Museum 2.0 Guest Blog: Insights on YBCA:YOU

Laurel Butler, Education Specialist at YBCA, recently guest posted on Nina Simon’s Museum 2.0 about what YBCA is learning from their personalized museum coaching program YBCA:YOU.

Bulter coordinates the YBCA:YOU, so her insights reflect a deep level of thoughtfulness and engagement about the program.

The post featured this video:

What I find particularly fascinating about this post is the frustration Butler reports when the program participants aren’t accelerating at the rate she expected.  Ultimately, she realizes that the kind of deep engagement with the arts that YBCA:YOU promotes takes time to root.

One trope kept coming up over and over: “It’s not you, it’s me.”

These folks made it clear that the program was, indeed, motivating them to make art more of a habit, but they needed more time to incorporate the idea of aesthetic development into their own lives, on their own terms. I realized that I was being impatient – the program, after all, hadn’t even been in place for six months! I couldn’t expect to see a radical social transformation right away, because the personal transformation needed to take place first.

This reminds me of the amount of time is takes for new innovation muscles to develop within an organization.  You can’t change the way someone or a group of people working together operates overnight.  But rather with enough time and a clear framework, the kinds of shifts in assumptions and new ways of thinking can take hold in a deep way that lasts much longer than a flash in the pan.

Karina Mangu-Ward is the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at EmcArts.