Jessica over at the Vancouver Police Museum wrote a wonderful blog post about the top ten reasons why the VPM rocks. I thought this was a great idea and a great post, so I decided to respond with my own list of reasons why I think MOA is memorable (in no particular order).
Top Ten Reasons Why MOA is Memorable!
10. MOA displays over 60% of its collections
When the Multiversity Galleries were built in 2009-10, MOA staff had the intention of displaying as much of the collection as possible! The 4,500 square foot space houses more than 10,000 objects within its cases and pullout drawers. The Ramp and Great Hall display some of MOA’s largest and oldest Northwest Coast objects, totem poles and carvings (and in such a lovely setting, too!) Outside the Museum one can find totem poles, the Haida Houses, Susan Point carvings and more!
9. MOA is a place of learning, research and teaching
As part of the University of British Columbia, MOA is at the frontier of anthropological and archaeological research and teaching. Some of MOA’s curators and even MOA’s director, Anthony Shelton, teach in the Anthropology department at UBC. I took ANTH 431, Museum Practice and Curatorship, last year with curator Jennifer Kramer (who is teaching again this year with curator Sue Rowley). Classes are held in the Museum’s ethnology, archaeology, and conservation labs , and in the library and archives. There are also a number of programs offered for grade school students.
8. MOA is at the forefront of collaborative research
MOA recognizes the diversity of Canada’s First Nations and, as the Museum is situated on ancestral Musqueam land, enjoys working with local communities to discuss, display, and interact with their histories. For 31 years MOA has hosted the Native Youth Program and works closely with the UBC First Nations House of Learning.
7. MOA makes it’s collections accessible to anyone!
This past September the MOACAT was launched on our website, making our collections accessible to people around the world. MOACAT terminals are also placed throughout the MVG (Multiversity Galleries) and Koerner Ceramics Gallery so that visitors can look up extensive information on objects, places and people. Fancy that!
6. MOA is free to UBC staff, faculty and students
MOA likes to embrace the fact that it’s a part of the University, and so we welcome ALL student, staff and faculty to come through the Museum for free!
5. MOA hosts some of the most MEMORABLE events!
This past year MOA reopened after extensive renovations and hosted the extremely successful Border Zones exhibit, WAM! 2010, Man Ray (this weekend) and will be presenting Signed Without Signature: Works by Charles and Isabella Edenshaw in November. Museum staff LOVE to host numerous performances, lecture series, live demonstrations and exhibits to keep things interesting. Some of the performers we had this past year include Cris Derksen, the Git Hayetsk Dancers, Ache Brasil, Tibetan Monks and more! Hey, you can even have your wedding here, too.
4. MOA Curators love to engage with visitors!
Since early October, MOA Curators have been giving free guided tours to visitors every Tuesday from 1-2pm. I’ve spoken with some of the curators about their experiences and have received excellent feedback. It really makes them feel great for the rest of the day when visitors show a keen interest in what they are doing! There are also free tours given twice a day by MOA Volunteers.
3. MOA employs UBC students and has a plethora of volunteers
MOA employs students as work studies, interns and tour guides. I am finishing my undergraduate degree at UBC and am working as a work study, myself! The Museum also has a HUGE number of volunteers who run tours, student programs and events. MOA has more than 80 volunteers , and many of them have been volunteering with MOA for a LONG time!
2. MOA likes hearing from you!!
We read your comments, respond to questions and ALWAYS want to hear from you! Have a question for a curator? Post it on facebook, the blog, or our twitter and I will make sure you’re question is answered! In fact, I strongly encourage questions (we are a teaching institution, after all).
1. MOA has global relationships
Our curators and staff are from all over the world and travel to distant locations (Curator Carol Mayer works sometimes works in Vanuatu!) to build and maintain strong personal relationships that are beneficial for
everyone! When the Museum received a donation from the Williams family it began a relationship that blossomed into a two documentaries about a reconciliation ceremony between the community in Erromango and the William’s family, and a relationship between the Museum, the Williams’ and the people in Erromango!