Episode 01: Ideas of Interpretation at The Smart Museum of Art

In our first episode, Bryn Pernot, a second year Master’s in Public Humanities student at Brown University, speaks to Michael Christiano, Deputy Director for Audience Engagement and Public Practice at The Smart Museum of Art in Chicago. Their conversation touches on some of the most pressing topics in the museum field: the changing definition of “interpretation”, questions of institutional relevancy faced by museums in the 21st century, and the roles museums can, and should play, in their own neighborhoods and communities.

Bryn Pernot brings together anthropology, art, design, and games to research and develop innovative programs that integrate diverse backgrounds and perspectives and provide a space for public participation. Bryn is on Twitter @bryn_pernot.

Michael Christiano is Deputy Director and Curator of Public Practice at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. In this role, he develops strategies and programs that reflect on the nature of the Museum’s institutional practice, with a particular focus on education, interpretation, visitor experience, communications, installation strategy, and other key issues.

You can find every episode of Public Work on iTunes, and you can listen via the Anchor embed below (or find and download episodes on our Anchor page). We’ve also backed up every episode of Public Work in Brown University’s Digital Repository for long-term preservation.

Episode 01: Ideas of Interpretation at The Smart Museum of Art by Public Work: a public humanities podcast

Welcome to Public Work! In our first episode, Bryn Pernot, a second year Master’s in Public Humanities student at Brown University, speaks to Michael Christiano, Deputy Director for Audience Engagement and Public Practice at the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago.

Show Notes

Emmanuel Pratt,, The Smart Museum’s 2017-18 Interpreter in Residence, is talked about a lot in this episode. You can learn more about Emmanuel and his great work (including some of the public programming mentioned towards the end of the episode) here.

Watch Emmanuel discuss the exciting “We The Publics” project (currently part of The Smart’s “Radical [Re]Constructions” installation here.

For more on The Smart Museum, follow them on Twitter @SmartUChicago.

The music on this episode is excerpted from the song “New Day” by Lee Rosevere (licensed via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)

Comments on this episode? Find Public Work on Twitter @PublicWorkPod, or email us: publicworkpodcast[at]gmail.

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