Building a Community Museum with Chelsea Ridley and Jonathan Kelley


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In community organizing work, there are no shortcuts or gimmicks, only relationships built on trust and continued investment. The Lawndale Pop-Up Spot is a community-led museum located in a shipping container at the Spaulding Memorial Garden, a community garden in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Chelsea Ridley and Jonathan Kelley, the museum’s founders, trace the evolution of this project from an idea seeded in the classroom to a living space rooted in a collective vision. Along the way, they highlight moments of uncertainty, talk about forging authentic partnerships, and offer thoughts on museums of the future.

Learn more at or reach out to them at Follow Lawndale Pop-Up Spot on Twitter @lawndalepopup, Instagram @lawndalepopupspot, and on Facebook.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter @ckridley and Jonathan @jk_museums

Show Notes

The Museum As Soup Kitchen: a paper about Museums, Responsiveness to Community Need and Social Service by Elaine Heumann Gurian

Museu de Favela

Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project


Men Making a Difference

National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated

21 episodes