Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join
News & Press: President's Message

President's Message: Utah Museums are Welcome to All

Saturday, April 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carl Aldrich
Share |

Think of a time when you felt like you didn’t belong. Perhaps you weren’t invited to a friend’s party, picked for a team, or went to a function where you didn’t know anyone. Remember what it was like to feel excluded? Every one of us has experienced the pain of not belonging at some point in our lives and, I’m certain, none of us would like to revisit those experiences or inflict that same pain on others.

Museums in Utah can be places where everyone who walks through our doors can feel a sense of belonging and find something - a story, an object, a location - with which to connect. We have such a wonderful variety of organizations in our state, from small history museums dedicated to preserving the story of Utah’s pioneers, to children’s museums dedicated to play-based learning, to large multidisciplinary museums dedicated to preserving Utah’s natural and/or artistic heritage, and so many more.  As museum people, we share a goal to be of service to our communities, to offer them opportunities to learn about the world, the west, Utah, their neighbors, and themselves. We do this by sharing those objects or experiences for which we are stewards, in our galleries, on our sites, and through our programs.

Never would we intentionally exclude any of our neighbors from engaging with us, but there may be some who don’t always feel welcome or who may not sense that they belong in our museums. Of course, there are many people in our communities that simply may not be interested in visiting our spaces – that’s ok! What I am suggesting is that there may also be those that might visit but don’t. Perhaps they don’t see themselves represented in a story or exhibit that is part of who they are or feel intimidated by the content or topics on display. Maybe it’s not feeling comfortable making a restroom choice or knowing if there will be adequate accommodation for a specific need.

We, as caring, compassionate museum people, can make a difference in our communities by ensuring that we welcome all of our neighbors. Museum people are always trying to improve, and we have the opportunity to evaluate our practices and our places, to reflect on whether or not we are being a good neighbor to all, and to make changes to create environments where the beautifully diverse people of Utah feel like they belong.

Thank you for the work you do to inspire, educate, and empower the people of Utah. I feel so very fortunate to belong to the Utah museum community.


Lorie White Millward portrait.


Lorie Millward is Vice President of Design and Programming at Thanksgiving Point and currently serves as the Utah Museums Association's President.

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal