“It was a dark and stormy night,” Leigh started in her worst Dracula impression.

“Oh don’t scare him!” Jen interrupted sweeping into the kitchen. Under her breath, she muttered, “I hate spooky season.”
“He doesn’t understand anything I’m saying.” Pointing to the almost 3-year-old, Leigh scoops the boy up into her arms.

“He understands more than you think. Don’t underestimate kids — right Henry?”

As much as Jen loved her wife, she couldn’t get behind Leigh’s love of Halloween. This was probably because she had to read and research real-life bad guys, as a journalist covering the crime beat in town. Granted, nothing happened in Center Springs; while it was in the center of the state, it was also in the center of nothing, not even really a spring anymore. …

As a treat on weekends when I’d accompany my mother running errands we would go to a hole-in-the-wall American-Italian restaurant in town called Franconi’s. There’s not much special about this place. From the drab color palette on the interior to the generic ‘Italian’ paintings that hung minimally on the wall, or even the gumball and toy machines near the counter that never seemed to need to be refilled, it was textbook average.

It’s these habitual places that become special over time. On these outings we would grab lunch together, nearly always ordering the same thing. As a kid, I wasn’t the most adventurous eater, so naturally, I would order the very beige meal of a plain hot dog and a massive side of cheese fries. Mom ate relatively healthy, and retroactively I appreciate that she never made fun of my food choice even when I should have grown out of the nutritional crutch of anything covered in fake nacho cheese. …

I open a new tab and type in the first two letters, the auto-fill completing the rest because in a spare moment of each day I pull up a job board, hoping for new listings. All my recent search history to the left shows off “safe” options, options that I’m overqualified for, or don’t require much rearranging of my life.

Every so often though after going through the usual list I take a chance, and look up specific museums that are categorically ‘dream institutions’ to work at. …

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Merry Company on a Terrace — Jan Steen | The Met

I’ve got an unpopular opinion — museums and non-profits need to stop buying into the idea of third-party facilitated team-building. Hear me out.

A Cure For All That Ails You

This straight-up corporate snake oil is selling a band-aid solution to a systematic problem in the museum-world.

While there is often a huge rift between on-the-floor employees and leadership, spending a few hours pulling metaphors from guacamole-making competitions isn’t going to make the long-lasting change you’re looking for.

From outrageous competitions to the tried and true trust-falls, third-party companies that create a stressful environment to build bonds between co-workers end up facilitating artificial experiences that at best are HR photo-op candy. …

“What would you say if you could speak directly to your target audience for thirty minutes without any interruption?”

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‘Your Museum Needs A Podcast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits’ | Hannah Hethmon

It’s one of the first questions posed in Hannah Hethmon’s ‘Your Museum Needs A Podcast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits.’ It’s something museums should consider carefully at their very core, but particularly with programming. For a lot of content, our audience is opting in, and will only stay is what you’re saying is compelling enough.

Which is exactly why taking a crack at trying to make a podcast might just be a great idea. Podcasts are huge right now and aren’t showing any signs of going away. But if you’re in the dark on where to even start, Hannah’s new book is just what you need. In it, you’ll find a ton of information, resources you can use, and all your FAQs answered. It completely demystifies the idea of needing a glamorous setup, and gives practical advice specifically for museums or cultural sites all packed in about 100 pages. …


I sat at the tiny two-person table in early June in a friend’s nearly-windowless Brooklyn apartment, sulking after being let go from my job. In a semi-panic stricken decision, I immediately booked a train to the city to say goodbye to my co-workers on my own terms, and start soul searching for the next career adventure. What I didn’t know is that my soul searching was going to go so much deeper than simply shooting for my next dream job.

In front of me was a book all about Enneagrams―radically simplified, it’s an in-depth dissection of personality types, but taps down deep into something almost primal. We contain all types, act differently when we are healthy or unhealthy, and we are constantly in movement with a home base. …

I’ve been taking a little hiatus from blogging, focusing a ton on reading and laying the groundwork for my next project―Ugh, Good Grief. Right now in its infancy, it’s a self-care esque journal I’m creating for myself, but I’m hoping to pick out the best pages and create a blank book to help those who are dealing with loss.

At 24 I lost my mom because cancer is straight garbage, and I quickly became aware of a problem I was going to have when starting to move through grief. Resources for loss are honestly a dime a dozen, and I have read a ton of bad advice. …

Years have passed since the Bush administration passed No Child Left Behind, known colloquially by its initialism NCLB, leaving teachers frustrated with new standards of learning, and museums in the dark on how to be useful educational resources. Under the Obama administration, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was conceived, which gave incentives for states to adopt academic standards that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace, and narrows the government’s role in Elementary and Secondary education. …

The 2018 World Cup has come to a close, but thankfully football fans don’t have to wait too long for the regular season to start. For me, this means the Premier League―the top level of the English football league system featuring about 20 clubs operating on a system of promotion and relegation, that can make for some top-notch drama.

The clubs in the premier league boost worldwide dedicated fandom, and each club contains membership to serve their most devoted base. …


Julia Kennedy

Artist | Wannabe writer | Jill of all trades jskennedy.net

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