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With new audiences and tech, LA's museums evolving to stay relevant

A screengrab of the Broad Museum app.
A screengrab of the Broad Museum app.

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The Natural History Museum announced this morning that they’re launching an urban  biodiversity center.

It’s part of a larger movement among museums big and small to become less of a museum of past artifacts and more of a living research institution through which to understand our current world.

Civic engagement is a big part of it as these living museums ask people to help amass this data by being the eyes and ears on the ground. Museums to varying degrees are experimenting with their own apps, tablets, virtual reality and other tech to increase curiosity and draw in the ever-coveted millennial audience. But it can be a fine line between reaching new audiences and alienating an older, more traditional one.

We talk with museum curators and watchers about how museums are changing in the digital age. What are your favorite museums? Why? Are there things you’d like to see your local museums do? What made you decide to become a museum member if you have?


Susana Smith Bautista, director of public engagement at the USC Pacific Asia Museum and author of "Museums in the Digital Age: Changing Meanings of Place, Community, and Culture"

Rob Stein, Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer, American Alliance of Museums