A friend of mine, Lindsay Bontoft, recently started working at the Museum of Inuit Art (MIA). It is a very small museum in Toronto, Canada with three full-time and one part-time staff as well as an Executive Director. Yet they have managed what many larger museums have not – a wide array of both online and onsite digital projects.
The projects are created and managed mostly by Alysa Procida, the Associate Curator and Director of Education. After Lindsay gave me a tour of the museum pointing out the digital projects, I sat down with Alyssa to discuss how these projects were accomplished.
When Alysa first arrived the museum only had a basic website and a mediocre Facebook page. Boy have things changed since then….
Accessibility Drives Digital
When speaking with Alysa and Lindsay it became clear what drives this small staff to work so hard on these digital projects – the desire to make the museum and its collection accessible.
This goal is always important for a museum but it is especially important for the MIA because of the nature of their collection. Most of the artists reside in remote regions of Northern Canada making it hard for them and their friends/family to attend the museum to see their art. In addition there is a strong international community of Inuit art collectors who are interested in the collection and expertise of the museum but cannot necessarily visit in person. This makes accessibility all the more important for the MIA.