Running a museum is no easy task. As curator Georgina Kolber (pictured) has learned, technology can help keep guests happy and all the little details — such as checking-in visitors — in order.
Denver’s Mizel Museum hosts events, exhibits, and educational programming related to Judaism. Its collection, which began three decades ago in a local synagogue’s display case, has since flourished into a 6,000-square-foot museum.
The GoPayment Blog recently caught up with Kolber to chat about the museum and how GoPayment has helped her organization grow.
GoPayment: What inspired the Mizel Museum, and what void does it fill in Denver’s art, history, and cultural scene?
When its doors opened, the museum dedicated itself to the diversity of Jewish life through art, architecture, archeology, rituals, and customs throughout the diaspora. The museum curated its own exhibitions and programs, as well as brought in others from Jewish museums throughout the United States.
Today the museum has expanded its scope in its exhibits and programs — we call ourselves “a portal to the contemporary Jewish experience.” [It is] a place that is rooted in Jewish values and that inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate diversity and honor the journeys of all people. Through a full spectrum of expression, including fine art, film, and concerts, we offer interactive and memorable experiences that engage diverse communities.
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy those moments, hours, days, or even weeks, where I can envision and dream about new programs, initiatives, and exhibits. I’m fueled by the promise of new projects. Of course, fulfilling those dreams is ultimately the task at hand.
In what ways has GoPayment helped the Mizel Museum run a smooth operation and remain focused on creating solid programming and attracting visitors?
We can smoothly check in visitors to the exhibit and to programs. It makes awkwardly or uncomfortably standing in a long line a non-issue. Visitors are tickled when asked to [provide] their signature with their finger on the Intuit screen of our iPad — and even happier when they can choose to have a receipt emailed to them with a simple push of a button onscreen.
In August, you hosted a World Kugel Day Festival at the museum. Do you have a recipe to share?
Thai Coconut Curry Kugel with Roasted Peach-Sriracha Jam (recipe by Daniel Asher)
For the kugel:
16 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked, rinsed, and tossed lightly with toasted sesame oil
½ cup organic sour cream
½ cup organic ricotta cheese
½ cup mascarpone cheese
2 cups coconut milk
¼ cup Thai red curry paste
½ cup organic brown sugar
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
½ cup dried currants
1 cup roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon virgin organic coconut oil
For the jam:
3 large organic peaches, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon Bragg’s raw apple-cider vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons Sriracha sauce
Pinch of habanero chile powder
Pinch of sea salt
For the kugel: In a saucepan, bring coconut milk, brown sugar, and Thai curry paste to a boil, then a low simmer, whisking occasionally. Let cool and set aside. In large (stainless) bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, currants, and cinnamon. Add cooled coconut-milk mixture. Toss with noodles until well-coated and mixed. Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with coconut oil. Pour noodle mixture into pan and press down until the surface is uniform. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until coconut custard is firm. Top with chopped peanuts and let cool slightly. Serve warm with roasted peach-Sriracha jam.
For the jam: Puree all ingredients in high-powered blender. Transfer to a small saucepan. Over low heat bring mixture to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.