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The State of Chicago Museums

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The 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Museums began yesterday in Chicago.

Museum professionals around the world have gathered for tours, workshops and discussions on the theme of “why museums matter.”

One thing seems certain: museums matter to Chicago.

We’ve got over 40 of them—from the Field Museum of Natural History on the lakefront, to the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture on the Southwest Side.

But how many Chicagoans actually visit these institutions?

That is, if they’re not taking visitors from out of town.

We sent out Chicago Public Radio’s Sarah Morgan to find out.

CHICAGOANS ON MUSEUMS

So what are museums doing to make sure they matter to the everyman—and woman and child?

Caroline Goldthorp is a professor of museum studies for Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies.

She’s also a former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Chicago, and she joins us by phone.

Music Button: Kronos Quartet, “Deciso-Espressivo ma ben tenuto” from the CD Henryk Gorecki…songs are sung (Nonesuch Records)

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