About

Mission

The Incluseum advances new ways of being a museum through critical discourse, community building and collaborative practice related to inclusion in museums.

Vision

The Incluseum is:

  1. A space to build community around issues of inclusion and justice in museums
  2. A resource for current research and practice related to inclusion
  3. A platform for critical dialogue that advances the ways in which we understand, talk about, and enact inclusion in museums 
  4. A project that weaves digital and offline engagements to catalyze ‘next practices’

How We Work

In addition to running the Incluseum blog, we regularly support and develop practice-based projects that explore what it means to be an inclusive museum (see, for example, our work on The Power of Place).  Since the Incluseum project began in 2012, we have also applied our expertise on inclusion and social justice efforts in museums to workshops, conference presentations, trainings, exhibits, advisory positions, and publications.

Museums around the world are increasingly interested in examining their internal operations and priorities in order to become more socially just in their practices. We view ourselves as supporters and partners with museums in this essential and timely work. To inquire about collaborating with the Incluseum on long-term projects, strategic planning, speaking engagements, workshops or advising please write to us at incluseum@gmail.com.

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WHO WE ARE

Aletheia Wittman

Aletheia cofounded and coordinates The Incluseum. Aletheia developed and managed exhibits as well as youth and adult programming for the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) from 2012-2016. She also recently taught with the University of Washington Museology Graduate Program. Currently, she is an independent curator and museum consultant. Aletheia has a MA in Museology from the University of Washington where she researched emerging curatorial practices and their relationship with social justice. Read more about her work and consulting on her website and follow her on twitter @AletheiaJane. You can email her at aletheiaw@gmail.com.

Rose Paquet Kinsley

In addition to cofounding, coordinating and dreaming with the Incluseum, Rose is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Washington’s Information School. She was born and raised in French-speaking Belgium and  has worked for a host of museums, including art and natural history museums, community-based museums, and a museum without walls in Alaska. While working with a Seattle-based organization offering art classes to adults experiencing homelessness, she brought people together to research and develop actionable suggestions for how museums can best facilitate engagement with and make their resources available to homeless adults. 

Regular Contributors

Porchia Moore

Porchia is an ABD (All But Dissertation)  PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science and the McKissick Museum Management program. She serves on the Professional Development Committee for the South Carolina Federation of Museums. Moore is a Board Member for the Friends of African American Art Committee at the Columbia Museum of Art. She presents internationally at both museum and library conferences regularly. She is a regular contributing writer for The Incluseum. She has appeared on Carol Bossert’s Museum Life radio program and has multiple publications regarding her research interests: racial inclusion, community engagement, critical race theory, convergence issues in 21st century cultural heritage institutions, representations of racial identities in the digital landscape, and LIS curriculum reform. She has served on the planning team for museum conferences such as Museum Computer Network. She currently teaches at the University of South Carolina as a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Library and Information Science and works as a museum consultant at the Columbia Museum of Art and Historic Columbia Foundation where she trains incoming docents on cultural competency. She is cocreator of the Visitors of Color project. You can follow her @PorchiaMuseM, hire her at moorepa@email.sc.edu or just send her an email to chat.

Margaret Middleton 

Margaret is a Boston-based exhibit designer and developer. She is an artist and craftsperson with a passion for designing and creating playful learning environments. She writes the blog On Exhibit. Recently, she developed and shared an Family-Inclusive Language Guide, which you can view here and purchase here.

nikhil trivedi 

nikhil is a web developer, composer and activist. He works at a museum in Chicago developing web-based software in Java, PHP and Drupal. After hours, he creates music and art using a number of tools: guitar, sitar, composing noise, sound, and through collaborations with other artists. He’s a volunteer educator for Rape Victim Advocates, and participates in movements to end oppression. When none of that’s happening, he likes to hike, make herbal medicines, and drink warm glasses of chai. He is cocreator of the Visitors of Color project. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter at @nikhiltri.

Current Collaborators

William Gill – Content Researcher

William was born and raised on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
In 2016, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Simon Fraser University, with a concentration in British and Irish History. During his undergraduate degree, he focused on the histories of colonization, empire, gender and sexuality. He is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship at Fleming College in Ontario, Canada.

In addition to his academic work, William has facilitated workshops on LGBT+ inclusion and creating safe spaces in schools and workplaces since 2008.  As an emerging museum professional, he is excited to help make museums an inclusive, immersive and intersectional space. In his spare time, he likes to cook and watch musicals. 

Gabbie Barnes – Metadata Schema Designer

Gabbie is the teen librarian at YOUmedia Hartford—a digital learning and maker space for teenagers ages 13-19. She received her Master of Library and Information Science in June 2015 and holds a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Art and a focus on cinema studies and studio art. She has interned at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and volunteered at the Seattle Art Museum’s Teacher Resource Center. You can usually find her experimenting with the different social tools people use to create, share, and disseminate information—hashtags are of current and particular interest. In her spare time, she studies the intersections of critical race theory with gender studies, practices Vinyasa yoga, and actively paddleboards. She finds great pleasure in learning how normal and mundane things like salt, sugar, and toothpicks shape the larger perspective of our history and culture. Her investment in the Incluseum project is bred of all of her interests combined into one digital space. She will never give up on the Oxford comma.

Becca Fronczak – Metadata Schema Designer

Becca earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is currently a Masters candidate at the University of Washington – Seattle in the Library and Information Science and the Museology programs. Her capstone project for the LIS program was done in partnership with Gabbie and another fabulous peer. It is This Library Life, a site that aggregates unique services public libraries across the country are providing to their community members. Her thesis project for the Museology program is a contemporary art exhibit titled Secrets Can… at the Kirkland Arts Center. You can read about her process at The Emerging Curator blog. She’s worked in collections, special libraries, knowledge management, information organization, and exhibits. Her educational background and volunteer experiences have fed her passion for leading a life that is meaningful, collaborative, and that works towards equity and social justice. 

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We would love to hear from you! Contact us with questions, feedback, blog ideas, etc.

14 comments

  1. […] I welcome any tips on social inclusion in museums! Or better yet, contact my new favorite blog, dedicated entirely to social inclusion in museums hence the title, the Incluseum. […]

  2. […] For more biographical information Aletheia and Rose, click here. […]

  3. Am impressed by your mission and efforts.
    Just a suggestion……”social inclusion” is such an academic term…..don’t use it too often in your promotion. Keep it simple and straightforward……as in Sarah Taggart’s writeup:….”my interest and passion to be an advocate for the museum visitor. …………I hope to help the museum field become more inclusive and welcoming to all people.”
    Best wishes to you all!!

  4. Allison, thank you for taking the time to tell us that the Incluseum is meaningful to you! What is your background and what brought you to our site? We hear your point about the academic nature of the term “social inclusion.” The words we choose to represent ourselves are very important and not all terms resonate with all groups of people. As a rule, we agree it is best to be as “un-jargony” as possible. We chose “social inclusion” because it is a term that can be interpreted simply (inclusion of all people in society), but which has many layers of interpretation and can be a starting point to “dig deeper.”

    Also, you are right that we want to “advocate for the museum visitor” as Sarah phrases so well. Beyond that we also want to be an advocate for those who are not museum visitors and encourage museums to consider why they may not be relevant to those people AND advocate that museums transform themselves in specific ways in order to be approachable, supportive and safe spaces for all people, and thus inclusive.

    Those we host as guest bloggers and interviewees also often have a unique vocabulary or perspective with which they talk about their work in museums and this often corresponds to their cultural context (such as coming from Italy, England, USA etc.) academic background, personal goals or experiences and more.

    As we consider “promoting” ourselves we often contemplate how closely to connect the Incluseum to the vocabulary of social justice work, which we feel personally invested in. However, this is also a language which not everyone has access to and could be alienating for some of our readers. We seek a balance between words that represent our goals clearly and that also create a welcoming space where those who use a different set of words to describe the work they do also feel invited to participate. This subject deserves its own post at some point! It is definitely a strong consideration in our most recent work to develop an accessible and inclusive online exhibit. I predict there will be some reflective blog posts after our exhibit on the impact of language/vocabulary on our ability to promote inclusion.

    Stay tuned!

  5. I love that there are others interested in museums as sites of social change. As arbiters of culture and, subsequently, identity, we need to address the absences more than the histories of these iconic (and ionic) institutions. Please include me on any mailing list you have. I am a graduate student in Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I would like to stay in touch and up to date with your research, practices, and progress. My focus is on mobilizing the humanities and physically engaging and collaborating with underserved and underrepresented communities through vehicular based exhibiton modalities.

    All the Best,
    Leonard

  6. […] the incluseum. A blog all about museums and social inclusion! […]

  7. […] exhibition, The Power of Labeling, The Incluseum, a project run in part by iSchool PhD candidate Rose Paquet Kinsley, is presenting Exhibit Focus Fridays! Every Friday during this summer, they are highlighting an […]

  8. […] The Incluseum is a project based in Seattle, Washington seeking to encourage inclusion in museums. Join the conversation at incluseum.com […]

  9. […] Website for the Incluseum project that advances new ways of being a museum through critical discourse. https://incluseum.com/about/ […]

  10. […] inclusion for over a decade [see especially page 11, which defines “social inclusion”]; the Incluseum; and Art Beyond Sight, which provides resources on including people with disabilities in […]

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