I have been on the road now for several days, traveling from Fort Worth to New York City and on to San Francisco, where I am attending the mid-winter meeting of the Association of Art Museum Directors. More than 240 directors from the United States, Canada, and Mexico have gathered to discuss the issues that our cultural industry is facing. As the economic and demographic trends change in urban communities, art museums are not only positioned to increase their value as destinations for education and entertainment, but also to think about new ways of doing business. Like any industry, creative and innovative thinking is the core of leadership.
Right now, I am in a seminar on how to motivate innovative thinking to meet the needs of the communities we serve. My group is exploring ways to engage younger audiences in the life of the art museum. The facilitators are encouraging us to do the unexpected. One of the ideas we are discussing is a “speed dating” event for young people on Valentine’s Day where participants pick their favorite works of art as a starting point for compatibility. Would you come to such an event? I would be very interested in ideas that you might have for ways to attract young individuals and couples to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Enter them in the comment section; you never know, we might just put it into action!