Thursday, March 20, 2008

CAM 2008 Session: New and Alternate Funding Streams for Museums, The Mother of All Rummage Sales and Hiring out Museum Expertise

Mark Medeiros, Deputy Director of the Oakland Museum of California, inspired the room with his description of the Oakland's annual White Elephant Sale--a garage sale to end all garage sales that attracts buyers from all over the Bay Area, nets in the millions and costs almost nothing to produce. The event is entirely staffed by volunteers and the warehouse where it is held was purchased years ago so there is very little overhead. And every now and then, real treasures get found in and amongst the sale items. Sometimes the Museum itself actually finds items for the collection through the Sale!

Mark also talked about a relatively new division within the museum called Professional Services. This division is essentially a museum consulting and exhibition development firm housed within the museum as both a revenue stream and a form of outreach. Properties such as large office buildings or civil spaces such as port authorities hire the Professional Services team to design and install exhibits or consult on collection and exhibition-related areas.

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