surprising places — online publications, blogs, podcasts — some of which are rooted in cultural research and some just because. Our tastes and interests are varied, and it sure does make for interesting conversation and debate when we gather ‘round the table each week for our staff meetings!  This week, for example, we talked about the importance of the #metoo movement gaining traction in the museum sector. Read on for recommendations from members of our team regarding their go-to sources:

  • I’m a big fan of NonprofitAF; the posts do a really nice job of highlighting the trials and tribulations of nonprofit work including community engagement, grant writing, and inclusion with some tongue-in-cheek humor. Definitely includes a whole bunch of lessons and thoughts that we could harvest and apply beyond the world of non-profits.
    ~ Aparna Hariprasad, Research Coordinator
  • American Theatre has several podcasts through their Offscript series that are helpful in navigating the current landscape of the theatre world, including: Three on the Aisle, Token Theatre Friends, and The Subtext. Howlround is another fantastic resource, amplifying the voices and ideas of those who the industry has historically marginalized.
    ~Ashley Ann Wolfe, Senior Manager of Communications & Operations
  • For art-specific blogs, I’d recommend Hyperallergic and Colossal; Hyperallergic has criticism, artist spotlights, and thematic content; Colossal is more focused on presenting work by visual and contemporary artists, mostly without the layer of criticism or social context.
    ~ Cory Garfin, Senior Project Director
  • I have been listening to a number of museum-centric podcasts lately. I have especially enjoyed Museum Archipelago, which dives into challenges faced at a range of interesting museums around the world; Cultura Conscious, which uses lenses surrounding race and inequity to look into how cultural institutions more broadly do their work and interact with our communities; and lastly NPR’s Museum Confidential, which takes a behind the scenes approach to museums, artists, and artifact origin stories.
    ~ Emily Bray, Researcher
  • Dana Mitroff Silvers has put together a great set of improv games that can be incorporated into meetings – we use some of these kinds of exercises often in workshops and focus groups – and she’s been doing great work applying them to design sprints.
    ~ Jen Benoit-Bryan, VP & Co-Director of Research
  • The NYTimes Arts section is still my go-to resource. I pay particular attention to their Museums Special Section published twice annually (I think) in the Spring and Fall. It always has interesting articles about the future directions of museums, innovative museum directors, and how museums plan to tackle political issues. My guilty pleasure for a while has been the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. The podcast features interviews with celebrities, journalists, and academics who talk about the work they do, why they do, and how they try to bring their full selves to it. And the idea of one’s full self is something I try to bring to the work I do to understand the communities that I’m trying to understand.
    ~ Madeline Smith, Senior Researcher
  • I think Adaptistration is probably the most prolific Orchestral Management blog; they send an email digest every Friday that goes out with links related to particular subject in the arts. It’s the unofficial successor to the old You’ve Cott Mail digests. I would also recommend following Thomas Cott on twitter if you haven’t.
    ~ Matthew Jenetopulos, Researcher
  • I’m always inspired in some way by The Moth podcasts and the terrific storytelling — being moved by the human experience, inciting me to action, and feeling connected to others…because isn’t that what culture is all about?
    ~ Nancy Plaskett, VP & COO
  • I listen to the New York Times’ The Daily for my news update on my commute and The Psychology Podcast which delves into a wide array of topics related to human behavior such as well-being, giftedness, creativity, and frequently ventures into the philosophical with discussions around things like consciousness and free will.
    ~ Michelle Ernst, Sr. Researcher
  • I’d recommend the website/blog Information is Beautiful. They regularly share extremely creative infographics, charts, and diagrams on complicated topics that help you see the world from a new perspective. For anyone working with quantitative data, it’s a great place to go for inspiration!
    ~ Tanya Treptow, VP & Co-Director of Research

Clearly there is no shortage of information out there! We’d love to hear what and who you follow to stay inspired and in-the-know…give us a shout!

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