These letters published in the April 25, 2021 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Museums could use help
I could not possibly enumerate all of the educational and inspiring exhibits I have visited at the Las Cruces Art Museum and Branigan Cultural Center during my 10 years here. We have taken good advantage of the National Endowment for the Humanities and other sources for fine exhibits. I like to think of our museums as Small but Mighty.
In addition to praise, however, I also want to share my serious concerns. I find the new Short-Range Master Plan for our museums, recently presented to the public for comment, sorely lacking in several foundational ways.
While the SWOT analysis did an excellent job of identifying weaknesses …
- visitors do not reflect local community
- museums are not perceived as an integral part of community, accessible to the broader city and region, not welcoming to educators and schools, not inclusive of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
… the Short-Range Plan includes no action items, no measurements, and above all, the weaknesses identified in the SWOT analysis are not addressed by the goals set.
As is evident from the SWOT analysis, outreach by our museums must radically change, including taking exhibits out to our multi-cultural community, and ensuring a multi-cultural, ethnically and racially diverse staff and docents. Additionally, exhibits must be locally as well as globally produced, and should focus on the issues, interests, and…