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Judy Kirk
Mathers Museum of World Cultures

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010

Year-long celebration of IU and Bloomington museums begins Friday

Oct. 1, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Celebrating the Museum, a new initiative that recognizes the contributions of museums to the intellectual and cultural life of Indiana University and the Bloomington community, begins Friday (Oct. 1) with a lecture by international museum consultant Lois Silverman.

IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson will provide opening remarks for the event, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the IU School of Fine Arts, Room 102. Following the lecture, there will be a reception and book signing at the Indiana University Art Museum.

"Museums are among the most important cultural, scientific and educational assets of Indiana University and in Bloomington," Hanson said. "The list of participants in the Celebrating the Museum initiative reminds us of the extraordinary wealth of museums in our community. I look forward to this year-long initiative and commend the organizers for the work they are doing."

Lois Silverman

Lois Silverman

Silverman will discuss the evolving efforts of museums to reach out to communities through broadening museum programming, as documented in her recent publication The Social Work of Museums (Routledge 2010). The book describes the ways in which museums are opening themselves to benefiting human relationships. The effort involves changing how the public views cultures in the traditional sense, but also mending social injustices.

A graduate of the IU School of Social Work and a leader in the field of museum studies, Silverman is a former Smithsonian Institution Fellow and Indiana University Bloomington faculty member. An interdisciplinary scholar, project innovator, and consultant to museums and social agencies, she is widely known for her research on creating meaning in objects and for her federally funded "Museums as Therapeutic Agents" projects.

The Celebrating the Museum initiative, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, is also intended to encourage campus and community residents to utilize the opportunities and resources available in local museums. It will feature numerous events and exhibits offered by participating museums in the Bloomington area.

In addition to permanent and temporary exhibits covering a wide variety of topics, local museums provide tours, classes, workshops, lectures, and concerts throughout the year and provide support for education and educational opportunities. Information about local museum offerings will be available on the Celebrating the Museum website at

Participating museums are members of the Alliance of Bloomington Museums. They include the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology; Hilltop Garden and Nature Center; Hinkle-Garton Farmstead Historic Site; Indiana Geological Survey; IU Archives and Records Management; IU Art Museum; Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction; Lilly Library; Mathers Museum of World Cultures; Monroe County History Center; Sage Collection; SoFA Gallery; WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology; and Wylie House Museum.

For more information about Celebrating the Museum, e-mail, visit its Facebook site, follow it on Twitter at "Celebrating the M," go to its website at or call 812-855-1696.