May 2024

I 💚 Heart Museums 2024 Playlist

To celebrate International Museums Day, MER is revisiting a fan-favorite blog feature: the I 💚 Museums Playlist!

We’ve put together another eclectic playlist that captures the wide range of emotions people feel when exploring museums.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this list, and don’t forget to also check out the OG playlist from 2020!


    1. “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson
      Recommended by Dr. Alexandra F. Morris, MER Board Member, Egyptologist and disability activist
      Museums can be radical and transformative spaces if we let them be. Particular lines that resonate are “The only thing that we did right, Was the day we begun to fight, Keep your eyes on the prize hold on.” 

    1. “Keep Your Eyes on The Prize” by Pete Seeger
      Museums can be radical and transformative spaces if we let them be. Particular lines that resonate are “The only thing that we did right, Was the day we begun to fight, Keep your eyes on the prize hold on.”

  1. “Capacity” by Charly Bliss
    Recommended by Adria Brown, MER Board Co-Vice President and Director of the Native American Program at Dartmouth College
    A song that is my treatise on being over capacitated in museums.

  1. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley and The Wailers
    Recommended by Wendy Ng, MER Board President, education specialist and the principal owner and consultant at Twin Muses Consulting Services
    The lyrics and the animated video really speak to me when it comes to museums. Bob Marley paraphrases Jamaican political activist Marcus Mosiah Garvey when he sings, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind.” I think about how museums simultaneously participate in the “mental slavery” of colonization and act as potential sites of transformation where we can “free our mind” of colonial conditioning. I think the animated video reflects this beautifully with illustrations of the land and animals moving through and reclaiming ancient historic and holy sites.

  1. “Party Man” by Prince
    Recommended by Ashleigh Coren, MER Board Member, Consultant and Content Strategist for the Smithsonian Office of Digital Transformation
    This infamous museum scene from the 1989 movie Batman rocked my world in pre-school. For  2 minutes the Joker and his gang go on a rampage in the fictional The Flugelheim Museum in Gotham City, defacing and/or destroying works by Hopper, Degas, and so much more as Prince blasts in the background. The rampage is not just about railing against the canon, it also signifies museums and sites of inspiration and creativity as the Joker uses his signature red and green to “improve” some of the works on view. 35 years later I still love to blast this tune to hype myself up before leading a workshop.

  1. “The Colonial Wing” by 10,000 Maniacs
    Recommended by Orlando R. Serrano, Jr., MER Board Member, Manager of PK-12 Learning at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History
    The honesty of the song is important and a reminder of the reasons some of us are in this work: to work to redress harms, to repatriate community knowledges and resources, and to restructure the way memory and culture are shared.

  1. APESHIT by The Carters
    Recommended by Liz Baidoo, MER Communications Manager and Rebecca Ljungren, MER Board Co-Treasurer, Education Programs Manager at the National Women’s History Museum
    The video being filmed in the Louvre was such an iconic re-invention of that museum space.

“labour” by Paris Paloma
“labour” blew up on Tik Tok last year, and it inspired a lot of discourse about women’s history and gender equity (some reductive, some critical, some constructive). It was great to see people willing to connect to the historical threads that inspired the song and develop intersectional critique, including the artist herself.

  1. “Thé à la Menthe” (The Lazer Dance Version) by Le Caution
    Recommended by Chanelle Pickens, Instructional Designer and Associate Faculty, The University of Arizona Global Campus
    When I visit museums, I enjoy listening to instrumental beats, as they help me to stay present to the experience. Even the Night Fox knew the importance of focus and mindfulness when he was dodging lasers during his acrobatic caper in Ocean’s Twelve. So, my pick is Le Caution’s “Thé à la Menthe” (The Lazer Dance Version).