[Art_beyond_sight_theory_and_research] Art Beyond Sight’s Awareness Month, Telephone Conference Crash Course

simon hayhoe simonhayhoe at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 23 07:06:12 UTC 2012

As ever, this is a really exciting event. However, with the time difference and work commitments it is difficult to log in. Would it be possible for someone on the list to record it and maybe publish it?

Best wishes and many thanks if this is possible,


> From: Lisa.Yayla at statped.no
> To: accessibleimage at freelists.org; art_beyond_sight_advocacy at nfbnet.org; art_beyond_sight_educators at nfbnet.org; art_beyond_sight_theory_and_research at nfbnet.org; artbeyondsightmuseums at nfbnet.org; art_beyond_sight_learning_tools at nfbnet.org; art_beyond_sight_educators at nfbnet.org
> Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2012 07:18:43 +0200
> Subject: [Art_beyond_sight_theory_and_research] Art Beyond Sight’s Awareness Month, Telephone Conference Crash Course
> October 2012 Email Alert Four
> One of the benefits of joining Art Beyond Sight’s Awareness Month is that you receive access to re-sources that guide participants in creating access programs. Our annual Telephone Conference Crash Course is one such resource. This year’s Crash Course, taking place on Monday, October 29th, offers two new features: “Museum Clinics,” which address critical issues and day-to-day con-cerns of technology, development, and adminis-trative staff, and a “Docent Roundtable” at which docents from around the world share their ideas, tips, and stories.
> 9:30 – 10 a.m.: Welcome by Elisabeth Axel, Founder and President, Art Beyond Sight, and Report from the Multimodal Learning Conference: Rebecca McGinnis (The Metro-politan Museum of Art)
> 10 – 11 a.m.: Museum Clinic: Cost and Cost Effectiveness of Accessibility Pro-grams. This clinic looks at issues around real costs of access programs, provides ideas for low-cost or no-cost solutions, and tips for creating sustainable programs.
> Discussion Leader: Kathy Foley, (Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum) Speakers: Jayna Hintz (Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum ), Mary Ann Perkins (Carnegie Museum of Art), Leah Fox (Currier Museum of Art)
> 11 a.m. – noon: Small Museums and Audi-ence Research and Engagement Discussion Leader: Nina Levent (Art Beyond Sight) Speakers: Susan Shifrin, (Burnum Mu-seum), Ashley Rex (Bechtler Museum of Modern Art), Carmen Smith (Meadows Mu-seum)
> Noon – 1 p.m.: Museum Clinic: Website Ac-cessibility. In this clinic experts address common issues around website accessibility, discuss solutions, offer tips regarding easy accessibility audits, legibility, contrast, new/free software, accessible apps for museums, etc. It is designed for web staff, program-mers, app/software developers, and graphic designers.
> Discussion Leader: Nancy Proctor, (Smithsonian Institution) Speakers: Sharron Rush, (Knowbility) Glenda Sims (Web consuant), Jared Smith (WebAIM)
> October 2012 Email Alert Four
> One of the benefits of joining Art Beyond Sight’s Awareness Month is that you receive access to re-sources that guide participants in creating access programs. Our annual Telephone Conference Crash Course is one such resource. This year’s Crash Course, taking place on Monday, October 29th, offers two new features: “Museum Clinics,” which address critical issues and day-to-day con-cerns of technology, development, and adminis-trative staff, and a “Docent Roundtable” at which docents from around the world share their ideas, tips, and stories.
> 1
> 1– 2 p.m.: Docent Roundtable: The Nuts and Bolts of Docents’ Craft Session Leader: Joan Pursley (Art Beyond Sight) Speakers: Donnie Wilburn (Seattle Art Museum), Marilyn Batali (Seattle Art
> Museum), Judy Schmeidler (Jewish
> Museum of Art, NYC), Fran Megarry (Minneapolis Institute of Art)
> 2 – 3 p.m.: Museum Clinic: Grant Writing and Accessibility. Experts address common issues in writing grant applications for accessibility and service programs for audiences with disabilities. Also offered: Advice on writing an accessibility plans for an institution/exhibition. This clinic is designed for development and program staff.
> Session Leader: Kim Hutchinson (Disability Funders Network) Speakers: Beth Bienvenu (National
> Endowment for the Arts), Kristy Traut-mann (FISA Founda-tion), Don Ehman (NJ State Council on the Arts), Elaine Katz (Kessler Foun-dation), Susan Olivo (Readers Digest Partners for Sight Foundation)
> 3 – 4 p.m.: Pilot Programs: Challenges and
> Success Discussion Leader: Marie Clapot (Art
> Beyond Sight) Speakers: Adelia Gregory (Brooklyn Mu- seum of Art), Debra Hegstrom
> (Minneapolis Institute of Arts), Bridget O’Brien (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)
> 4– 4.30 p.m.: Reflections on the Day and Sug-gestions of Topics for Future Teleconferences
> Save the date: Monday, October 29th
> The full program is also available online at http://www.artbeyondsight.org/change/aw-crashcourse.shtml.
> Number to call: (712) 432-0220; Conference code: 232-2012
> Notes: (1) All times given are Eastern Daylight Time. (2) Each session features 15 minutes for Q&A/discussion at the end of the hour.
> 2
> Art Beyond Sight: How did you get involved in the art education field?
> Diana Bush: My university background prepared me for a career that included academic teaching. This was always my primary career aspiration. When I began actually teaching, as a fellow in the Art Humanities program at Columbia University, I discovered that the educational component of the usual research-writing-pedagogy was quite impor-tant to me. Art Humanities is a course that empha-sizes proactive thinking and ac-tive learning through discussion, debate, and similar - not at all the usual lecture course format. From the beginning, I appreci-ated the collaborative and coop-erative aspects of educating very much. That early experience was a kind of revelation. I benefited tremendously from the related faculty mentoring and the discus-sion meetings that were held in connection with the course. This was the origin of my conviction that active discus-sion, talking with (as opposed to “at”) a group, was a very effective means of educating. To date, for those occasions when I must present informa-tion in a lecture format, I will break the informa-tion into small segments, perhaps into a single idea, and then stop and initiate discussion, a kind of going-over things, before moving to the next idea. This is a central component of my pedagogi-cal strategy with any audience.
> Working at the Museum of Modern Art was a sig-nificant opportunity for me given those interests and that background, because I was able to work with many different people, from different back-grounds and with varying levels of engagement with art and with the museum broadly speaking. The museum's audience is very diverse. In other words, working with various groups in the mu-seum, and in the context of on-site programs, gave me the opportunity to develop important aspects of my own pedagogical strategies. And I was given the opportunity to do so in the community of like-minded and very intelligent, interesting peo-ple whom I encountered in the various departments at MoMA.
> ABS: How long have you been working in this field? Throughout
> that time how has the field changed?
> DB: I have been teaching from the end of the 1990s (teaching assistant) and began in earnest, with my own classes, from the early 2000s. It is my sense that discussion-based and active learning is gaining ground over the older lecture-course for-mat. This approach is especially important for
> Diana M. Bush (MA, Institute of Fine Arts, M.Phil., Columbia University) is completing her dissertation on Weimar
> photomontage. She is an
> independent educator and course instructor in the
> Department of Education, MoMA, and lectures on modern art, aesthetics, and criticism at
> Stevens Institute of Technology.
> Interview with an Educator…
> MoMA’s Diana Bush
> This past June, as an intern for Art Beyond Sight I was able to shadow a touch tour at MoMa led by Diana Bush. Although an avid museum goer, this tour was unlike any-thing I’d experienced before. So much did I enjoy it that I decided to feature Diana in this week’s newsletter.
> 3
> beginning students, I think, because it encourages the development active of thinking; the develop-ment of ideas, rather than the simple memoriza-tion of facts. Although ... knowing names and dates and histories, information, remains impor-tant. It is not that learning has become "easier" or requires less work, but that the active develop-ment of critical thinking skills is gaining in impor-tance and this requires different work, and there-fore a shift in pedagogical strategies as well. If a student is required only to memorize or mull through dates, artists, etc., s/he will often do so in isolation, never testing any ideas against those of a peer or in the context of a group. Discussion and debate, fostered in an environment where there is a close connection between educator and student, encourages the testing of ideas and models of in-terpretation, the development of more complex models when interpretations are no longer satis-factory, and so on. The instructor learns and par-ticipates also, and this changes the dynamic be-tween educator and participants. Developing the conceptual aspects of "information" has become important, I think, in both museum and class-room.
> In my opinion, museums as institutions will be-come even more important as educational re-sources and contexts for both academic and other kinds of learning. This is a very positive develop-ment.
> ABS: What approaches have you have found most effective for particular audiences?
> DB: I usually have a basic idea, but I develop a more specific approach once I meet a given group (i.e., are they university students? older adults? individuals who are blind or partially sighted?). Once I am with the group, I listen care-fully and try different approaches based on my interactions with the members.
> I truly enjoy interacting with people given their specific interests, in finding that way in which they can, as individuals and/or as a broad group, con-nect with a given project, with a set of objects, with an exhibition, etc. This can be challenging, but in the most positive and meaningful of ways. There are numerous ways to discuss art and it is always possible, through interaction, to find that interpretation or reading that resounds with a given group or individual.
> Working in Community and Access Programs at MoMA, I have had the opportunity to engage with New Yorkers of all ages and abilities, throughout the five boroughs, through programs at the Mu-seum, as well as at libraries and community cen-ters. I have learned a lot from the participants! Working with them opened entirely new dimen-sions of experience and thinking that otherwise would have been closed to me.
> ABS: What is your relationship to the participants in your tours?
> DB: This varies. There are always new people and new perspectives, and there are always people with whom I enjoy a long acquaintance. I have de-veloped lasting friendships with people who have participated in the different programs. I often run into participants from the library programs at the Museum! 
> 4
> This Week’s Tech Innovation: The Access American Stories App
> This past April, the Smithsonian Institution released the Access American Stories App which they describe as “a bilingual (Spanish/English) ‘crowdsourced’ audio experience and companion to the American Stories exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.” It’s designed to facilitate interaction and enhance the ex-perience of museum-goers with vision impairment or blindness.
> How it works: When a person approaches an ob-ject on display at a museum he opens the app, which prompts him to record his reaction and experience, make suggestions as to how the exhibit can be im-proved, and respond to comments left by others. The app also engages those who simply want to listen to staff and visitors speaking about the objects and time periods from American history that most interest them.
> 5
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