Publisher Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs

The Johns Hopkins MA in Museum Studies and MA in Cultural Heritage Management programs will bring together industry thought leaders and the community on June 24, 2024, to explore the vital role museums play in supporting and sustaining democracy.

Museums and DemocracyThe day’s showcase event is Democracy and Our Shared Heritage, an evening panel discussion featuring Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, and Archivist of the United States Colleen Shogan. Moderated by Christopher S. Celenza, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the discussion will center on the role of museums, libraries, and archives in strengthening civil society.

Guests and experts from the field will join Johns Hopkins faculty and students at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center in Washington, D.C., for the 7:30 p.m. session.

“Museums, libraries, and archives safeguard our shared heritage and provide safe spaces for engagement and conversation,” says Sarah Chicone, Program Director of the Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs division’s MA in Museum Studies and MA in Cultural Heritage Management programs. “Bringing together the leaders of these three critically democratic institutions is an opportunity to imagine our way forward into a democracy that brings more promise for all.”

The day’s events will also include a morning lecture and panel discussion on Perspectives on Museums and Democracy, accessible online to the public. Andrew Perrin, a Johns Hopkins SNF Agora professor and chair of sociology in the Krieger School, will kick off the session with a presentation about the state of our democracy and will lead a panel discussion on the role the museum and heritage fields play in serving the public good.

Panelists include Vedet Coleman-Robinson, president and CEO of the Association of African American Museums; Anthea M. Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History; Laura Huerta Migus, deputy director, Office of Museum Services in the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and Geri Mannion, managing director, Strengthening U.S. Democracy and the Special Opportunities Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The events are funded by a Johns Hopkins Nexus Award and hosted by AAP’s MA in Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage Management programs in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. Together, the two organizations worked to create an event that connects museum and cultural heritage professionals worldwide, says Stephanie Brown, Assistant Director of the MA in Museum Studies program.

“It’s been such a delight to work with colleagues from across the Smithsonian Institution, our new neighbors across Pennsylvania Avenue, to put this day together,” she says. “We’re looking forward to convening our far-flung museum and heritage community for what promises to be a day of conversations that make a difference in our field.”

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