Public Access

Injecting Pop to Revitalize Area Museums

Many couple such enthusiasm with a belief that the quality of programming will not slip. "We've been guilty of creating ivory towers," says Hall. "We don't need to dumb things down, but to allow them to be open for interpretation and feedback." Others in the art world concur. "It's all right for people to have fun in museums. It's fabulous if they are enjoying themselves and also learning something or being engaged by art," says Kocur.

Instruction not only serves to help visitors understand shows but can also draw them in off the street. And, if it's done well, it should always communicate the aim of the museum. "In the last couple of years, our mission has been clear: to be really open to everyone, in any way we can, but without changing the way that we've picked art in the last 25 years," says Heiss. "We will show only the best and most interesting art available. That part of our programming has remained the same."

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