Episode 02: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko on Small Museums

This episode gets into the nitty gritty of the museum world. After Jim and Amelia briefly chat about recent trips to small museums, first year public humanities student Maddie Mott interviews Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President/CEO of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. Cinnamon shares her career trajectory, offers advice for folks wanting to get into the field, and talks about running a small museum. Their conversation also touches on one of the most important topics in the field right now: “decolonizing the museum.” Learn more about the Abbe Museum on their website.

Maddie Mott

Maddie Mott is a graduate student studying Public Humanities at Brown University. Before she came to Brown, she worked in development at the Clackamas County Historical Society and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. She is interested in studying new ways to make museums more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable, both internally and externally.

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko joined the Abbe Museum as President/CEO in 2009. Prior to that point, Cinnamon was the director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana where she led the organization to the National Medal for Museum Service in 2008. A passionate advocate for museums – their successes and their needs – and small museum expert, Cinnamon holds a BA in Anthropology and Art History from Purdue University, and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) MA program in Anthropology with a specialization in Museum Studies.

In 2004, the Indiana Historical Society published Cinnamon’s first book The Art of Healing: The Wishard Art Collection. She is the co-editor of the Small Museum Toolkit, a six book series, published by Altamira Press in 2012. In addition to editing, she authored the chapters on strategic planning and fundraising tactics. She is currently revising the second edition of the popular textbook Museum Administration.

Download our latest episode on iTunes, or listen via the Soundcloud embed below (or over on our Soundcloud page).

Show Notes

In the intro to this week’s episode, Amelia discussed a recent trip to the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville, Virginia. Jim talked about his visit to the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and its exhibit on Kris Kristofferson.

Among other topics, Catlin and Maddie’s conversation makes reference to the Small Museum Association, NAGPRA, and Amy Lonetree’s Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (2012).

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.

Episode One: 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.

Download our latest episode on iTunes, or listen via the Soundcloud embed below (or over on our Soundcloud page).

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.