Arts & Entertainment

Museum professionals convene in Los Angeles

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Thousands of administrators from museums throughout the country and the world are in Los Angeles for their annual convention. They'll enjoy the best the Southland has to offer, between working sessions in which they’ll tackle big challenges.

Just like families, America’s museums are struggling to get through the recession. Although attendance is up, donations and memberships are down. And bigger problems loom, says Elizabeth Merritt with the Center for the Future of Museums.

"Ninety percent of our core visitors are Caucasian Americans. If that doesn’t change – and that demographic in the U.S. is a smaller and smaller percentage of the public – you can see right there what the problem is. So we have to act if we are going to fulfill our ambitions to be a really vital resource for all of society."

The theme of this year’s convention is “Museums without Borders.” The focus is on reaching new, diverse audiences. Merritt says there’s no better place to have discussions about diversity than metro L.A.

As for the fun part, well, she’s got her eye on Culver City for a long-awaited visit to the curious and quirky Museum of Jurassic Technology. The meeting and expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center continue through Wednesday, May 26.