Mission statements express the intent and purpose of a project. They act as the foundation you will build upon to communicate the themes and ideas of your exhibition. Mission statements are also a quick and concise "elevator pitch" that describe the exhibition. Here are two examples:
It's Kitsch! Betsy Ross in Popular Art aims to educate visitors on the evolution of Betsy Ross' image in popular Western art and culture.
Beyond the Sea investigates the diversity of marine life in the Black Sea.
Learn more about generally developing a mission statement here.
Are you exhibiting circulating or special collections? Download this Excel template to input as many collection details as possible in the green highlighted columns. Details can be exported from Franklin/Aeon. Please include at least preliminary dimensions of the artifacts.
This is an opportunity to write a compelling narrative for your exhibition. Here are some questions you may wish to think about or address in the narrative:
Your exhibition will likely have something for everyone to enjoy, and all are welcome to attend. But in order to craft compelling content, it's important we determine the visitors or users we're trying to reach. This helps narrow down the themes of the exhibition and determine the best way to communicate those themes. We can identify primary, secondary, and even tertiary audiences. Consider:
For instance, if your exhibition focuses on a collection of anatomical drawings of animals, the exhibit audience might be: primarily the Penn Libraries veterinary community, the secondary audience may be science majors/researchers at Penn, and the tertiary group might be science enthusiasts throughout Philadelphia.
When proposing an opening date or timeline, keep in mind that the workflow process for exhibitions (from planning to preparation to implementation) takes a year or more. Be prepared to be scheduled at least a year out, likely more. Please include any special considerations that may affect scheduling, such as a related symposium, special event, anniversary, etc.
You are welcome to suggest a gallery or library space for your exhibition, however the Exhibition Committee (alongside Heads of Departmental Libraries, if applicable) will make the final determination for scheduling and space. This determination is based on a handful of considerations, including the fragility of collection items, amount of space required to exhibit materials, lighting and A/V requirements, among others.
The exhibition program at Penn Libraries is dedicated to furthering the strategic initiative related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Anyone proposing an exhibition topic should deeply consider how their proposed exhibition topic can incorporate critical inquiry of the subject, further DEIA, or support DEIA in some way.
While optional, you do have the ability to add additional documents to your proposal form. Please include anything that might help the Executive Committee for Exhibits evaluate your proposal. Include anything that is relevant, i.e.: information on potential collaborators, a list of educational goals, images that help convey the look and feel of your exhibition. Again, this is not required.