A new company in New York, Museum Hack, is reinventing the museum tour from the outside in. They provide high-energy, interactive trips of the Metropolitan Museum and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The travels are pricey, personalized, NOT associated with the museums included… and incredibly, extremely popular. Today on Museum 2.0, an interview with Dustin Growick.
Dustin is a technology instructor at the brand new York Hall of Science (NYSCI) by day, By night Museum Hack tour designer/leader at AMNH. How do you try Museum Hack first? Dustin: In regards to a year ago I met a couple of people from Museum Hack at a conference. They were “preaching the museum gospel” in NYC via choice tours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was interested and intrigued for more information, but also skeptical of the merits of an outside group running roughshod in The Met. So I went on a tour…and experienced the museum in an entirely new way. I heard incredible-and often salacious-stories behind hidden gems I’d walked past numerous times.
- Low float stocks
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- Fear. Don’t play it cling and safe to what you think is secure. In the event that you don’t
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- 11 years back from Cebu, Philippines
We interacted with the artwork and with each other through dynamic photo challenges, kinesthetic activities, and interactions. We talked about impressionism from Manet to Monet, and delved deeper in Greek and pointillism sculpture. Heck, I even learned all about a 17th century German drinking game. For the first time in quite a while, I was interacting and engaging with the museum personally, the collection, and with complete strangers in a real way that highlighted the art. When the chance to design my own two-hour museum adventure at the American Museum of Natural History presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
I’ve been leading my very own Museum Hack trips at AMNH for approximately 9 a few months now. The trips boil down to three key things: engagement, fun and relevance. I want to help people find interactive and accessible points of entry and present them the tools to curate their own experience during every museum visit.
Can you give an example of the type of Museum Hack activity which makes this different from other museum tours? Here’s an example that I experienced on that first tour of the Met. Within the American Portrait Gallery, a game was played by us called Matchmaker Matchmaker. Take a few minutes to allow a topic in another of the paintings to “find you”. It’s rather a individual or an animal, plus they can be the primary focus of the piece or some strange-looking fellow lurking in the backdrop.
Go to whatever piques your interest and pulls you in. Use both the posted information and your imagination to create a straightforward backstory for this individual. What’s their name? Why are they in this scene? Where did they get that remarkable feather boa? Find a partner or get matched up with somebody.
You will have exactly two minutes to concoct the epic love story that includes the two personas you’ve chosen. As you stand amongst the portraits, talk about your tale of deception, love, secret, and intrigue with the rest of the combined group. Who is the audience for Museum Hack? You are a museum insider and a content geek. But I understand that Nick Gray, the Museum Hack founder, often stresses that Museum Hack is for people who don’t love (or even like) museums.
I don’t think anyone who doesn’t like museums would ever purchase a tour. Then again, quite a few most passionate participants are somewhat ambivalent towards museums–or people who are daunted by the Met or AMNH and want a more personalized experience. I believe of us manuals as “museum personal trainers”.