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Sidebar: Building Partnerships / Diane Willow

Written by Dorothy Merrill

Developer Diane Willow brought science and cultural learning experiences to Boston area schools and afterschool programs. In addition to kit and exhibit development, she established and sustained many of the museum's longstanding relationships with agency leaders and set a high standard for museum/community collaborations.

In Planning for the Very Young: Excellence and Equity in preschool Activities at Science Museums, an Association of Science-Technology Centers & The Children's Museum publication, Diane discussed her experience:

Developing a relationship is a dynamic ongoing process. Each community has its own ecology, and a successful collaboration requires flexibility, clarity, and responsiveness. Once people from the community become comfortable users of the museum, they may ask for more and sometimes the seemingly impossible. Consider this is a sign of success and continue communicating the needs of both collaborating partners. This museum community partnership requires the respect, consistency, risk-taking, and caring that nurtures a mutually satisfying relationship.

Next: Sidebar: The Broad Reach of Community Services