In this episode of the Artmatcher podcastAllison Peck speaks with Scott Stiner about the importance of community outreach, communication, and partnerships to museums, as well as the FUTURES exhibit.

About Allison Peck

Allison Peck is a strategic planner and ideas lead for arts and museums, especially cultural institutions tackling big and ambitious projects that push the status quo. As director of external affairs and partnerships for the Smithsonian’s iconic Arts + Industries Building, she most recently reopened America’s storied first national museum as a space devoted to future thinking and innovation.

Over the last decade, Allison has spearheaded marketing, communications, and audience engagement for several museums, including the Smithsonian’s museums of modern art and Asian art—launching major architectural projects, digital platforms, blockbuster exhibitions, and crowdfunding campaigns. She is passionate about opening cultural spaces to all comers and blurring the boundaries between art, institutions, and the public they serve. She has an MA in arts administration from American University in D.C., and a dual BA in art history and strategic communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker on the field

The Smithsonian’s FUTURES exhibit

The Smithsonian’s FUTURES exhibit is an interactive, technology-driven experience that allows visitors to explore the various implications of climate change and global population growth.

Part exhibition, part festival, FUTURES presents nearly 32,000 square feet of new immersive site-specific art<art installations, interactives, working experiments, inventions, speculative designs, and “artifacts of the future,” as well as historical objects and discoveries from 23 of the Smithsonian’s museums, major initiatives, and research centers. Of the nearly 150 objects on view, several are making their public debut: an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven rover from Alphabet’s X that could transform agriculture; a Planetary Society space sail for deep space travel; a Loon internet balloon; the first full-scale Richard Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome built in North America; the world’s first controlled thermonuclear fusion device; and more.

Through games, videos, activities, and simulations, visitors can gain insight into how humans might respond to a future in which resources such as water, energy, and food become increasingly scarce. Additionally, the exhibit encourages visitors to think critically about the societal implications of these changes and investigate possible solutions to the problems we may face. By taking a closer look at our current and future world, visitors are empowered to make more informed choices in their everyday lives. Ultimately, FUTURES aims to change the way people think about our planet’s future by helping them understand the reality of climate change and the potential consequences of our actions today. Through this interactive experience, the Smithsonian hopes to educate and inspire people to work towards a more sustainable future for all.

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