People’s Museum

Brief description: A public space becomes a museum of the wide-ranging collections people and institutions in your community have amassed. Invite the collectors and hobbyists in your area to share what they love with each other.

How to: Many people collect something—matchbooks, stamps, shells, postcards, insects, beer bottles—and most enjoy the opportunity to share their collections and expertise. Divide a space into booths or tables, ask collectors to sign up for a space, give people parameters about what can be displayed (you may not want pornography or roadkill displays at a family-friendly event, for instance), and fill the space, first-come, first served. At the appointed hours, the doors are thrown open to the public. You can sell refreshments to offset costs and even rope off an area for some hands-on creative activity for those who want a break from looking at collections.

Impact statement: The People’s Museum is educational and fun. It encourages intergenerational communication, community-building, and respect for difference as it exposes participants to a diverse group of people and their interests!