Museum invites public to its Extreme Exhibit Makeover -- Gazette.Net


A popular television show meets museum history at the Extreme Exhibit Makeover, an innovative way of creating new exhibits at the Sandy Spring Museum through the collaboration of professionals and community members.

Two teams comprising experts in various fields will come up with an idea for an exhibit that focuses on an aspect of local culture and its historic roots.

The teams will have three months to conduct the background research, select artifacts and photos, create graphics and design the exhibit. The teams then will be brought together to install their exhibits. The exhibit installation will be open to the public, who will vote on their favorite.

Executive Director Allison Weiss said the purpose is to reinvigorate the exhibit hall with new exhibits; to get new people involved in the museum; to get new perspectives on local history; to make the exhibit process more contemporary by incorporating popular culture and social media, by posting frequent behind-the-scenes updates; and to incorporate a performance art aspect by allowing the public to watch the installation.

“The challenge of history museums is to make the content engaging to lots of different people,” Weiss said. “We hope that by infusing some pop culture into the exhibit process, we will make history less ‘dusty’ and more contemporary. The traditional model is to only allow historians to interpret history. We want to invite other people, too — artists, members of the public — so more people have a voice at the table.”

The program will launch in September and exhibits are expected to be ready for installation by January.

To learn more about the Extreme Exhibit Makeover, or to apply to be on one of the teams, visit or call 301-774-0022.