Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Museums as Refuge: Serving as Places for Reflection After Boston Marathon Bombings

The place I identify as my home city is hurting today after the bombings of yesterday's marathon. Yet, amongst all the pain, we are hearing stories of hope. These include stories of people helping and reaching out to others: A former Patriot player who carried a woman to safety in the midst of chaos; people who crossed the finish line of the marathon and then kept going to the hospital to donate blood for victims; people living in Boston who are opening their homes to strangers who have no place to go; a server in Austin, Texas who brought some free food to my friend when she found out he was visiting from Boston - just to show her support; The Yankees baseball team posting a message of solidarity despite their rivalry with the Red Sox; the list goes on and on...

As for the cultural heritage field, two museums stood out for helping in their own way:


Community. Reflection. Refuge. Respite. Part of what we do best as museums and libraries. I feel that the museums can serve a role as part of a bridge to understanding to help us all heal. As an ideal, these institutions house what is best about humanity - our creativity, our strong continuing voices, our unity on this earth. As we strive to make sense of senseless tragedy, my beloved museum community reminds us of the good and tries to draw us together in hope. Thank you MFA and ICA.

Have any other museums participated in opening their doors for free today? Did anyone take Boston Museums up on their offer to reflect in the shelter of their collections inside their doors? Please let us know and contribute their perspective to the positive stories I am hearing across the media today.

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