American Public Gardens Association Conference 2018

Southern California

June 4-8, 2018

Making Bigger Pictures: Connecting Collections with Contemporary Culture
Event Type: 
The Living Landscape
Date / Time: 
Wed June, 06 - 1:45pm to 2:45pm
Magic Kingdom Ballroom 4
D. Bryant, L. Washburn, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California

As cultural attitudes and mindsets shift ever more rapidly, how do botanical gardens stay relevant? Our collections, from living plants to herbarium specimens, represent an intrinsic part of botanical garden DNA. However, these collections are not always packaged for the public and changing trends and the need to build bridges between the garden and the public grows. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is building bridges through exhibitions, connecting collections with themes in contemporary culture on a cross-disciplinary stage. This presentation outlines how these exhibitions are developed and executed, including leveraging regional partners, generating original content linking collections to a cultural theme, designing thought-provoking experiences, and gauging the impacts of this practice.