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Knitting the fabric

27 March 2009

On the educative role of museums:

[The diverse ‘minority’ groups in USA schools] need the profound and intimate understanding of different cultures that is fundamental to museum programming … And they need the highly specialized types of encounters between people and their physical and cultural environment that museums provide. These encounters foster appreciation of the myriad accrued meanings of things, meanings which constitute the fabric that holds a community together. Without such a knitting together of our social fabric, we will become a still more fractured, fragmented and violent society.


From: Amalia Mesa-Bains 1992, ‘The real multiculturalism: a struggle for authority and power’, first published in Different voices: a social, cultural and historical framework for change in the American Art Museum: republished in G. Anderson (ed.) 2004, Reinventing the museum: historical and contemporary perspectives on the paradigm shift, Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, California, pp. 99-117.

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