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“Pop Ups” Connect the Museum to the Community

Eric Bell, Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS) Communications Coordinator

Chad has a photo album. Sarah has a bottle of wine. Amanda has a clay vase, her first attempt at pottery.
A group of museum professionals have gathered in Assiniboia to learn about and host our own “Pop-Up Museum.” The theme is “Handmade,” and every person (there are about 15 of us) has a unique item that has a story behind it that is often deeply personal. At first the room is silent. Quiet music filters through the room from a speaker in the background. Slowly, people start to mill about the room, naturally curious about the item each person has brought. People begin talking and soon enough the room is bustling with activity. People are talking, laughing and joking as they tell one another the story behind their items. Our first Pop-Up is a success.
Michelle DelCarlo is the brains behind this idea. As a Museum Studies student at the University of Washington, DelCarlo was looking for a way to connect the museum to the community. With few available resources, DelCarlo was inspired by the trend in the United States of Pop-Up retailers, stores that would set up temporarily in a space to sell their goods for a short period of time.