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55. Barbara Hicks-Collins Is Turning Her Family Home Into the Bogalusa Civil Rights Museum

Barbara Hicks-Collins grew up in a Civil Rights house ( in Bogalusa, Louisiana. In her family breakfast room in 1965, her father, the late Robert “Bob” Hicks (, founded the Bogalusa chapter of the Deacons for Defense and Justice ( The armed self-defense force was formed in response to local anti-integration violence...


54. Buzludzha Is Deteriorating. Brian Muthaliff Wants To Turn It Into A Winery.

High in the Balkan mountains, Buzludzha monument is deteriorating. Designed to emphasize the power and modernity of the Bulgarian Communist Party (, Buzludzha is now at the center of a debate over how Bulgaria remembers its past ( Architect Brian Muthaliff ( wants the building to evolve along with Bulgaria. His master’s thesis on Buzludzha describes a re-adaption of...


53. Tribal Historic Preservation Office Helps Students Map Seminole Life for the Ah-tah-thi-ki Museum

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum (, on the Big Cypress Reservation in the Florida Everglades, serves as the public face of the Seminole Tribe of Florida ( But the museum collaborates with the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office ( (THPO) next door to preserve the tribe's culture, working for and with the community through various shared projects. One of the projects...


52. Paula Santos Dives Into The "How" of Museum Work on Cultura Conscious

By day, Paula Santos ( is Community Engagement Manager at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( By night, she hosts the excellent Cultura Conscious ( podcast. On Cultura Conscious, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, Santos interviews cultural workers on their work with justice and equity. The discussions dive deep into what Santos calls the...


51. Yulina Mihaylova Presents a Moral Lesson at the Sofia Jewish Museum of History

The Jewish Museum of History in Sofia, Bulgaria ( is housed on the second floor of the Sofia Synagogue in the center of Bulgaria's capital, just steps away from an Orthodox Church, and Sofia's Mosque. This clustering of places of worship — it's hard to find another example of this in Europe — is part of the unique story of Jewish people in Bulgaria. While the museum tells the full story of the Jewish people in Bulgaria...


50. Allison Sansone Connects Writers and Readers at the American Writers Museum

When the American Writers Museum ( opened in Chicago in 2017, it became the first museum in the US to celebrate all genres of writing. Early in the planning phase, founder Malcolm O’Hagan made a couple of key decisions: no artifacts and no single curator. In this episode, the museum’s programs director Allison Sansone ( explains how these decisions continue to shape the museum, from a timeline of 100...


49. Deyana Kostova Centers ‘The Little Man’ in War at the Bulgarian National Museum of Military History

The campus of the Bulgarian National Museum of Military History in Sofia is defended on all sides by a garden of missiles and tanks. But as Director of Public Relations Deyana Kostova points out, many of the exhibits inside focus on the consequences of war rather than the tools of warfare. One of these exhibits, called 'The Little Man in the Great War', explores the Bulgarian World War I experience through overarching emotions. In this episode, Kostova gives a tour of the exhibit, explains...


48. Museums Are Really Sensitive To Critique. Palace Shaw & Ariana Lee Decided They Don’t Care.

Ariana Lee and Palace Shaw create The Whitest Cube, an excellent new museum podcast about people of color and their experiences with art institutions as artists, visitors, workers, activists, or casual admirers. The podcast interrogates the city of Boston and its museums through the lens of race. In this episode, Lee and Shaw talk about the reasons for starting the podcast, what diversity in museums really means, and how to pressure cultural institutions to change. If you’re interested in...


47. Buzludzha is Deteriorating. Dora Ivanova Wants To Turn It Into A Museum.

High in the Bulgarian mountains, Buzludzha monument is deteriorating. Commemorating early Bulgarian Marxists, it was designed to emphasize the power and modernity of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Buzludzha is now at the center of a debate over how Bulgaria remembers its past. Some people want to destroy it, some people want to restore it to its former glory, but Bulgarian architect Dora Ivanova has a better idea. Ivanova wants to turn it into a museum, and she founded the Buzludzha Project...


46. Vessela Gercheva Directs Playful Exhibits at Bulgaria’s First Children’s Museum

There were no children’s museums in the Balkans before Muzeiko opened in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2015. Days before Muzeiko’s historic opening, I interviewed Vessela Gercheva, the museum’s Programs and Exhibits Director. Gercheva talked about the challenges of opening the museum, not the least of which was how few people actually knew what a children’s museum was. Today, almost three years later, Gercheva says things have changed. Muzeiko is packed with kids, careening through exhibits designed...


45. Margaret Middleton Designs Museum Exhibits for All Ages

Margaret Middleton is an independent exhibit designer and museum consultant based in Providence, RI, USA. Middleton recently completed the design of the children's exhibits at the Discovery Museum in Acton, MA, USA. Driven by a background in industrial design and queer activism, Middleton is passionate about creating visitor-centered museum experiences, and writes and speaks about inclusion in museums. In 2014 Middleton developed the Family Inclusive Language Chart, now widely used in...


44. Vassil Makarinov Presents Technology and History at the Bulgarian Polytechnical Museum

The Bulgarian National Polytechnical Museum is a science museum that also tells the story of Bulgarian and world history. The building itself once housed a museum of a Bulgarian communist leader, and the technical artifacts on display, from simple machines to Bulgarian-made computers from the 1980s present both scientific concepts and the political contexts in which they were developed. In this episode, curator Vassil Macaranov describes how the increasing role of technology in our lives...


43. Blake Bradford Aims To Increase Number of Black Museum Professionals with Lincoln University Program

In episode 36 of this podcast, Bill Bradberry, Chair of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area Commission, described encountering the glaring lack of cultural diversity within and around the museum industry, particularly in leadership. He cited the new Museum Studies program at Lincoln University as an example of a program that addresses the problem directly. Blake Bradford is the director of that Museum Studies Program, a partnership between Lincoln University and the Barnes...


42. Freddi Williams Evans and Luther Gray Are Erecting Historic Markers on the Slave Trade in New Orleans

Until a few weeks ago, one of the only places in downtown New Orleans acknowledging the city’s slave-trading past was a marker in Congo Square, erected in 1997. The New Orleans Committee to Erect Historic Markers on the Slave Trade has since put up two new markers, one on the transatlantic slave trade along the Moonwalk and another on the domestic slave trade at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Chartres Street. Author and historian Freddi Williams Evans and activist Luther Gray are...


41. 16,000 Years at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter with David Scofield

View Shownotes As the oldest site of human habitation in North America, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter has a challenge: how to convey its mind-boggling timescale, spanning from prehistory to the 19th century? David Scofield, director of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, describes how the museum is designed to connect the big changes in how people lived through 16,000 years of history. The Meadowcroft Rockshelter opens for its 50th season on May 5th, 2018. It is part of the...


40. Conserving Digital Photos with Jenny Mathiasson and Kloe Rumsey

View Shownotes Jenny Mathiasson and Kloe Rumsey started The C Word: The Conservators’ Podcast to broadcast their friendly and professional discussions about conservation. Each episode features a different hot topic in the conservation world, and the podcast stands out for its hosts willingness to tackle complex topics. In this episode, the hosts discuss whether photos are data or objects, the Digitized Photograph Project at the Rwandan Genocide Memorial Centre, and museums asking people to...


39. Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum with James Delbourgo

Over the course of his long life, Hans Sloane collected tens of thousands of items which became the basis for what is today the British Museum. Funded in large part by his marriage into the enslaving plantocracy of Jamaica and the Atlantic slave trade, and aided by Britain’s rising colonial power and global reach, he assembled an encyclopedic collection of specimens and objects from all around the world. James Delbourgo, professor of History of Science and Atlantic World at Rutgers...


38. Conservation in the 21st Century with Sanchita Balachandran

Image: Sanchita Balachandran. Photo Credit: James Rensselaer. Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, hopes to see the field of conservation develop into more of a social process, rather than simply a technical one. From her 2016 talk at the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting, to teaching her students how to interrogate an object in person, to her Untold Stories project, Balachandran has thought critically about the role of...


37. The National Public Housing Museum with Robert J. Smith III

It would have been much easier to build the National Public Housing Museum from scratch instead of retrofitting it in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes, the first public housing development in Chicago. But doing so would have undermined one of the core principles of the museum: that place has power. Robert J. Smith III, the associate director of the National Public Housing Museum, describes the mission of the museum as preserving, promoting, and propelling housing as a...


36. The Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls with Bill Bradberry

Bill Bradberry, the President and Chairman of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area Commission, thinks of the entire city of Niagara Falls, NY as an open crime scene from “the crime of holding people in bondage, and the man-made crime of trying to escape.” With Canada just across the Niagara river, the Commission conducts research on the Underground Railroad as it relates to Niagara Falls and the surrounding area — for some, the last terminus in the United States. The...