LOOKING FOR LOCAL TREASURES
MPM SEEKS NEW PRESIDENT
The Milwaukee Public Museum Board seems to realize there are great Italian cookies right here in Milwaukee.
Any loosely traditional Italian wedding must include a desert table. Said table must itself include Italian cookies. My dad tells a great story about going to countless such weddings as a Milwaukee youth, wherein a major topic of conversation was always the source of the cookies.
As the story goes, someone around the desert table would comment on how tasty the Italian cookies were. Then someone, slightly more in the know, would add, "They're from Chicago."
"Ummmm," the other guests would nod with affirmation..
See, they must be superior. They're from somewhere not here.
It's exactly that kind of mentality that drives me crazy as a native of these parts. We do it to ourselves. How many times in your career have you seen qualified people passed over for promotion, because the intergalactic search your company performed turned up a "far better" candidate from outside. Very often it's somebody who doesn't know your company, doesn't know your culture, and will tell anyone who will listen how much he/she hates the winters here.
What's any of this got to do with the Milwaukee Public Museum? I've included a link to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article I read with interest over the weekend.
It makes very clear that the search for a new Museum President will focus on the local. They're hoping for someone, the article said, "...who is or could become 'a respected, trusted, and credible figure within the greater Milwaukee Metropolitan community.'"
Read: we'd love to hire somebody local, or at least with local ties.
I was so pleased to read that. It's our museum, and who better to run, secure, and promote our museum than one of us?
Don't get me wrong. Extremism in the other direction can fail as well. Some venerable local institutions become so incestuous that new ideas are hard to come by.
That said, here's hoping they find someone to protect the Streets of Old Milwaukee, who walked them as a child and walks them still with his or her children.
As for my wedding, we of course had the Italian cookies. Thank you, Peter Sciortino's on Brady Street.
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