Collaborating with Technology: A Discussion with 5 cultural leaders from Balboa Park
The Balboa Park Online Collaborative is a technology-focused collaborative body in Balboa Park, San Diego, which brings together 27 cultural institutions diverse in both size and subject matter on technology projects, from infrastructure to web development to collection and digital asset management. The diversity of BPOC members is a great strength, but it can also be a challenge when it comes to identifying and completing mutually beneficial technology projects that serve the greatest number of members. Despite the challenges, BPOC, with the help of the staff and leadership at each of the member institutions, has made great strides in the past 3 years: connecting the Balboa Park campus with fiber optic and providing shared internet and IT service, improving the quality and usability of collections data, implementing a shared digital asset management system, redesigning and launching over 20 websites on a common content management system, and digitizing tens of thousands of images, videos, and films, among others.
This forum will gather 4 museum directors to discuss the challenges and rewards of these collaborative technology projects from the executive perspective. Drawing from a pool of directors of fine art, science, history, air and space, automotive, sports, performing arts, and other cultural institutions, small and large, BPOC will convene a representative panel to discuss how collaborating with technology has changed their institutions and the culture of Balboa Park, the political and cultural challenges faced, and lessons learned over the last several years. Topics will include BPOC’s technology projects specifically as well as general impressions on the collaborative process.