MAKING WAVES: Creating Innovation Part 2 – Unexpected Outcomes


For the next few weeks on MAKING WAVES, MMA Executive Director, Stuart A. Chase will be talking about the innovation process, what it takes to be truly innovative, and why this is so important in a COVID – 19 reality. The innovation process involves four key steps: unexpected outcomes, overcoming obstacles, motivation, and inspiration.  This week, Stuart is reflecting on the unexpected outcomes MMA has experienced over the past two months and our shift to completely digital programming.

Like many organizations, in the past few months MMA has had to shift completely to digital programming created by staff working remotely. While we have certainly had setbacks, we have also experienced several unexpected successes from our efforts.

Free Family Fun Day is a highlight of our education and community engagement program.  Six times a year we open our doors for free to the entire Monterey community for a fun filled day of art activities for the whole family – typically welcoming between 300 and 700 guests in a day.  Now, with our galleries closed and large public gatherings unlikely for the foreseeable future, we had to rethink our approach – and fast.

Our education team scrambled and created 6 family friendly activities for our first Virtual Free Family Fun Day. All could be done with objects found around the home and all focused on a particular artistic skill (color, pattern, texture, etc).  We then released them in a social media campaign on the day that normally would have welcomed hundreds of families from around the county to the Museum.  The result – our reach and impact skyrocketed.  We received thousands of views and positive comments from people from all corners of Monterey County and beyond.  By going digital, we removed the barrier of physical access from our program – something we didn’t even consider was holding us back.

With this unexpected outcome, we plan to make our Virtual Free Family Fun Days a constant presence in our programming.  This chance to innovate has made us realize that we can digitize programs we previously thought would be limited without a physical presence.  Stay tuned for more on MMA’s exciting digital future and join us on Saturday, June 6 for our next Virtual Free Family Fun Day: Fun in the Sun!