Listening to Hal
There are many ways for museum to collaborate, with differing approaches to decision making. Handing over all decision-making power to collaborators is one model, but that is not always the right thing. Instead, it depends on what you want to get out of a collaboration.
It sounds like Hal and the young women enjoyed the feeling of being part of something special and they needed to know the boundaries they were working within. This reaffirms to me that collaboration or participatory practice in museums is about negotiating what each side wants and needs. They wanted direction, and freedom within the directions that were given.
From what I hear Hal say he thinks the collaboration was even more about the process of working together, of being involved, than it was about outcomes, the exhibition itself. If the process, and openness about boundaries and the decision making, would have been better, their involvement would have felt even more of a success.
Chris Whitby, Audience Research Manager
When we heard from Will Gould about the project it seemed like a really fantastic opportunity and I wanted our...