American Families project to highlight one Bay Area family with two gay moms. To make sure the show felt relevant for all our visitors, Lisa developed an interpretive approach that focuses on the meaning of family and we wrote labels in the form of questions that invite visitors to talk about their own families.
The show opened just in time for San Jose Pride weekend, August 18-19. The Pride festival takes place on the Museum’s front lawn and this is the first year we’ll have Pride-related offerings in the museum itself.
The gallery is in a challenging space- it's part of a hallway that extends around a corner, framed by bathrooms and a defibrillator unit. Most visitors take a glance down the hall and if they don’t have to pee, say, “Oh, there’s nothing down this way- let’s go back downstairs.” Not exactly prime real estate.
As soon as the gallery opened, grown-ups were reading the questions on the wall to their children and the clips in the talk-back station filled up immediately. Many visitors have said they really like the photographs and Lisa and I are happy to see visitors spending more time in the art gallery. We're already talking about what's next.