Connecting People Through the Power of Creativity | Jon Carfagno
This presentation is a call to action about the role art museums should play in catalyzing the next phase of their community’s identity. In a world that demands bold ideas and more imaginative solutions to increasingly complex problems, new approaches to exhibitions and museum programming present a unique opportunity to teach about how creativity works. As public spaces that honor inclusion and participation, museums should also bridge the empathy gap by presenting experiences that help diverse groups learn and ideate together. What happens when art museums reframe their work to champion these concepts? I believe that answers to many of the questions we grapple with, from how to attract a younger workforce to how to foster empathy in divided communities, lie within the walls of the future-forward art museum.
Jon Carfagno joined the Hickory Museum of Art as the institution’s fifth Executive Director in April 2017. Prior to that he served as the Director of Learning and Audience Engagement at the Grand Rapids Art Museum where he led numerous initiatives that brought local, statewide and national recognition to the museum. Jon recently served as the Vice President of the Board for the Museum Education Roundtable. A frequent speaker on the topics of human centered design, methods of innovation, and organizational theory, Mr. Carfagno is most actively concerned about diversity, museum futures, and sustainability. His recent book chapter titled, “Adopting Empathy: Why Empathy Should be a Core Value for All Museums,” has contributed to international movements focused on social connectedness in museums. He holds the M.A. in Art History from the University of Massachusetts and completed Kendall College of Art and Design’s MBA Certificate Program in Design and Innovation Management.