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Popup exhibits have been on the radar for many museums for several years now. These exhibit outposts can be located outside the museum, in community spaces, often outdoors. And now, during times of COVID-19, these outdoor, remote locations may provide new options for museums looking to connect beyond their walls. Our focus in particular has been gathering community stories, recorded in video, as part of a popup exhibit experience.

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How do we connect with museum audiences – their stories and experiences – when even visiting museums is a sporadic, uncertain prospect? Covid-19 challenges museums to find new ways of connecting with communities. One approach is to ask audience members directly to record their experiences in response to questions such as “How did your family come to our community?” This community storytelling process encourages museums to reach out to connect with visitors where they are, whether in exhibits, outdoor satellite spaces, or at home.

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