My name is Michelle DelCarlo, and I am passionate about creating conversation between people of all ages and walks of life. I have a Master's degree in Museum Studies and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington. What I really want to do with all that schooling is to keep on creating meaningful experiences and build community through conversation.
The Pop-Up Museum is my awesome project. The concept is this: based on a theme, people are invited to bring their own objects and share their own stories in order to have conversations with others. It's a participatory, traveling community event that challenges the notion of museums as silent, one-voice places and invites people to grapple with and celebrate their own perspectives.
Pop-Up themes have ranged from light-hearted and fun to deep and heavy. These include "Handmade," where people brought in an array of handmade items that were meaningful to them. People had conversations about how handmade objects can create links to the past, and how the traditions of hand-crafted objects may be in danger of being lost. Also, I had an "Adoption" pop-up in collaboration with a colleague who is adopted. She wanted to do so because she felt that adoption is not a topic that museums generally address. People came to the pop-up and cried, laughed, and were moved.
I have had pop-ups in Australia and here in the US. Also, I have advised numerous other organizations on how to hold their own pop-ups. I have done this all on my own time and with my own resources, which is why I am applying for an Awesome grant.
For me, the pinnacle of museum practice is listening and responding to community needs. I want to keep on giving voice to people, building community, and making conversation happen between people of all ages and walks of life. How awesome would that be!
Funded by Seattle, WA (June 2012)