More specifically, what similarities are shared between the Portland Museum of Art and the Oakland Athletics?
More than one would think, said Mark Bessire, PMA Director, Tuesday, January 12 during the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce's first Eggs & Issues of 2016.
In his presentation, titled "Your Museum, Reimagined" Bessire said he drew inspiration from the Oakland Athletics and General Manager Billy Beane when it came time to update the museum.
To that end, the museum has decided that the best way to reach the most people is to make its exhibits and resources accessible to all.
Bessire said that like libraries museums were predicted to become less relevant with the advent of the digital age. Instead, institutions such as the Portland Public Library and the PMA found a way to adapt and embrace a changing digital landscape.
“Rather than give up, we found the opportunity to change. Libraries became more open and embraced the idea that they are as much about information and community as books,” he said. “They took information technology to the global level while embracing the local by creating spaces where people could come together.”
When it came to the museum, a fundamental change had to occur in the way visitors interacted with the space, Bessire said.
“At first museums tightly guarded their images. They refused to share digital imagery of paintings and our works of art just a few years ago the number one interaction in the museum was ‘No photographs,’” he said. “Their first experience with a staff member was being told not to do something. What could be worse for your institution?”
Now, the PMA welcomes selfies and other interactions visitors have. The future plans include adding smart phone-friendly apps and other interactive displays.
For more information on the museum, visit the PMA's website. Check back with the Chamber of Commerce's website for more information on Eggs & Issues.