Heritance, the Open Museum People

Mark WalhimerKinetic Sculpture, Museum Governance, Museum Resources Leave a Comment

Just learned about Heritance, love their thinking.  Check out the online museum http://openmuseum.org – Mark Walhimer

Heritance Website

From Heritance website:

“Heritance promotes open museum practices that foster diversity and good governance.

Christian Creutz photo

Heritance promotes open museum practices through Open Museum (OMo), a free web site and global museum that allows museums to create dynamic exhibits that support (encourage!) visitor co-creation.

Open Museums matter.

Open museums encourage everyone to play an active role in preserving, protecting, and promoting their heritage.

Open museums promote tolerance by embracing the complexity and contradictions inherent in all history and culture.

Open museums encourage good governance by embodying the values of transparence and inclusion.

And finally, open museums are simply more interesting, engaging and rewarding to their visitors when they present a variety of contrasting perspectives and interpretations. Because any story worth telling always has more than one side.”

About Open Museum


Open Museum is a non-commercial exhibit space open to all. Any organization or individual can create dynamic online exhibits; any visitor can contribute content; and everyone can access the global museum. Open Museum is the collaborative project of Heritance and Zirgoflex L3C.


Heritance is a cultural and educational nonprofit (501c3) organization whose mission is to promote open museum practices that foster diversity and good governance.

Zirgoflex is a registered Vermont L3C (designated low-profit) social venture specializing in the design, development, and deployment of web-based products supporting public sphere collaborative content production.

The Open Museum Team, Jeff Doyle, Lauri Berkenkamp and Maureen Ward Doyle, are participants in both Heritance and Zirgoflex and bring decades (if not a century!) of technology, communications and education experience to this project.


We at Open Museum believe that culture is for everyone, and that museums can create vibrant and thriving real-world communities by making online connections with their visitors.

Museums are important cultural cornerstones: they are public spaces where people can explore the world’s art, culture, and heritage, and immerse themselves in the complex stories of our shared past. But while most museums focus long and hard on presenting information that they hope visitors will internalize and appreciate, very few museums really interact with their visitors, have conversations, or make the one-on-one connections that really create a community.

We created Open Museum because we think it is ideal for preserving and promoting art, culture and history in a way that static web sites don’t and can’t offer. For museums and organizations with no online presence, Open Museum provides a great initial web presence as well as a way to have a virtual catalog of the objects in that museum’s collections. For museums and organizations with existing websites, Open Museum provides a complementary presence that offers features found in the most cutting-edge online museums such as MOMA and Brooklyn Museum.

Open Museum is on the leading edge of rethinking and retooling the way people interact with arts, culture and history, and we believe that it is an opportunity that should be shared by all kinds of organizations, regardless of their finances, location, or technical skills.

We feel that the equation is simple: objects + people = museums. So with Open Museum, we are combining online exhibits of collections with social networking features, to make a website that allows people who like museums, art, and culture, to visit exhibits online and get to know other people who also like and visit museums.


Open Museum is a not-for-profit project that is funded by donations from foundations and individuals. To keep it free for everyone, consider making a tax-deductible donation to Open Museum.

Help shape Open Museum by telling us what you think!”

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