Design Thinking: Putting Empathy to Work
September 19, 2014
Hosted by Carol Bossert
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Whether developing a product, web site or exhibit, good design begins with understanding the intended audience. Yet too often the audience discussion remains at a superficial level, identifying audiences by age, children, adults, relationship, families or geography, local, tourist. Design thinking—a phrase currently used to describe an approach to foster creativity and problem-solving—emphasizes the importance of empathy to “walk in someone else’s shoes,” brainstorming to spur creativity and rapid prototyping to test ideas. Dana Mitroff Silvers uses design thinking to help cultural institutions develop strategies to engage audiences, especially through digital technologies. Join our conversation this week as Dana and I discuss the traps that many institutions fall into in terms of using digital technologies and how they can avoid them.
The Museum Life
Friday at 7 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
Museums attract millions of visitors and employ thousands. The Museum Life, hosted by Carol Bossert, charts the growth and development of this cultural business. Museum Life showcases leaders in the field who provide perspective on current issue as well as creative thinkers who are impacting the future of museums. The Museum Life is broadcast live every Friday at 7 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.
Carol Bossert loves museums. She has spent her career working in and for these important cultural organizations that include traditional collection-based museums, science centers, national parks and visitor centers.
In addition to hosting Museum Life, Carol Bossert maintains an active consulting practice to help cultural institutions, government agencies and corporations engage with their communities through exhibitions and place-based experiences. Her clients include Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, Great Lakes Science Center, International Spy Museum, North Carolina Museum of Natural History, and international clients in China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Learn more at http://carolbossertservices.com/.
Carol Bossert holds a doctoral degree in biology from the University of Texas-Dallas and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Zoology from DePauw University. She is a graduate of the J. Paul Getty Museum Management Institute and has served professional organizations such as the American Alliance of Museums and National Science Foundation. She is also a member of The Museum Group, an organization of senior professionals in museum practice and Praxis Museum Exhibit Group.
She blogs about museum and civic issues http://carolbossertservices.com/blog/.
- 9/26/2014: Creating Social Institutions Listen Now
- 9/19/2014: Design Thinking: Putting Empathy to Work Listen Now
- 9/12/2014: The Empathetic Museum: Update Listen Now
- 9/5/2014: Kinetic Museums Listen Now
In a career spanning three decades, Anne Ackerson served as director of several historic house museums and historical societies in central and eastern New York, the director of the Museum Association of New York, and now currently serves as the executive director of the Council of State Archivists. Anne is a frequent workshop presenter and author, focusing on issues of board and organizational development, governance issues, and planning. She writes regularly about management and leadership issues for cultural institutions in her blog, Leading by Design (http://leadingbydesign.blogspot.com). View Guest page
Melanie Adams is the Managing Director for Community Education and Events for the Missouri History Museum. Melanie has spearheaded programming at the Missouri History Society since the Ferguson shooting, including a town meeting held last August soon after the shooting. She is also President of the Midwest Museums Association.
Melanie’s professional career includes working at the University of California-Berkeley, California State University-Northridge, Washington University, and as a consultant for nonprofit organizations. She earned a bachelor's degree in English/African American studies from the University of Virginia and a Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Missouri St. Louis. View Guest page
Devon Akmon is the director of the Arab American National Museum (AANM). Under his aegis, the AANM was named one of just 160 Affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution and achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a seal of approval earned by just 6% of America’s cultural institutions. As director, Akmon has established new relationships with individuals and organizations that have resulted in the expansion of the museum’s mission and programming throughout the nation. Most recently, Akmon has overseen the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community arts space immediately adjacent to the museum.
In addition to leading the AANM, Akmon is a board member of CultureSource, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and The CivCity Initiative. Additionally, he serves on advisory councils for the Detroit Institute of Arts, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies at North Carolina State University. View Guest page
Mitch Allen has 35 years experience in academic and professional publishing. He launched Left Coast Press, Inc. after leaving his position as Publisher of AltaMira Press, which he founded and directed for its first ten years. Previously, he spent 20 years at Sage Publications, where he served as Executive Editor. He has been responsible for publishing over 1000 books, dozens of professional journals, and several software products in his career. Mitch is also an archaeologist (Ph.D., UCLA) who publishes regularly in that field. He is Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Mitch can be reached at Mitch@LCoastPress.com View Guest page
Maxwell Anderson is the Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art. He holds a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College and a masters and doctorate in art history from Harvard University. Max began his museum career as a curatorial assistant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has held director positions at several prestigious museums including the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. He is a former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and trustee of the American Federation of Arts. He helped found the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) in 1997 and the Art Museum Network in 1999. In 2008, he modeled museum transparency with the award-winning IMA Dashboard and in 2009, he launched ArtBabble, a site for art museums worldwide to share video content View Guest page
Ethan Angelica is a Museum Hack Tour Guide and head of VIP Partnerships. Ethan began his museum career as an adjunct instructor at the Central Park Zoo, using storytelling and theater techniques to teach conservation biology. He helped pioneer the NSF-funded Madagascar! in-exhibit interpretation program, and is a senior staff member with the Wildlife Theater outreach team. Since joining Museum Hack, Ethan has collaborated on projects including a consultancy with the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway, a storytelling training program for staff at New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel, and Museum Hack’s own 7-hour, two-museum All Day Hack. He can be found most Friday and Saturday nights leading Museum Hack VIP tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which he loves. Ethan holds an honors degree from New York University in Drama and Middle Eastern Studies.
Find out more about Museum Hack at http://www.museumhack.com/ View Guest page
Senior Director of Museum Operations and Education, Peter Armstrong, is an internationally known leader in the museum profession with more than 25 years of experience in museum work. He came to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation from the UK’s National Museum of Arms and Armour, where he was creative development and commercial director. Peter was also project manager for capital improvements at Fort Nelson, winner of a Royal Institute of British Architects conservation award. In 2014 he moved to the US for the post of senior director at the Jamestown and Yorktown museums in Virginia where he promotes social issues such as immigration and liberty at the sites of the first arrival of the English to America, and final battle of the American Revolution. He is currently leading the transition from the Yorktown Victory Center, a small museum with living history areas, into a new, state of the art, $50 million development, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown which opens in April 2017. View Guest page
Dr. Leslie Bedford
Dr. Bedford’s commitment to continuous organizational learning reflects her rich staff experience at the Boston Children’s Museum and Brooklyn Historical Society, twelve years as a senior consultant with The Museum Group, and thirteen years as director of the Leadership in Museum Education Program at Bank Street College. A graduate of Vassar College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she attended the Getty Leadership Institute and received her Ph.D. in Museum Studies from Union Institute and University. Her book, The Art of Museum Exhibitions. How Story and Imagination Create Aesthetic Experiences will be available through Left Coast Press in May 2014. View Guest page
Ford Bell joined AAM in 2007, the first new president in twenty years. Ford came to Washington from Minnesota where he taught and did clinical research at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. From 1995 to 2005, he was president and CEO of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, a prominent clinical cardiovascular research organization and a nationally recognized provider of community heart health education. While in Minnesota he also served museums as the co-chair of the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s and on the advisory board of the Bell Museum. Since coming to AAM, Ford has introduced many changes to AAM’s structure and organization View Guest page
For over 25 years, Anne Bergeron has devoted her professional career to ensuring a vibrant, healthy cultural sector. An authority on nonprofit organizational development, fundraising and engagement, Anne helps organizations to plan for the future, enhance operations and leadership, expand outreach to constituents, and increase philanthropic support. She has worked with a variety of nonprofits, from the established to the start-up, in the fields of arts, design, education and historic preservation. Anne is the co-author of Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement (AAM Press, 2013). Anne founded her consulting firm to provide planning, organizational and resource development services to a range of cultural sector clients. Previously, she held senior posts at the National Writers Voice Project, the Missouri Arts Council, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, where she led its external affairs division and advanced its focus on participatory community engagement. Anne is a member of The Museum Group. www.bergeronconsulting.com View Guest page
Teresa Bergman obtained her Ph.D. in American Cultural and Film Studies from the University of California, Davis. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and a former documentary filmmaker. Her research incorporates an interdisciplinary methodology that includes rhetoric, documentary film theory, ethnography, and critical/cultural studies. These varied theoretical approaches help to illuminate the intersection of location, memory, museum exhibits, and documentary film. Her book, “Exhibiting Patriotism: Creating and Contesting Interpretations of American Historic Sites” won the 2013 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book of the Year Award. She is currently writing her next book, “Commemorating Women: Contemporary Patriotic Memorials in the United States,” for Left Coast Press, due in December 2016. She will be analyzing five memorial sites dedicated to women. View Guest page
Marianne Bez is an independent professional who works with museums and non-profits to strengthen their performance through coherent communications and successful execution of strategic planning, membership development, fund raising and public relations. She holds a Masters degree in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program where she was as a guest lecturer on the topics of membership and public relations. She co-authored AASLH Technical Leaflet #237 “Membership Matters: Establishing a Vital Membership Program in Your Museum” which was published in 2007. View Guest page
Dr. Shaila Bhatti is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University College London, where she also gained her PhD. Over the last decade, she has conducted ethnographic research on museums in India and Pakistan with doctoral research focusing on the Lahore Museum in Pakistan. Her research and publications explore the history of museums in South Asia as well as their contemporary significance as moments of cultural and visual encounters for society in terms of collections, curatorial activities, exhibition practices and visitor interpretation. Her interests extend beyond museum anthropology to include the material and visual cultures of South Asia and local notions of cultural heritage, history and identity. Her 2012 book is titled, “Translating Museums: A Counterhistory of South Asian Museology,” published by Left Coast Press. View Guest page
Samuel W. Black
Samuel W. Black is the Director of African American Programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center and President of the Association of African American Museums. AAAM was the first organization to make a formal statement directly connecting museums to the issues raised by the Ferguson shooting. Samuel holds a degree in African American Studies from the University of Cincinnati and a graduate degree in Africana Studies from the State University of New York at Albany, where he was the recipient of the Perry Drake-Weston Award. Samuel has had a distinguished career as a curator, author and editor including curating the traveling exhibition Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era. View Guest page
Bill Booth is an independent consultant, working with museums and community organizations, helping them learn, plan, and increase their impact. He is also a senior consultant for museum funding for the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and consults with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation helping community organizations increase their impact and relevance.
Bill began his science center career in 1978 as a volunteer at the Cranbrook Museum of Science in Michigan. Since that time he has worked in all aspects of museum education, exhibitions and administration. He was Vice President of Exhibits and Programs at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia and was the Founding President of COSI Toledo, now called Imagination Station. Under his leadership, COSI Toledo was awarded the 2005 Institute for Museum and Library Services national Award for Museum Service. Bill is active in the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the Association of Children’s Museums and has served on the boards of ASTC, and many local community organizations and independent schools. Bill received his BS and Elementary Teaching Certification from the University of Michigan. Bill@BoothLearning.com View Guest page
Stephen Brand is the Contract Director of Programs and Marketing at the Creative Education Foundation and Adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Olin College of Engineering. As an executive and consultant, Stephen has worked on the creation of new and expanded ventures in large corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit settings, including US Olympic Committee, Ford Motor Company, Polaroid, The Jim Henson Company, Children’s Television Workshop, Liberty Science Center, Forbes Invention and Technology Magazine, Museum of Science - Boston, and many others. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, marketing management, leadership, and organizational behavior. Stephen holds a doctorate of management from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. His doctoral research explored the early development and personal characteristics that led to success of corporate engineers and inventors. View Guest page
Currently I am a visiting research and museum practice scholar at the Michigan State University Museum where I work on a collaborative curatorial project with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Project 60/50 programs, and quilt research initiatives. My written work, mainly covering museums, race, and gender issues, has appeared in Slate and TIMELINE Magazine. As a doctoral candidate in Middle Tennessee State University’s Public History program, I was a research assistant at the Center for Historic Preservation. As a scholar-activist, I use my research on civil and human rights history to work with different communities to create solutions through teach-ins and Freedom School workshops. I also serve on two National Council on Public History (NCPH) work groups. In both spaces, I am interested in refining the ways we interpret contemporary Black history and using public history to foster civic engagement. View Guest page
Ms. Brown is the Program Head for the Master of Arts in Exhibition Design program at the Corcoran School of Arts and Design at George Washington University. She has been a professor for eight years and a practicing exhibition designer for nearly 20 years. Most recently Ms. Brown was the exhibition designer at the National Museum of American History. During her years at the Smithsonian, she created numerous exhibitions, including two exhibitions of the First Ladies Gowns collection. Ms. Brown grew up living in Africa and Asia and draws personal inspiration from international arts and cultures. As a designer with a background in cultural anthropology, she focuses on human-centered design, bringing ethnographic methods and design-thinking to the process. Ms. Brown's current areas of research and interest are on pushing the boundaries of medium of exhibition design, the intersections of space and meaning, and experiential design. Website: http://clarebrowndesigns.format.com View Guest page
Guru CEO and co-founder, Paul Burke, has years of experience in investing, trading and entrepreneurship, but nothing could have prepared him for the experience of museum hopping with teenagers, or the idea that sprung from it.
Treating his 19-year-old niece and 17-year-old nephew to spring break in Rome, Burke noticed that both teenagers refused the museum audio tours, expressing that they were boring and even a little gross since strangers used them as well. He could understand their reasoning well enough, but when he continuously found them checking their phones throughout museums, he began to get annoyed. Confronting them on this issue, he soon discovered they were not texting or checking social media, but instead Googling information about the items they were looking at. That exact moment is when Burke’s flame for Guru was ignited. This, combined with Guru co-founder Hilary Srole’s ‘aha!’ moment while touring a new city with friends, really got the fire burning. View Guest page
Tony is a social history curator at heart and has been Executive Director of Derby Museums Trust since January 2014. Derby Museums includes Derby Silk Mill, the site of the world’s first factory and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Derby Museum and Art Gallery which contains the world’s finest collection of works by the 18th century artist Joseph Wright. From 2015 he will oversee the £17m redevelopment of the Silk Mill as Derby’s Museum of Making.
Prior to that, Tony was director of the Museum of East Anglian Life for nine years. He repositioned the organization as a social enterprise and led a major capital development program. In 2011 he founded the Happy Museum Project, to create an international community of practice to explore how museums could contribute to a society in which well-being and environmental sustainability were its principle values. View Guest page
Susan Cahan is an art historian, educator, and curator who specializes in contemporary art and the history of museums. Her particular interests are the relationship between artistic and social change, and the confluence of factors that shape the way culture is imagined, discussed, and advanced. She is the author of “Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power” (Duke, 2016), “The Wonder Years” in “Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History” (MIT Press, 2009), “Carrie Mae Weems: Reflecting Louisiana” in “Carrie Mae Weems: The Louisiana Project” (2004), the editor of “I Remember Heaven: Jim Hodges and Andy Warhol” (2007), and the coeditor of “Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education” (1996). She has directed programs at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Peter Norton Family Foundation. Currently, she is an Associate Dean and Dean for the Arts in Yale College. View Guest page
David Carr is a consultant and writer, author of numerous books on learning and context including Open Conversations: Public Learning in Libraries and Museums (2011, Libraries Unlimited), A Place Not a Place: Reflection and Possibility in Museums and Libraries (2006, AltaMira Press) and The Promise of Cultural Institutions (2003, AltaMira Press). David holds a doctorate in Library Service from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a masters degree from Teachers College of Columbia University and a bachelors degree from Drew University. David makes his home in Georgia where he continues to write and lecture. View Guest page
After fruitful work as museum registrar at the Mercer Museum, Strong Museum and the Smithsonian, Mary Case co-founded Quality Management to a Higher Power, a community of consultants. Qm² helps museums and cultural organizations build successful futures by implementing powerful and proven concepts of leadership, management, interpretation and organizational design: www.qm2.org This month, Mary is preparing for her role as lead faculty in the Institute of Cultural Entrepreneurship: http://www.instituteforculturalentrepreneurship.org. Mary has a BA Magna cum laude in American Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia and a MA in Museum Studies from SUNY, Cooperstown, New York. View Guest page
Director of Digital & Emerging Media
Seb Chan joined Cooper Hewitt in 2011 and oversees all of the museum’s digital renewal efforts, including all web, mobile, and online projects, as well as interactive gallery experiences, digital content, and digital strategy. Previously, Chan served as head of digital, social, and emerging technologies at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Chan has also worked as a cultural sector consultant with organizations across the world, and was co-author of Culture24’s Let’s Get Real action research projects. He serves on several non-profit boards and advisory councils; was a member of the Australian Government's Gov 2.0 Taskforce; and is a regular speaker at digital and cultural conferences and events. For a decade, Chan has also organized and curated electronic art and music festivals and international tours, and was founding editor-in-chief for the music magazine Cyclic Defrost. He holds a degree in social work from the University of New South Wales. You can follow Seb on Twitter: @sebchan Via is blog: http://www.freshandnew.org/ Cooper-Hewitt blog: http://labs.cooperhewitt.org/http://labs.cooperhewitt.org/ View Guest page
Dr. Sarah J. Chicone
Dr. Sarah J. Chicone is Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Museum Studies Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins University. She has been lead curator, developer, and designer for natural history, anthropology, contemporary art, and history exhibitions. Sarah has has worked in a variety of capacities that range from Director of Exhibits for a small natural history museum to a content developer and coordinator for an exhibition design company. Her academic and professional interests include natural history, material culture studies, informal science education, cultural heritage, exhibition design and display, and global museum initiatives and partnerships, as well as the archaeology of working class poverty, and public archaeology. Dr. Chicone holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology (Archaeology) from Binghamton University, an M.A. in Anthropology (Archaeology) and a graduate certificate in Museum Management from the University of South Carolina, and a B.A. from Lake Forest College. View Guest page
Orna Cohen is the creator of many interactive exhibitions with international recognition. At Cité des Sciences, Paris, she created "La Cité des Enfants," an interactive exhibition and workshops for children. In 2004, Orna was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government to acknowledge her contribution to science and technology education. She co-founded Dialogue Social Enterprise to use exhibitions as catalysts for social change. Most recently she co-created the exhibition “Dialogue with Time” and started to teach Museology at the University of Artoise in France. View Guest page
Richard Conniff's latest book is “House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and The Story of Life on Earth” (Yale 2016). He is a National Magazine Award-winning writer for Smithsonian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and other publications, and a past Guggenheim Fellow. His other books include “The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth” (Norton, 2010), “Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals” (Norton, 2009), “The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide” (Norton, 2002) and “The Ape in the Corner Office: How to Make Friends, Win Fights and Work Smarter by Understanding Human Nature” (Crown, 200). He has been a frequent commentator on NPR's Marketplace, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others. View Guest page
Stephanie Cunningham is a Cultural Ambassador and Art Educator. She has worked at several reputable cultural institutions in New York City, such as the Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the New-York Historical Society. As a Museum Educator she taught grades K-12 and college lectures using the museum’s permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. As Co Founder and Creative Director of Museum Hue, she works to advance the visibility and viability of people of color, utilizing museums and arts and cultural institutions as a medium for discussion, creation, and solutions. Stephanie believes that art and history captures the essence of the complexities of the world around us. @museummistress View Guest page
Sawsan Dalaq is the Director of the Children’s Museum Jordan, a leading Museum in both Jordan and the Arab region. The Children’s Museum was established in 2007 through the vision and support of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and aims to support the national learning and educational agenda. Sawsan was elected President of the NAMES (North Africa and the Middle East Science Centers Network) in late 2014. In this capacity, she is currently working on raising the profile and activities of the Network regionally and internationally. The term will end in November 2016. Sawsan’s experience includes: Director of e-Initiatives at Jordan’s Ministry of ICT, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah and setting-up and running the EU Information and Communication Center in Jordan. She is a graduate in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Sussex in the UK. View Guest page
Michael Day is the Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, the education and conservation charity responsible for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and the Banqueting House in Whitehall. Under Michael’s leadership, the organization has achieved financial success through a strong focus on income generation, including establishing a fundraising program. At the same time, HRP has become known for the clarity of its mission and its ability to attract wide audiences. Michael received his degree from the University of Leeds and attended the Getty Leadership Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a faculty member of the University of East Anglia Museum Leadership Programme and co-directed the Nordic Museum Leadership Programme in Denmark. He lectures extensively on cultural leadership issues throughout the world and has been honoured for his service in the heritage and museum sector. View Guest page
Julie Decker is the Director and CEO of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska's premier art, history, science and cultural institution. Julie envisioned the museum's Polar Lab, which combines exhibitions, scholarship, public programming and community outreach to explore the current and future state of the North through culture, community and the environment. Julie joined the museum in 2011 as chief curator. She previously owned and ran Decker/Morris Gallery in Anchorage and was an instructor for the University of Alaska. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. She holds a Ph.D. in contemporary art history, criticism and management from Union Institute and University, a master's degree in arts administration from Golden Gate University, and bachelor degrees in Fine Art and Journalism from the University of Oregon. Her work as an artist has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions throughout Alaska and is in the Anchorage Museum collection View Guest page
Mar Dixon, creator of projects such as MusoemixUK and MuseumCamp, has her fingers in many pies including cultural, digital, publishing, wearables and tech sectors. She is the driving force behind acclaimed and world-trending campaigns, including #MuseumSelfie, #AskACurator, #MuseumWeek, and #LoveTheatre. Mar speaks at numerous international conferences in addition to running workshops from small businesses to national museums and everything in between. View Guest page
John W. Durel, Ph.D.
John W. Durel, Ph.D. has more than thirty years experience working in and with museums and cultural organizations. Since 1997 he has consulted with nonprofit organizations nationwide, helping leaders with strategic planning, business planning, and board and staff development. In 2005, he formed Durel Consulting Partners with his wife, Anita N. Durel, CFRE. He has extensive experience working with leaders of all types of museums, including art, history, science and children’s. A core element of his practice is the operation of executive roundtables, in which museum executive directors meet regularly to learn best practices and innovative concepts. The emphasis is on practical solutions to the many challenges museum directors face. John has a Ph.D. in American History. He has written numerous articles on museum leadership and practice, including Building a Sustainable Nonprofit Organization, which was published in 2010 as an e-book by the AAM. View Guest page
Timothy K. Eatman, Ph.D. holds a faculty appointment in the Higher Education department in the School of Education at Syracuse University. He also serves as Faculty Co-Director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA) – a national consortium of over one hundred colleges and universities and community partner organizations. Tim is co-author of “Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University,” a seminal IA research report on faculty rewards and publicly engaged scholarship. This work extends to a study of the aspirations and decisions of graduate students and early career scholars that IA is currently developing. Another important domain of Tim's research explores equity issues in higher education. This work manifests in part through an action research study, “Linking Full Participation for Diversity and Inclusion.” Visit Dr. Eatman’s website at: http://timothykeatman.com View Guest page
Omar recruits and manages 200+ interns and fellows at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). He conducts presentations to various stakeholders to increase access to the Smithsonian. Omar develops partnerships with educational institutions and non-governmental organizations. He was involved in creating a briefing paper on diversity and inclusion at the museum to the Director John Gray. He provides strategy for diversity recruitment for certain positions at the museum. Omar participates in many committees: NMAH Diversity Advisory Council, Smithsonian Latino Working Committee (Deputy Chair); Office of Fellowships & Internships Diversity Working Group; Federal Committee: STEM Education (Underrepresented Communities) and others. Omar has worked at the National Park Service, the Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, NASA and he also was a K-12 teacher in NYC and DC. View Guest page
Beka Economopoulos is the Co-founder and Director of The Natural History Museum, a new, mobile museum that highlights the socio-political forces that shape nature. The museum is a project of Not An Alternative, an arts collective and non-profit organization with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, institutions, and history. Through research and design, the group curates and produces interventions on material and immaterial space, bringing together tools from art, architecture, exhibition design, and political organizing. Not An Alternative has presented work at museums around the world, including Tate Modern, Guggenheim, PS1/MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, and Museo Del Arte Moderno. Beka has two decades of experience working within the advocacy and sustainability sectors as the Director of Online Organizing at Greenpeace, and the Director of Strategy at Fission Strategy, where clients included United Nations Environment Programme, and Global Climate Change Alliance. View Guest page
Michael Edson is a strategist and thought leader at the forefront of digital transformation in the cultural sector. He has worked on numerous award-winning projects and has been involved in practically every aspect of technology and new media in museums including the development of the Smithsonian’s first Web and New Media Strategy; the Smithsonian’s first blog, Eye Level; and the first alternative reality game to take place in a museum, Ghosts of a Chance. Michael is a Presidential Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Libraries and Information Resources (USA), and he serves on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s OpenGLAM advisory board. Michael was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts "Art Works" task force, which mapped the relationship between the arts and the quality of life in American communities; he is an O'Reilly Foo Camp alumni; and he was named a "Tech Titan: person to watch" by Washingtonian magazine. Photo Credit Geert van den Boogard, 2010 View Guest page
Ms. Delphi Fang (Chinese name: FANG De Jia) works as the Deputy Director of Administration and Secretary to the Museum Board Chair of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (SSTM). Branch museums include the Shanghai Natural History Museum and the Shanghai Planetarium, now in the planning phase. Ms. Fang has worked for SSTM since 2001, prior to the museum opening. For the past 14 years, she has networked for many different projects, both home and abroad, participating in cross-field collaborations for science education. View Guest page
Daryl Fischer began her career as a museum educator at the Denver Art Museum and went on to lead education departments at the Muskegon Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Since 1993 she has been principal of Musynergy Consulting, which provides interpretive planning, strategic planning, and board development services to all types and sizes of museums. Her book, “Museums, Trustees, and Communities: Building Reciprocal Relationships,” published by the (then) American Association of Museums, shares the wisdom of African American, Chinese American, and Native American trustees. A strong advocate for the voice of museum visitors, she incorporates audience evaluation in all of her projects. In visitor panels, she guides clients in recruiting panelists who reflect the demographics of communities the museum aims to serve. A longtime member of The Museum Group, she serves on the nominating committee and is committed to making TMG more inclusive in its membership and practices. View Guest page
Karyn is CEO of the Bay Area Discovery Museum. She has an MBA from London Business School and BA in History and Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to her work with the Museum Karyn was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in the Private Wealth Management Group. She launched her career in Poland as a Fund Manager for Creditanstalt-SCG Fund Management and later worked with Korona Investment Fund. Karyn has extensive non-profit board experience, having sat on the boards of the San Francisco Financial Women’s Association, the Mountain Play, Marin Advocates for Children, Heyday Books, the Bay Area Discovery Museum (where she was Chair of the Board) and served as co-head of the West Coast chapter of 85 Broads. In addition, she has been recognized as one of the most influential women in San Francisco by the San Francisco Business Times. She currently lives in Marin County with her husband and three children. View Guest page
Director of Interactivate Regan Forrest is a writer and interpretive planner. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication and a (soon to be complete) Ph.D. from the University of Queensland. She has been part of numerous exhibition development teams, working as both in-house staff and outside consultant. Regan has worked with the design firm Haley Sharpe where she was involved with the creation of the National Children’s Museum in Amman, Jordan and for Exhibition Studios to develop Hands on Democracy, an exhibition for 5-12-year olds at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra. Regan blogs at reganforrest.com and is Director of Interactivate, a research and creative consultancy that specializes in museums and cultural heritage. View Guest page
Josh Franco is the Latino Collections Specialist at the Archives of American Art. He works to identify, investigate, and acquire personal papers and institutional records that tell the stories of Latino / a art. In addition to ensuring their preservation at the Smithsonian, Franco advises researchers working in the Archives, making them aware of Latino / a primary sources relevant to their pursuits. Franco also advises early and mid-career artists on planning for the future of their personal papers.
Franco served as a 2014-15 National Co-Director of PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education). Since January 2013, he has been an Artist-Guide at JUDD Foundation, the New York home and studio of Donald Judd.
As an artist, Franco has produced and exhibited one artwork annually since 2009. In addition to fulfilling a creative need, this practice ensures that his scholarship is constantly informed by the intimate processes of making work and participating directly in the exhibition process. View Guest page
Dr. Alan J. Friedman
Dr. Alan J. Friedman is a consultant in museum development and science communication, having worked with more than sixty institutions worldwide. From 1984 to 2006, Dr. Friedman was the director and CEO of the New York Hall of Science, New York City’s public science-technology center. Recognition for his work includes the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, the Association of Science-Technology Centers’ Fellow Aware, the American Institute of Physics’ Andrew Gemant Award, the National Science Teachers Association’s Distinguished Informant Science Education Award. Before coming to New York, Dr. Friedman served two years as Conseiller Scientifique et Muséologique for the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris. Dr. Friedman received his doctorate in physics from Florida State University and his bachelors from Georgia Institute of Technology. View Guest page
Paul Gabriel is a teacher and educational consultant with None and the American Alliance of Museums. He is based in the San Francisco Bay area. View Guest page
Ben Garcia is Acting Deputy Director at the San Diego Museum of Man. He has worked for sixteen years in various roles as an arts educator, museum educator, exhibit developer and administrator. His museum experience includes six years in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum, three years as Associate Director of Education at the Skirball Cultural Center and three years as Head of Interpretation at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. He has lectured internationally and published on the museum’s role in learning, public value and social change. In 2010, Ben was named Pacific Region Museum Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association. Ben is a graduate of the leadership in museum education program at Bank Street college and holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Massachusetts. View Guest page
Cecilia Garibay is principal of Garibay Group, a multicultural audience research and consulting firm that provides research, evaluation, and strategic consulting services to museums and other cultural organizations. Dr. Garibay regularly consults with institutions on audience development and community inclusion. She brings a bicultural/bilingual perspective to her work and specializes in culturally responsive and contextually relevant research and evaluation approaches. She also regularly conducts research in Spanish and English. Her research focuses on exhibits and programs in informal learning environments, particularly those aimed at reaching underrepresented audiences. Some of her recent efforts have involved research with Latino and other immigrant communities—particularly regarding leisure values and informal learning, conceptions of museums, and perceptions of science. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org View Guest page
Sandy Goldberg is an independent museum media content strategist, writer and producer. She creates audio, video, and multimedia experiences for a wide variety of platforms and for cross-platform use for museums in the US, UK, and Europe. She works with museums during every stage of project development. A few of the museums she works with consistently are: Tate Modern, (for which she received a MUSE award) the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Van Gogh Museum (for which she received a 2015 Dutch Design Award along with partner Fabrique Interactive in Amsterdam). She’s a frequent speaker at museum conferences about content development and new approaches to storytelling. See: www.sgscripts.net for recent projects and shout-outs. View Guest page
Nick Gray is the Founder and CEO of Museum Hack based in New York City. He loves museums and thinks people should visit them more often, but hates how most museum tours are given. He founded Museum Hack, a company of renegade tour guides offering unconventional museum tours in New York City. Nick lives in New York City, with his favorite places being the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Sheep Meadow in Central Park. He is interested in self-improvement and loves hosting dinner parties at his studio in Greenwich Village.
Find out more about Museum Hack at http://www.museumhack.com/ View Guest page
Alyssa Greenberg is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History at UIC and a recipient of the University Fellowship and the Dean's Scholar Award. Her research interests include museum pedagogy and the museum as a site of activism. She is an active member of UIC’s Art History Graduate Student Association and the UIC Graduate Employees Organization. From 2011-2014, she worked as an education assistant at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Her professional affiliations include the Art21 Educators program and the Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellowship of Imagining America. She currently serves on the leadership committee for Chicago Emerging Museum Professionals and is a founding member of Museum Workers Speak. She received a BA from Oberlin College in 2009 and an MA from the Bard Graduate Center in 2011. View Guest page
One of the more versatile acoustical designers in the industry since 1989, Steve Haas has consulted on the finest commercial and residential spaces for both performance and multimedia presentations. Prior to founding SH Acoustics in 2003, Steve was involved in the acoustic design of more than 150 concert halls, performing arts centers, Broadway theaters, opera houses, music schools, museums, churches and recording facilities.
With SHA’s core focus on museums, along with other entertainment and exhibit-based environments, Steve has developed many unique acoustic and audio-delivery strategies to conquer the challenges that often arise with the quality and control of sound in media-intensive galleries and theaters. His designs to support multimedia presentations have won him numerous awards as well as recognition as the one of the foremost acoustic experts in this specialty field. View Guest page
Tom Hennes is principal of Thinc, the exhibition design firm he founded in 1995. Tom is particularly interested in exploring the ways in which exhibitions and other media can be designed to form and sustained active communities. Prior to launching Thinc, Tom designed for theatre and opera as well as corporate events and theme park attractions. Tom has taught and lectured about his work to a variety of audiences and his writing has appeared in Informal Learning Review and Curator. View Guest page
Rebecca Shulman Herz
Rebecca Shulman Herz is the Director of the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, which opened to the public in June 2015. She is also the author of the Museum Questions blog (www.museumquestions.com), and the book “Looking at Art in the Classroom” (Teachers College Press, 2013). From 1998-2013 Rebecca worked as a museum educator in New York City, first at the Guggenheim Museum and then at The Noguchi Museum. Much of her work has focused on how museums can collaborate and support classroom teachers, and she has also led research projects investigating the impact of museum/school partnerships on students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills. View Guest page
Elaine Heumann Gurian
Elaine Heumann Gurian is a consultant/advisor to museums and visitor centers worldwide who are beginning, building or reinventing themselves. Ms. Gurian is also a teacher, trainer and lecturer at many academic and in-service programs of museum studies. Elaine has held several prestigious positions within the Smithsonian including Deputy Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Deputy Director for Public Program Planning for the National Museum of the American Indian, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Museums. For sixteen years, she was the Director of the Exhibit Center, the public facility of the Boston Children’s Museum. Ms. Gurian is widely published. In 2006, Routledge published her volume, Civilizing the Museum: the Collected Writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian. She is editor for the volume. Institutional Trauma: The Effect of Major Change on Museum Staff and currently on the editorial board of the journal, Curator. In 2006, she was inducted as one of the 100 Centennial Honor Roll members by the American Association of Museums, who also honored her with the Distinguished Service to Museums Awards in 2004, the most prestigious recognition in the American museum profession. http://www.egurian.com/ View Guest page
Nik Honeysett is CEO of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, a non-profit consultancy that provides technology support, development and strategy for the museums in Balboa Park, San Diego and beyond. Previously, he was Head of Administration for the J. Paul Getty Museum overseeing administrative services across their two sites. He formerly chaired AAM’s Media and Technology Standing Professional Committee and their Standing Professional Committee Council; he currently sits on the Board of AAM and MCN. His hobbies include writing short summary paragraphs about his career and referring to himself in the third person. View Guest page
William Hosley is a cultural resource development and marketing consultant, social media expert, historian, writer, and photographer. He is passionate about local history and has developed a deep attachment to dozens of places worth caring about. He was formerly Director of the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks where he cared for a chain of historic attractions. Prior to that, as a curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum, Bill organized major exhibitions including "The Great River: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley" (1985), "The Japan Idea: Art and Life in Victorian America" (1990), and "Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire" (1996) that spawned the Coltsville National Park. As an expert in heritage tourism, Bill has studied, lectured and advised museums and heritage destinations around the country. Bill has also served as a content specialist for PBS, BBC and CPTV film documentaries. View Guest page
Catherine Hughes, PhD
Catherine Hughes, PhD, is a hybrid theatre practitioner, museum professional, educator, and researcher. Currently, she is Director of Interpretation and Evaluation at Conner Prairie History Museum, where she oversees daily operations of six interpretive areas across more than 200 acres. Previously, Catherine was Project Director for Meet the Past, a 3-year initiative to transform the visitor experience at the Atlanta History Center. She has also worked at the Museum of Science, Boston and the London Science Museum, and founded the International Museum Theatre Alliance. Catherine has consulted with a number of institutions, such as the National Museum of Australia, University of Manchester (UK), and the Center for Chemical Evolution at Emory University. Her book, Museum Theatre: Communicating with Visitors through Drama, was published by Heinemann. She has lectured and written widely on the use of theatre in museums. View Guest page
John Jacobsen, president of White Oak Associates, Inc., and CEO of the White Oak Institute, has over four decades of international experience as a museum analyst, planner, and producer. He was also associate director of the Museum of Science in Boston. During that time, the Museum served 2.2 million visitors during a twelve-month period. Jacobsen and White Oak Associates, Inc., have led strategic planning and marketing initiatives for over one hundred museums. Recent projects include eight museums representing a billion dollars of investment in new and expanding museums.
Mr. Jacobsen is the founding manager of the Museum Film Network (1985), the Planetarium Show Network (1988), and the Ocean Film Network (1992). With Ms. Jeanie Stahl, Mr. Jacobsen formed the White Oak Institute in 2007, a nonprofit dedicated to research-based museum innovation. Mr. Jacobsen's extensive writings and presentations on museum topics have appeared in Curator, Museum Management and Curatorship. View Guest page
Robert R. Janes
Robert R. Janes is the Editor-in-Chief of Museum Management and Curatorship, a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester (UK), an Adjunct Professor of Archaeology at the University of Calgary, Canada, and the former President and CEO of the Glenbow Museum (1989-2000). His previous publications include Looking Reality in the Eye: Museums and Social Responsibility (with Gerald T.Conaty - 2005), Museum Management and Marketing (with Richard Sandell - 2007), Museums in a Troubled World (2009) and Museums and the Paradox of Change (2013). View Guest page
Tiffany Jenkins is an author, academic, broadcaster and columnist who for four years wrote a weekly column on social and cultural issues in the Scotsman. Her writing credits include BBC Culture, Apollo, the Independent, the Art Newspaper, the Guardian and Spectator. She has consulted widely in academia and museums on cultural policy, most recently advising scholars and practitioners at University of Oslo, the Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras, and the National Touring Network for Performing Arts. As part of this, she contributed a comparative study of cultural education in England and Norway. She was previously the director of the Arts and Society Programme at the Institute of Ideas and has been a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, Department of Law. Her first degree is in art history, her PhD in sociology. She divides her time between London and Edinburgh. View Guest page
Gretchen Jennings is a museum educator, administrator, and exhibition project director who worked at the Smithsonian for almost 15 years. She is one of the bloggers that signed the joint statement on Ferguson and is an unflagging advocate for museums as agents of social justice.
She was a project director and senior staff member on traveling exhibitions Invention at Play and Psychology, both receiving AAM awards of excellence. She was Editor of the Exhibitionist, the journal of the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME) from 2007 to 2014. With an MA in History, specializing in European and African history, she has had a lifelong interest in cross cultural understanding and communication. For the past five years she has traveled to India every other year to teach museum studies to museum professionals in Kolkata (Calcutta). She blogs about the Empathetic Museum and other topics at Museum Commons. View Guest page
Gretchen Jennings is a museum educator, administrator, and exhibition project director who worked at the Smithsonian for almost 15 years. She was a project director or senior staff member on traveling exhibitions Invention at Play and Psychology, both receiving AAM awards of excellence. Since leaving SI in 2007 she has been Editor of the Exhibitionist, the journal of the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME). With an MA in History, specializing in European and African history, she has had a lifelong interest in cross cultural understanding and communication. For the past five years she has traveled to India every other year to teach museum studies to museum professionals in Kolkata (Calcutta). She blogs at Museum Commons View Guest page
Andrea Jones is an educator with 15 years of experience engaging learners. Starting as a high school social studies teacher she followed her interests in experiential education to a career in museum education. At the Atlanta History Center, Jones was part of an award-winning team that created a new framework for a more immersive visitor experience. Andrea Jones now serves as the Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement at Accokeek Foundation in Maryland. While there, the American Alliance of Museums awarded her the first ever award for "Innovation in Museum Education" in 2016. Jones is also founder of Peak Experience Lab, an independent consultancy. She holds a BA in Communications from Purdue University and an M.Ed from Georgia State University. View Guest page
Matt Kirchman is an interpretive planner and exhibit developer. His company, ObjectIDEA, works with museums, designers, and architects to plan visitor experiences of all kinds. He most often works with museums in transition – they’re renovating a gallery; expanding the facility; contemplating their brand and identity; or building from scratch. ObjectIDEA is a small firm. Matt and his associate, Jack Pittenger, are currently working with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on a new permanent exhibition, with Walden Pond (in Concord, MA) on a new visitor center facility, and with the Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyoming in tandem with a new architectural plan. He was the exhibit developer for “Dear Boston, Messages from the Marathon Memorial” that was acknowledged by this year’s AAM’s Excellence in Exhibition Awards. Matt has degrees in design and experiential education. Website: www.objectidea.com View Guest page
Dr. Richard A. Kissel
Dr. Richard A. Kissel is Director of Public Programs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is a vertebrate paleontologist, science educator, and author with more than 20 years of experience within the museum field. He has traveled the globe to excavate and study the remains of dinosaurs and other ancient beasts, with research interests focused on paleoecology and macroevolutionary trends. Richard is a featured scientist online at NOVA’s scienceNOW, and he was the lead curator and a developer for Evolving Planet, The Field Museum’s exhibition on the history of Earth and its life. Richard has authored scientific articles, popular pieces, and children's books, and his artwork has been featured in exhibitions, scientific and popular articles, and the New York Post. He is also an instructor for the Museum Studies Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins University. Richard holds a PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto. View Guest page
Anne Kraybill is the Distance Learning Project Manager at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art where she is working to develop an online accredited course for high school students. In her previous position as the school and community programs manager at Crystal Bridges, she developed and implemented all of the Museum’s programming related to K-12 students, teachers and pre-services teacher as well as community groups. Anne has a B.F.A. in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art, a M.A. in Museum Education from The University of the Arts, and a M.S. in Instructional Technology from East Carolina University. She is currently a Doctoral Academy Fellow in Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. View Guest page
Dean Krimmel works with senior staff, education and curatorial teams, and community stakeholders to create interpretative plans, exhibitions, and strategic plans using proven audience-driven, outcome-based methods honed over 35 years in the public history and museum fields.
Dean’s practice is informed by decades of experience documenting and interpreting social history, race and race relations, neighborhoods, and cultural traditions for diverse audiences. His current projects include “Enslaved at Homewood,” (tour design and guide training in interpreting slavery for Homewood Museum); Children’s History Center (planner/curator for family-friendly exhibition at Burlington County (NJ) Historical Society); and, “Petroleum Pioneers” (curator for exhibition at Baltimore Museum of Industry).
Dean formed Creative Museum Services in 2002, and has been affiliated with Qm2 Community of Museum Consultants since 2006. View Guest page
Rama Lakshmi has been a correspondent with The Washington Post’s India bureau since April 1990. She is also the India social media editor for The Washington Post World section. Rama was part of a team that won the American Society of Newspaper Editors' Jesse Laventhol Award for deadline news reporting for its work during the 2004 tsunami. A museum studies graduate and a trained oral historian, she has worked with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. In India, she has consulted with the National Museum Institute, National Rail Museum and the Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art. She is also the curator of the Remember Bhopal Museum, which opened in December 2014 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the deadly Union Carbide gas leak. Rama has studied feminist politics, refugee rights and the American civil rights movement. She has conducted oral histories with the activists of the disability rights movement in the U.S. View Guest page
Kiersten Latham is assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences and MuseLab curator at Kent State University where she teaches courses in library and museum studies. Kiersten holds a PhD in library and information sciences from Emporia State, a masters in historical administration and museums studies from the University of Kansas and a BA in anthropology from the University of Michigan.
Kiersten has authored several books in addition to The Objects of Experience as well as many articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals. She is also a well-known speaker at museum and library conferences and has developed and installed numerous exhibitions. View Guest page
Matt Lehrman’s approach to audience building is grounded in a philosophy that the imperatives of relevance and sustainability demand a whole-organization commitment to engaging audiences. “Mind-opening, rut-clearing & possibility renewing” is how one recent attendee described the workshop experience. Matt Lehrman’s blog, AUDIENCE WANTED, is published by ArtsJournal. Previously, Matt served as founder & CEO of Alliance for Audience & ShowUp.com, an Arizona statewide initiative to activate public engagement in theatre, music, dance, art & cultural attractions. View Guest page
Kristin Leigh is the Deputy Director and Director of Community Engagement at Explora in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is responsible for membership, development, external relations, education, and exhibits. Kristin holds a Master in Education degree in Science Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. She received an Informal Learning Certificate from the Center for Informal Learning and Schools at the Exploratorium and participated in Cohort 6 of the Noyce Leadership Institute. Kristin sits on the Informal Learning Committee of the Board of the National Science Education Leadership Association and has worked on a number of National Science Foundation-funded projects, like Playful Invention and Exploration, Learning Places, Science Firsthand, and was co-PI on Portal to the Public. Prior to entering the informal science community, she was a classroom teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. View Guest page
Involved in the museum education field for 18 years, Sheri Levinsky-Raskin is committed to high quality and accessible museum experiences and enjoys being a mentor to colleagues and emerging professionals. After seven years of volunteer service as a Board Trustee for the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable, she now joins the steering committees for AAM's Education Professional Network as Chair-Elect for Professional Development, and the Museum Access Consortium. Sheri has worked at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for 11 years and is now the Assistant Vice President of Education & Evaluation. She has many prior experiences in the field of museum education including at the Decatur House Museum, The Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a M.A.T. in Museum Education from George Washington University, a Certificate of Specialization in Historic Preservation from Goucher College, and a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia University. View Guest page
President and CEO, American Alliance of Museums
A results-oriented, entrepreneurial, strategic leader with a track record of achieving aggressive programmatic and financial goals, Laura Lott has served as chief operating officer at the American Alliance of Museums since 2010. The 109-year old Alliance represents more than 26,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field. Laura led the 2012 re-launch of the Alliance, including rebranding the organization and rebuilding its technical infrastructure and web/mobile presence, and redesigning its membership program, leading to a 52% growth in membership. Prior to her work at the Alliance, Laura served as CFO of The JASON Project, an international nonprofit program at National Geographic with a mission to inspire and motivate students to learn science through great explorers and events. Laura graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and daughter. View Guest page
Deborah L Mack
Deborah L. Mack is the associate director for community and constituent services at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. An anthropologist by training, she leads a museum division focused on outreach, training, and technical support for African American communities; programs with international organizations; collaborative projects with other institutions, museums, and agencies; and support of alliances and collaborations with cultural service institutions. Mack has advised extensively on museum organizational and strategic planning, on interpretive and exhibition development, and with public resource organizations such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. View Guest page
Michael Madeja is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Teaching as a graduate student in the Museum Education Program at George Washington University. He began his museum career at the Philadelphia Zoo and has since migrated to the Education department at Ford’s Theatre. Appointed as a co-chair for D.C. Metro Emerging Museum Professionals, Michael aspires to create change in the field. He also freelances for Museum Hack as a digital media content consultant. Michael will be focusing on “best practices” as one of the co-moderators in a weekly Twitter chat: #MuseumEdChat. Michael received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Biological Anthropology from Temple University. View Guest page
Jan Majewski joined the Institute for Human Centered Design in January 2014. As the Director of Cultural and Educational Projects there, she works with museums and design firms in the planning stages of exhibitions to evaluate the accessibility of proposed designs and content and to problem-solve solutions that will move the exhibitions to the level of Universal Design. Jan is also involved in an IHCD comprehensive study on accessibility and universal design of programs for a top U.S. university. From 2001 to 2014, Jan was an Accessibility Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice. There she worked on issues of museum accessibility, accessible technology, collaboration between the disability and business communities, and ADA technical assistance. She was also part of the Disability Rights Section team that redesigned the Department’s ADA technical assistance website, ADA.gov, and its teams that wrote and designed ADA technical assistance materials. View Guest page
David S. Mandel
David S. Mandel is the Director of Exhibits & Design at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. An advocate for the power of experiential design, David has over 25 years experience in exhibition planning and design. He was a founding staff member at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC; an exhibit planner and content developer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates NYC; and Director of Exhibitions at the New York Historical Society. View Guest page
David Markowitz heads up Strategy and Partnerships at ListenUp Audio. He has spent over twenty years creating compelling stories: as an award-winning audiobook producer and director, playwright and theater producer, education entrepreneur, and audio strategist for both startups and major publishers. He lives in upstate NY with his wife and two boys and when he's not reading them stories, he's out hiking the Catskills. View Guest page
George first joined Maltbie in 1986 and was responsible for identifying new business opportunities, proposal writing, presentations, contract negotiation, and oversight of project management teams to ensure satisfactory fulfillment for permanent and traveling exhibits. Over his 16 years with the company, George was responsible for developing over $140 million in new business. In 2010, George rejoined Maltbie in his current role as Vice President of Business Development.
George balances development of new approaches to current markets with identifying and managing new markets while managing current project activities with the goal of growing Kubik Maltbie’s museum exhibit fabrication business. In the course of each project he strives to inspire trust among clients and colleagues. He has an established record of building high performance teams and has a proven ability to operate entrepreneurially in an established company context. View Guest page
Polly McKenna-Cress is Department Chair and Program Director of Museum Exhibition Planning & Design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is also Principal of the design firm Alusiv, Inc. From 1998-2003, Polly was Director of Exhibits and Design at the Franklin Institute where she oversaw design, production and installation of numerous permanent and traveling exhibitions. She has also held senior level positions in architectural and design offices. She holds an MFA from The University of the Arts and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Polly is also the coauthor of Creating Exhibitions. Collaboration in the Planning, Development and Design of Innovative Experiences published in 2013 by Wiley Press. View Guest page
Tim McNeil is a Professor of Design at the University of California Davis and Director of the UC Davis Design Museum where his research focuses on exhibition design in relation to the curatorial process and explores the exhibition medium as a creative space for the effective communication of objects and narratives. Tim is also principal with Muniz/McNeil, a multidisciplinary design and research practice in Los Angeles. Recent projects include “Home Lands: How Women Made the West” at the Autry National Center and augmented learning environments for the Huntington Library and Gardens. Tim has been recognized for design excellence by the Society for Environmental Graphic Design, the University and College Designers Association, the American Alliance of Museums and the International Museum Design and Communication Association. Tim was previously a senior designer at the J. Paul Getty Museum. He holds an M.F.A. in exhibition design from University of Arts, London. View Guest page
With over thirty years experience in arts and cultural public relations and administration, Heather Meltzer oversees client management, media relations strategy, and supervises consultants as co-founding principal of Bow Bridge Communications, LLC. Before establishing the firm with Libby Mark, Heather was a consulting associate at Jeanne Collins & Associates for five years. She previously served as curator of art for the City of Toronto and director of communications for The Interior Design Show which featured designers such as Sir Terence Conran, Karim Rashid, Marcel Wanders, Viscount David Linley, and the late Michael Graves. Heather was arts consultant to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation. She worked on projects in the lifestyle and design industries, as well as Azure and Metropolis magazines. Heather received a B.A. in Art History from University of Guelph, Canada. Website: http://bow-bridge.com/ View Guest page
Elizabeth E. Merritt
Elizabeth E. Merritt is founding director of the American Alliance of Museums’ Center for the Future of Museums. A biologist by training, she earned an M.A. in cell and molecular biology at Duke University. This led her to a series of positions at a children’s museum, a natural history museum and finally, Cincinnati Museum Center, where she was director of collections and research. Leaping to the association world, Elizabeth joined AAM in 1999, eventually leading the Excellence programs at the Alliance, including Accreditation, the Museum Assessment Program, peer review and the Information Center. In 2006 the Alliance Board approved the creation of a futurist initiative as one of the AAM Centennial projects, and Merritt hied herself off to Texas to complete the University of Houston’s certificate course in Strategic Foresight. Her areas of expertise include museum standards and best practices, ethics, collections management and planning, and assessment of nonprofit performance View Guest page
Dana Mitroff Silvers
Dana Mitroff Silvers is a digital strategy consultant and design thinking facilitator, specializing in arts and cultural institutions. Dana helps organizations use design thinking, a user-centered process for innovation, to conceptualize, develop, and implement projects ranging from website re-launches to exhibition redesigns. Her blog, Design Thinking for Museums, is a popular resource among museum professionals, and she is a frequent speaker at professional conferences including museums and the Web, Museum Computer Network, and the American Alliance of Museums. Dana is the former head of the web at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she oversaw the research, development, design, and production of the museum’s award winning site, www.sfmoma.org, for over 10 years. Dana holds an MA in art history from the University of Chicago and a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California. You can reach Dana at www.designinginsights.com or @dmitroff on Twitter Read her blog at www.designthinkingformuseums.net. View Guest page
Monica O. Montgomery is an international keynote, graduate professor, museum director and cultural entrepreneur, curating media and museums to be in service to society. She recently spoke at TedX Charlottesville and a winner of the 2016 Arts Entrepreneurship Award from Fractured Atlas. She is the founding director and chief curator of Museum of Impact the world’s first mobile social justice museum, inspiring action at the intersection of art, activism, self and society. She curates Museum of Impact’s traveling exhibits, examining current events, creative resilience, human rights and social movements.
Additionally, Monica is the Strategic Director of Museum Hue a multicultural platform, advocating diversity, inclusion and advancing people of color, in arts, culture museums and creative economy. As a sought after public speaker and coach, she trains leaders and partners with universities and museums to facilitate diversity, leadership and equity initiatives. www.monicamontgomery.org View Guest page
Monica O. Montgomery
Monica O. Montgomery is a brandraiser and cultural entrepreneur, curating media, museums and memory to enhance creative inspiration. She is the director of the Lewis Latimer Historic House Museum. Monica is remixing the museum experience, interpreting diversity, creativity and community to bridge past and present through the lens of Latimer’s legacy. Her thought leadership merges public affairs, event production, arts marketing and cultural policy. She believes museums should serve society, and she speaks and consults with institutions along the eastern seaboard. Monica is the co-founder of Museum Hue, a platform for cultural diversity advancing people of color via arts, culture and museums: www.museumhue.com. She is a candidate for LaSalle University’s MA in Corporate Communication. Monica is a Fellow with National Arts Strategies, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, and the New York Community Trust. She is social media manager for #MuseumWorkersSpeak. View Guest page
Michelle Moon specializes in museum audience engagement, creating meaningful learning experiences that unite creativity, place and history. A career museum professional, she most recently developed interpretation and programs for major exhibitions at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Previously, she was Director of Education at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH, and developed and led programs in American maritime history at Mystic Seaport. She is the author of "Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and co-author (with Cathy Stantion) of the forthcoming "The Missing Ingredient: How History Can Help Reinvent the Food System." Michelle serves as Massachusetts State Governor for Slow Food New England, and pursues a range of research projects in history and museology; currently, she is focused on how museums can help communities develop adaptability and resilience when confronted by changes in climate and culture. View Guest page
Porchia Moore, is a fourth year doctoral candidate enrolled in the School of Library and Information Science and McKissick Museum’s Museum Management Program at the University of South Carolina. She is the recipient of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership fellowship as endowed by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant. She is a 2013-2014, 2014-2015 Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Alliance & Colloboratory (HASTAC) Scholar (http://www.hastac.org/). Currently, she serves a two year appointment to the Professional Development Committee, which helps design and plan the annual conference for the South Carolina Federation of Museums. Moore is a regular contributing writer for Incluseum. She periodically does contract work with local museums and performs racial inclusive training for historic house museums and organization such as the Historic Columbia Foundation. She regularly presents on race, culture, and museums at conferences such as Museums and the Web and Museum Computer Network. She is an avid lover of museums, having explored museums from Malaysia to New Zealand and back. Follow her on Twitter @PorchiaMuseM. View Guest page
Porchia Moore is a doctoral candidate enrolled in the School of Library and Information Science and McKissick Museum’s Museum Management Program at the University of South Carolina. She is the recipient of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership fellowship as endowed by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant. She is also a Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Alliance & Colloboratory (HASTAC) Scholar. Currently, she serves a two year appointment to the Professional Development Committee, which helps plan the annual conference for the South Carolina Federation of Museums. Moore is a regular contributing writer for Incluseum. She periodically does contract work with local museums and performs racial inclusive training for historic house museums and organizations. She regularly presents on race, culture, and museums at conferences such as Museums and the Web and Museum Computer Network. She is an avid lover of museums, having explored museums from Malaysia to New Zealand. View Guest page
Mary Ellen Munley
Mary Ellen Munley is the principal of MEM & Associates, a consulting group dedicated to enhancing the role of museums in the lives of people and their communities. Mary Ellen brings 30 years of experience in museum education, administration, evaluation and professional service to the tasks museums face as they work to maximize their public value. Recent projects include evaluation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 13- year old program for youth, Bringing the Lessons Home, and the international dissemination project for the New York Hall of Science’s 20-year-old program, Science Career Ladder. Mary Ellen has authored dozens of articles and has delivered scores of presentations at conferences and symposia. Her most recent publication, “Evaluating Public Value” Strategy and Practice?” appears in Museums and Public Value: Creating Sustainable Futures. Carol A. Scott (ed). Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2013. View Guest page
Liz Neely is a passionate advocate for how creativity and ‘making’ empower and enrich our lives. She believes that museums are perfectly positioned in our local and global communities to inspire a lifelong learning mindset fueled by curiosity. As an active professional in the museum community, Liz served as the 2015 president of MCN, an organization advancing digital transformation in the cultural sector, and serves on the NMC and The Paseo Taos boards. Liz was the keynote speaker for the 2015 NMC summer conference and in 2013 she presented a TEDx talk called “Inventing Fabulation” on her philosophy of how making ridiculous things can re-make our world. She has an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s esteemed Kellogg School of Management and is excited to continue her work advancing the museum field in her new position as Senior Director of Integrated Content at the American Alliance of Museums. View Guest page
Linda Norris is an independent museum professional who focuses on shaping compelling narratives, improving professional practice and listening to communities. She is the co-author, with Rainey Tisdale, of Creativity in Museum Practice, (Left Coast Press, 2013). Linda has worked on interpretive projects and developed professional development opportunities for museums and cultural organizations in the United States, Canada, and Europe including the American Association for State and Local History, Connecticut Humanities, the Berkshire Museum and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Linda was a Fulbright Scholar in 2009 and 2010 to Ukraine, teaching museum studies and working with museums throughout Ukraine. Linda writes the widely read blog The Uncataloged Museum and is a co-founder of The Pickle Project. Most recently, she’s expanded her own creative and professional horizons through work with Context Travel, conducting professional development seminars in 25 great cultural capitals of the world in the last year and is a member of the tri-national social media team for the upcoming Museums and Politics conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. View Guest page
Caren is the principal and owner of Oberg Research, a research and evaluation firm based in New York. Caren holds a B.A. in anthropology from American University and an M.A. in arts and teaching from George Washington University Museum Education Program. She founded Oberg Research in 2005 to help museums of all sizes to reach their potential and fulfill their mission. View Guest page
For over 30 years, Paul Orselli has worked to create inventive and playful museums and exhibits. He is now the President and Chief Instigator at POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) an exhibit design and development corporation that he founded. Paul has consulted on museum projects throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. His clients include such notable organizations as the New York Hall of Science, the Exploratorium, the National Science Foundation, and Science Projects in London. He has taught and lectured at universities on museum topics and has presented at professional conferences throughout North America and Europe. Paul has also been the editor and originator of the three best-selling Cheapbooks, published by ASTC, and has served on the board of NAME (National Association for Museum Exhibition). He lives on Long Island with his wife and “in-house exhibit testing crew” of four children. View Guest page
Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer
Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer has worked in the education department of the Clark for more than fifteen years, first as the Coordinator of Community and Family Programs and for the past five years as Director of Education Programs. Her goal as a museum educator is to help people understand more fully that looking at and thinking about art can expand their sense of human possibility. Before coming to the Clark, Tulgan Ostheimer taught at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the Education Department. She holds an Ed.D. in Psychological Education from the University of Massachusetts and a B.A. in Sociology and American Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. View Guest page
Bill Owens has a broad base of experience in management, planning and business analysis. Since founding Owens Economics, LLC and for over 30 years with Economics Research Associates (ERA) and AECOM Economics, Bill has directed or participated in numerous consulting assignments involving museums, historical and cultural attractions, and visitor centers. These assignments have been undertaken at the strategic level and at the level of individual project feasibility. Bill’s work with museums and with historical and cultural attractions has benefited from his extensive experience in working with a variety of commercial attractions. For museum clients, Bill has provided advice on the economics of development and financial operations for new and expanding museums and attractions. Clients have ranged from institutions of national/international significance, such as the American Museum of Natural History and Mystic Seaport to institutions with more regional and local audiences, such as the Virginia Aquarium and Fort Collins Discovery Center. Bill earned a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy, and earned his M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. View Guest page
Nina Pelaez is the 2014-15 Kress Museum Interpretation Fellow at the High Museum of Art. There, she developed High Art Connect, an interpretive blog focused on the intersections of art, social practice, and community engagement. She is passionate about fostering public engagement and inclusion within museums, and is particularly interested in the ways that theoretical models— particularly queer, feminist, and critical race theories—might help inform interpretive practice and engagement within cultural institutions. Her research interests include the exploration of trauma, memory, and the body in contemporary photography and public installation. She holds an M.A. from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, and a B.A. in Art History and English Literature from Swarthmore College. Nina blogs at www.thedidactickatydid.wordpress.com and tweets @ninapelaez. View Guest page
As a professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University, Scott Peters has established an innovative, publicly engaged teaching and research program that interweaves democratic theory and political and educational philosophy with historical and narrative methods. His research agenda centers on a critical study of the social, cultural, and political dimensions of higher education’s off-campus engagement work. His most recent book, “Democracy and Higher Education: Traditions and Stories of Civic Engagement” (Michigan State University Press, 2010), contributes to a new line of research on the critically important task of strengthening and defending higher education’s positive roles in and for a democratic society. He is the author of Imagining America’s Foreseeable Futures position paper, “Changing the Story about Higher Education’s Public Purposes and Work: Land-Grants, Liberty, and the Little Country Theater.” View Guest page
Nancy Proctor is Deputy Director for Digital Experience and Communications at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Co-chair of Museums and the Web. Previously she headed up Mobile Strategy and Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution and New Media Initiatives at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum. Nancy holds a Ph.D. in American art history and a background in filmmaking, curation and art criticism. She published her first online exhibition in 1995. She co-founded TheGalleryChannel.com with Titus Bicknell to present virtual tours of innovative exhibitions alongside comprehensive global museum and gallery listings. She also directed Antenna’s sales in France and worked with the Travel Channel’s product development team. Nancy served as program chair for the Museums Computer Network (MCN) conference and has co-organized the Tate Handheld conference among other gatherings for cultural professionals. She also manages MuseumMobile.info, its wiki and podcast series, and is Digital Co-editor of Curator: The Museum Journal. View Guest page
Through a combination of wit, diplomacy, and efficiency, Barbara Punt is a consultant and advisor to museums while they are undergoing exhibit and/or building capital projects. As an Owner’s Rep/Project manager, she provides a myriad of services: RFP writing and proposal review; contract negotiation and management; exhibit sourcing and procurement; and managing the entire project from soup to nuts. Barbara has actively fostered discussion on the field of project management through chairing/presenting over 20 sessions at national professional conferences (AAM, ACM, ASTC, AZA, MAAM), stimulating discussion among museum professionals and raising awareness as to the importance of this critical discipline. Her latest published paper is in the RFP Issue of the Exhibitionist. Check out Barbara's website: www.puntconsulting.com or Email at: Barbara@puntconsulting.com View Guest page
Therese Quinn is an Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, an urban public institution. A Fulbright Scholar at the University of Helsinki, Finland in 2009-10, Therese researches and writes about the arts and cultural institutions as sites of labor, public engagement and, potentially, justice-work. She is an elected representative for her faculty union, UIC United Faculty, a founding member of Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education, and the author and editor of several books, including “Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons” (2012), “Sexualities in Education: A Reader” (2012), and “Teaching Toward Democracy” (2010). She has published articles in the Journal of Museum Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education, and Rethinking Schools, among others. View Guest page
Beth Redmond-Jones is the Senior Director of Public Programs at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Beth has developed, designed, and project managed exhibitions and programs for numerous cultural institutions and held a number of senior positions in museums. Beth holds a Masters in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University and a BA in Art History from the University of New Hampshire. Beth serves on the board of the National Association for Museum Exhibition, a Standing Professional Committee of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Beth has received many awards including AAM’s annual exhibition competition and the AAM Media and Technology Committee MUSE awards.
In 2006, Beth was recognized as a next generation leader who demonstrates creativity or innovation in leadership, learning, or organizational change, by the convergence of Museum Talent Project. Beth has been exploring how museums can more effectively serve those in the autism community and those with sensory stimulation challenges. She is also the mother of a young adult who has high-functioning autism. You can follow Beth on twitter at @bredmondjones where she tweets about museums and autism. View Guest page
Jillian Reese is an emerging museum professional interested in how museums can support socially just communities. Obsessed with food, pop culture, and Detroit. Jillian is Community Relations Specialist at the Detroit Institute of Arts. View Guest page
Jim is an entrepreneur, a designer, and creative thinker. Over the past 20 years he’s worked with some of Europe’s most prestigious cultural destinations to help them make better use of technology to engage their audiences. In 2011 he created a tool for developing an effective digital strategy with his colleague Jasper Visser called the Digital Engagement Framework (http://digitalengagementframework.com ). It is now used by hundreds of organizations around the world and is the subject of two books. In 2009, he organized a small event called MuseumNext which built on his interest in the future of museums. It has since grown to become a major international conference. The event started with a technological focus, but has now grown to cover everything from entrepreneurship to diversity, from politics to working internationally, although technology is still a key thread. Jim’s current work outside the conference includes a campaign to save UK museums from 40% funding cuts. View Guest page
Laura Roberts has an active consulting practice (Roberts Consulting), working with nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, assessment, staff and board training, and organizational development. She has worked with more than 150 museums, professional associations and other cultural nonprofits. She is on the faculty of Harvard University Extension, Bank Street College of Education and the Seminar in Historical Administration. Laura is the chair of the advisory board of the Tufts University Art Gallery and serves on the University Gifts of Art committee. Other current board membership includes the Mary Baker Eddy Library and Central Square Theater. She also serves on the editorial review panel of the Journal of Museum Education. Laura holds an M.B.A. in public and nonprofit management from Boston University School of Management, an M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York, and a B.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. View Guest page
An experienced museum practitioner and student of leadership and change, Randy Roberts has a broad and diverse work history that spans multiple disciplines, skills, and proficiencies. She has worked in museum education, visitor services, visitor studies and evaluation, exhibition and program development, interpretive planning, marketing, membership, and volunteer management, and has served as Director of Public Programs at the New York State Museum, Deputy Director at the Schenectady Museum, and Deputy Director at the Crocker Art Museum. She has also consulted with museums nationally and was the first Manager of the Visitor Studies Association. Randy holds a Masters degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in leadership and change. Her research is focused on exploring the essence of museums and their potential role in society as places situated at the fusion of the past, present, and future. She believes in the value of museums as sites of being, being with others, and finding connection in conversation with people and with objects. View Guest page
Maureen K. Robinson
Maureen K. Robinson is the author of Nonprofit Boards that Work: The End of One-Size-Fits-All Governance, published by John Wiley & Sons. She is a consultant and speaker on topics relating to the leadership, governance and management of the nonprofit sector. In her work with nonprofit organizations, she focuses on governance and leadership, organizational development, and strategic planning. In addition to her most recent book, Ms. Robinson is the author of Developing the Nonprofit Board: Strategies for Educating and Motivating Board Members and The Chief Executive’s Role in Developing the Nonprofit Board, both published by the National Center for Nonprofit Boards (BoardSource). Ms. Robinson founded the education program of the National Center for Nonprofit Boards (now called BoardSource). Prior to joining the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, Ms. Robinson held a variety of positions in the museum field. She was the director of legislative affairs at the American Association of Museums, and served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Museums at the Smithsonian Institution, where she conducted executive-level searches and managed special projects. View Guest page
Cory Rodeheaver is the Art Director at Taylor Studios, Inc., an exhibit design and build firm located in central Illinois. As part of the Taylor Studios team for eight years, Cory has also worked as the firm’s Senior Exhibit Designer. With a background in theater, Cory specializes in immersive environments and merging theatrical storytelling techniques with exhibit design to create memorable guest experiences. View Guest page
Steven Rosen is President and Creative Director of Available Light. It was Steven’s keen interest in applying theatrical lighting techniques to traditionally non-theatrical environments that led to his founding Available Light in 1992. The originality and grand scale of Steven’s designs are evident in such one-of-a-kind award-winning projects as: The Neural Climber interactive experience at The Franklin Institute, the Aramco Oil Exhibit, lighting for the spectacular 150th anniversary celebration of Horseshoe Curve, and the architectural installation of an all LED lighting system in the Rotunda of the National Archives—home of the US Constitution. Steven’s commitment to responsible design solutions, including assuring LEED certification for a number of projects, is central to his work. He authored a chapter for a publication on Museum and Exhibition Lighting, holds a patent on LED Sports Lighting, and has presented at conferences and meetings around the globe. View Guest page
Terrie Rouse served during the start-up phase as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta that opened in June 2014. She was the founding CEO for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and as Executive Vice President/Director of Museums for Kansas City’s Union Station renovation. She also provided consultant services to a number of cultural, non-profit organizations across the United States, including a joint project between the City of Philadelphia, the National Park Service, and Independence National Historic Park and work with the City of Charleston on the development of the International African American Museum.
She also worked as a consultant for the King Abdulaziz Center For World Culture, in Daharan, Saudi Arabia. Ms. Rouse served as Executive Director of the Atlanta Ballet; President and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia; Director of the New York Transit Museum; and Executive Director at the Children’s Museum of Maine. In addition, she has served on a number of professional associations and boards and has published extensively in many academic and art publications. View Guest page
Carolyn is Director of Digital at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, where she is leading an ambitious digital program to re-imagine and build a forward-thinking digital presence.
She is President of the Museum Computer Network (MCN), a not for profit organization that represents a wide range of information professionals from cultural sector institutions in the United States and around the world. MCN is celebrating its 50th anniversary year in 2017.
Previously an independent consultant working with cultural organizations to transform the way they use digital technologies to effect change. Clients included: English Heritage, J. Paul Getty Trust, Canadian History Museum, British Council, National Museum Wales, National Museums Scotland.
Former Head of Digital at Imperial War Museums (UK) responsible for the strategic development of digital media and the management and delivery of all public facing digital outputs. View Guest page
Adrianne Russell is a museum professional, writer and blogger. She was one of the bloggers who signed the joint statement on Ferguson and co-hosted the Twitter conversation #museumsrespondtoferguson. She has held a number of museum positions including Public Programs Coordinator at the Marianne Kistler Beach Museum and Ford Learning Center/Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She has a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Bachelors in Nonprofit Leadership Studies and Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certification from Rockhurst University. She blogs at Cabinet of Curiosities. View Guest page
Deborah Ryan is a practicing landscape architect and an Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where she founded the Charlotte Community Design Studio as the community outreach arm of the College of Architecture. While leading that effort, her focus was on activating urban places and encouraging local residents to participate in the life of the city. Towards that goal, she and her students designed award-winning playgrounds and developed the initial designs for Charlotte’s two new urban parks. As Director of the Mayor’s Institute for City Design: South and the Open Space Leadership Institute, Deborah led symposia that taught local leaders how to increase civic engagement, build social capital, and face growth issues in their communities. She has published and lectured widely on the subject of community engagement, and in 2013 she was named a Senior Edward I. Koch Fellow by the Historic House Trust of New York City. View Guest page
Brenda Salguero is currently the Education Director at the Hayward Area Historical Society. She found museums, with their informal approach to education, to be an ideal setting for her. In 2014, Brenda graduated from John F. Kennedy University with a Masters in Museum Studies and Business Administration. Her thesis, "Hanging Mirrors: Reflections on Women of Color, Leadership, and Representation within Museums" focuses on women of color in positions of leadership or authority, examining how their decisions increased representation of people of color within museums. Brenda still works with John F. Kennedy museum department developing and holding cultural sensitivity workshops for incoming students. She is also a board member of the Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals. Promoting understanding and representation of women and people of color within society is one of her strongest passions. She pursues this goal in all of her activities, hoping someday it will create an equal society. View Guest page
Pete Salmon is a certified interpretive planner with the National Association of Interpretation. He has been with the exhibit design and build firm Taylor Studios, Inc. as Interpretive Planner for 15 years. Pete has worked in one capacity or another on over 40 exhibits nationwide. View Guest page
Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler is Exhibits Coordinator for the Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida; creating a formal exhibition program, training librarians and archivists, and serving as liaison to the many academic units on campus who incorporate the Libraries' collections and exhibitions into their courses. She is co-PI on a three year IMLS grant to document the integration of a closed museum, it's collection, and community into an academic library. Lourdes received her Masters of Arts in Museology from University of Florida in 2009 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Photography from the same institution in 2003. View Guest page
Paula Santos is a multidisciplinary educator who has focused on creating and advocating for meaningful, equitable museum programming for family and adult audiences during her 10 years in the field. She’s currently Teacher & Student Programs Coordinator at the National Museum of Art in Chicago. Formerly she has held positions at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum and Whitney Museum. She is a graduate of the Leadership in Museum Education program at Bank Street College and holds a B.A. in Art History from Williams College. View Guest page
Carol A Scott
Based in London, Carol Scott is a thought leader, writer, presenter and consultant whose passion is museum value—how we describe it, how we measure it, how we create it and how we leverage it with stakeholders and audiences. She sees opportunities as well as challenges in the current economic climate, suggesting that it may force the sector to find a clearer language to articulate its value, become more strategic in directing its assets, and more visible in the public domain.
Recent publications include “Museums and Public Value: Creating Sustainable Futures” (Ashgate 2015), and “New Trends: Social Change, Museum Brands and Public Value” due out in November 2015. Currently Chair of the International Council of Museums in the United Kingdom, Carol is also on the Executive Committee of ICOM’s Marketing and Public Relations Group. Her website can be found at www.carolscottassociates.com View Guest page
Harvey Seifter, founder and director of Art of Science Learning (www.artofsciencelearning) is one of the world’s leading authorities on organizational creativity and arts‐based learning. Through Seifter Associates (www.seifterassociates.com), the consulting firm he founded in 1995, Harvey has brought arts¬‐based approaches to innovation, leadership development, teamwork and cross-¬cultural communication to Fortune 500 companies as well as universities. Harvey is also a classically trained musician with a 25-year career at the helm of distinguished arts organizations including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Magic Theatre of San Francisco. In 2001, Harvey wrote Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World’s Only Conductor less Orchestra (Holt/Times Books), since translated into nine languages and published worldwide View Guest page
Marsha Semmel is one of the great thinkers in the museum field. Marsha has worked in and for museums since 1975, dedicating her career to encouraging museums to be responsive and supportive leaders in their communities. An advisor for the Noyce Leadership Institute, Marsha served as Director for the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the Institute for Museum and Library Services. She has also served on the Board of the American Association of Museums. Prior to coming to Washington, DC, Marsha was President of the Women of the West Museum and President and CEO of Conner Prairie Living History Museum. View Guest page
As Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum, Elizabeth Semmelhack applies her cultural art history background to the mission of the Museum by exploring the multiple roles and meanings of footwear through innovative and engaging exhibitions. Most recently she curated “Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels.” The American Federation of the Arts has expanded “Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture” into a travelling exhibition that will be displayed in four US venues, beginning in July 2015. Recently named by Fashion magazine one of the world’s top five game-changing fashion curators, Semmelhack has been featured in articles in National Geographic, Vogue, Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, and many others, including an op-ed piece for The New York Times discussing issues related to gender and high heels. She has also appeared on TV programs and published a number of books and catalogs. Her upcoming book “Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture” will appear in 2015. View Guest page
Author of Engaging Young Children in Museums
Dr. Sharon Shaffer is a consultant and leading expert in the field of early learning and museum education. She draws on nearly twenty-five years of experience in the field as the Founding Director for the Smithsonian's model lab school in Washington, DC. Shaffer received The Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the Smithsonian Institution – the only educator with this distinction – for creating a national model in museum-based learning for young children. Her experience includes consultations with museums and schools nationally and internationally, ranging from program development and evaluation to strategic planning and capacity building for educators. Dr. Shaffer teaches for the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and writes professionally for the field. In spring 2012 she served as the guest editor for the Journal of Museum Education’s issue “Early Learning: A National Conversation.” Sharon can be reached at: email@example.com Website: http://earlylearninginmuseums.com/ Order her book at Left Coast Press: www.lcoastpress.com View Guest page
Sharon Shaffer, PhD
Author of Engaging Young Children in Museums Dr. Sharon Shaffer is a consultant and leading expert in the field of early learning and museum education. She draws on nearly twenty-five years of experience in the field as the Founding Director for the Smithsonian's model lab school in Washington, DC. Shaffer received The Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the Smithsonian Institution – the only educator with this distinction – for creating a national model in museum-based learning for young children. Her experience includes consultations with museums and schools nationally and internationally, ranging from program development and evaluation to strategic planning and capacity building for educators. Dr. Shaffer teaches for the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and writes professionally for the field. In spring 2012 she served as the guest editor for the Journal of Museum Education’s issue “Early Learning: A National Conversation.” Sharon can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://earlylearninginmuseums.com/ Order her book at Left Coast Press: www.lcoastpress.com View Guest page
Nina Simon is the Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and the author of The Participatory Museum. A sought-after speaker, Nina also authors Museum 2.0, one of the most influential blogs in the museum community. Nina served as the Curator at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and Experience Development Specialist at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. She holds degrees in engineering and mathematics. Contact Nina at http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/ View Guest page
Robin Simonton has been the Executive Director of Historic Oakwood Cemetery since November of 2011. Robin holds a BA in US History from the University of Hawaii and an MA in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Previously, she was the Program and Volunteer Services Executive at Girl Scouts — North Carolina Coastal Pines. Robin served as the researcher of the book Oahu Cemetery: Burial Ground & Historic Site, written by Nanette Napoleon in 1997. She contributed a chapter to Rachel Wolgemuth's book, Cemetery Tours and Programming: a Guide in 2016. Robin and her husband Jeff live in Raleigh with their son, Cullen. Contact Robin via email at email@example.com. View Guest page
She is the designer and developer of MIDE, The Interactive Museum of Economics, the first museum of economics in the world, which she has led since 2001. MIDE has been recognized with 14 national and international awards and holds the distinction of being the first global museum to complete the AAM Core Document Verification Program. With a scientific background as a biologist and a PhD in ecology, Silvia specializes as a museologist. She participated in the founding of Papalote de Children's Museum in Mexico City and was the designer of the iconic exhibit The Ramon Tree. She has been an advisor and designer for other institutions in Mexico and abroad. Silvia has played important roles at the international arena that allowed her to advance the science museum field in Mexico, and this year she was named President of the Mexican Association of Science and Technology Museums. As a speaker, she has participated in numerous museum-related conferences for almost 30 years. View Guest page
Lee H Skolnick
Lee H. Skolnick is founder and principal of Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, a diverse practice known for museums, schools, residences, exhibit designs and museum education programs. Lee synthesizes art, science, and architecture to create memorable and meaningful experiences. He unlocks each project’s “motivating story” to inspire imagination, curiosity, and understanding. For over 35 years Mr. Skolnick has passionately developed and pursued his philosophy of “design as interpretation,” wherein he seeks to unearth the unique themes and compelling concepts which characterize each project, and to translate them into concrete expression.
Lee has conducted symposiums, workshops and provided teacher training for leading educational and cultural organizations, and he has designed major exhibitions around the country and globally. As honorary research fellow at the University of Leicester, Lee has authored scholarly papers and books, including "What Is Exhibition Design? View Guest page
Jeffrey K. Smith
Jeffrey K. Smith is Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Prior to coming to Otago, he was Professor and Chair of the Educational Psychology Department at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. From 1988 through 2005, he also served as Head of the Office of Research and Evaluation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He studies issues in learning in cultural institutions, educational assessment, and the psychology of aesthetics. He has written or edited seven books and over 70 articles and reviews on these subjects.
He received his A.B. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is the founding Co-Editor of the journal, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. In 2011 he was awarded the Rudolph Arnheim Award for Outstanding Career Contributions to the Psychology of the Arts by Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. Jeffrey consults with museums interested in developing research projects. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org View Guest page
Koven Smith has been a digital technology leader for the Denver Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Indianapolis Museum of Art. As the owner of his own consulting practice KineticMuseums, Koven is helping museums develop real strategies for the 21st century. Koven was a recent keynote speaker at the MuseumNext 2014 conference. He is also the creator of Drinking About Museums, a meet up group for museum professionals to share ideas and creative thoughts about the work they love. Koven can be reached through a variety of electronic means including email@example.com and @5easypieces on Twitter. View Guest page
Adalene “Nene” Spivy is an engineer and MBA with 25 years of diverse management experience including systems and process engineering, new product development, and general management for technology businesses; non-profit management including fundraising, strategic planning, volunteer management, and board development; and over a decade of work with children’s museums. She has led the Children’s Science Center since 2010, during which the Center has served over 65,000 visitors as a museum without walls, secured two museum sites, and established its first museum operating site in 2015. As Executive Director, Nene oversees all aspects of the organization, including business and museum planning, operations, educational programming, fundraising, finance, and organization development. Nene is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Fairfax and has served in multiple leadership roles in the community. View Guest page
Myriam Springuel founded Springuel Consulting in 1995 to help museums and related nonprofits respond to change. She has held senior level positions in museums including as the Associate Director for Programs at the Smithsonian Institution traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Assistant to the Director at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. She serves on various boards and advisory councils and is currently the president of The Museum Group. She holds a masters degree in art history from the University of Maryland and a bachelors degree from Tufts University. You may continue the conversation with Myriam at www.springuelconsulting.com View Guest page
Walter Staveloz is Director of International Relations at the Association of Science-Technology Centers. He is currently the host of “ASTC on Air" that invites international experts to contribute to the professional development of science center professionals. This fall he will publish a report of an international study about soft skills kids can acquire in science centers in preparation of their careers. Walter is currently developing other strategic initiatives to position ASTC and its members as recognized leaders in public understanding of science, establishing international goals that address strategic objectives for ASTC, and conceptualizing projects for international participation that focus on topics of interest to a worldwide audience. Staveloz holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology of labor marketing and a marketing certificate from Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He has contributed to a number of publications, including UN-Chronicle, ASTC Dimensions, and Museologia. View Guest page
Greg Stevens runs the Professional Development program for the American Alliance of Museums. Since taking on this program in 2007, Greg has launched AAM’s first online education programs, the AAM Career Café and National Emerging Museum Professional Career Workshop. Greg is a national presenter and lecturer on the career development and leadership. Greg has held numerous positions in museums and for museum organizations. Greg holds a masters in museum education from The George Washington University and bachelors in theater design from San Diego State University. View Guest page
Greg Stevens has directed the American Alliance of Museums professional development program since 2007, reaching thousands of museum colleagues each year through online, face-to-face and print platforms. Greg is passionate about his work, which includes developing programs and designing curriculum; training and facilitation; building partnerships and collaborations; leadership development and career management; and coaching and mentoring. Previously, Greg held positions at the National Museum of the U.S. Army, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, National Building Museum, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Kellogg Performing and Visual Arts School. Greg is the co-editor (with Wendy Luke) of A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career (2012, The AAM Press) and contributed the afterword to Teaching the Museum: Careers in Museum Education (2014, The AAM Press). Greg also is an active theatre designer and director in Washington, DC, and an avid Washington Nationals fan! View Guest page
Neal takes an interdisciplinary approach to humanistic scholarship and museum work that is informed by art history, cultural studies, digital technology and sociology. Neal is a Digital Asset Specialist in the Digital Media Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he forecasts digital trends, leads digitization efforts and manages special digital media initiatives. He participates globally in conferences, projects and publications. Neal advocates for digital humanities and design thinking methods of collaborative practice in museums. He is committed to strengthening digital preservation in museums and encourages museums to open access to their collections for use by the public. Neal is a social media expert, having been a social media curator for conferences such as Museums and the Web, The Museum Computer Network and THATCamp. He was one of the #ifihadglass winners and one of the first Google Glass Explorers in the cultural heritage and museum sectors. Stimler’s current interests focus on humanistic enlightenment, digital aesthetics and museums as social businesses in the sharing economy. Find Neal on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/nealstimler LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/neal-stimler/25/ab2/337 Instagram: https://instagram.com/nealstimler View Guest page
Sarah Sutton, LEED-AP, is an independent consultant helping museums and other cultural institutions become environmentally and financially sustainable through grants, mainstreaming activities and green performances. She is also a LEED-accredited professional through the U.S. Green Building Council. She is the author of “The Green Nonprofit, The First 52 Weeks of Your Green Journey,” and coauthor of “The Green Museum.” Her book, “Environmental Sustainability at Historic Sites and Museums,” was recently published by Rowan and Littlefield. Sarah has worked in museums in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, Colorado and Montana. She holds a BA in American Studies from Sweet Briar College, an MA in history from the College of William & Mary, and a certificate in history administration from the William & Mary Program with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. View Guest page
Sarah Sutton Brophy
Sarah Sutton Brophy, LEED-AP, is an independent consultant helping museums and other cultural institutions become environmentally and financially sustainable through grants, mainstreaming activities and green performances. She is also a a LEED-accredited professional through the U.S. Green Building Council. She is the author of The Green Nonprofit, The First 52 Weeks of Your Green Journey, coauthor of The Green Museum and blogs at Sustainable Museums. Sarah has worked in museums in new England, the Mid-Atlantic, Colorado and Montana. She holds a BA in American Studies from Sweet Briar College, an MA in history from the College of William & Mary and a certificate in history administration from the William & Mary Program with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She lives on Eastern Shore of Maryland. View Guest page
My experience building web apps brought me to the American Museum of Natural History, where I spent a decade building hundreds of interactives to bring the Museum’s science to school kids and adult learners around the globe. In 2012 I became the Director of Digital Architecture working across many digital efforts in alignment with and in shaping of our overarching digital strategy. I live in NYC with my wife and 4 kids. View Guest page
Phil Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., runs The Councils, a collaborative network of senior digital leaders, which he began in 2002 with Marissa Mayer and others. Phil has written about collaboration and the power of asking for help in the Harvard Business Review and recently published a book, "Customers Included," about learning from and collaborating with customers. With The Councils, Phil developed a community of hundreds of senior leaders who help each other run better, more innovative, more customer-inclusive companies. Member companies range from Apple to Walmart, from Bank of America to Wells Fargo, from startups like Squarespace to industry leaders like Google. In his spare time he founded and runs two innovative nonprofits that are creating collaborative communities in art and literature—Slow Art Day and Reading Odyssey. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn View Guest page
David H. Thomas
David Hurst Thomas has served since 1972 as Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (New York). A specialist in Native American archaeology, he has taught at Columbia University, among others. In 1970, he discovered Gatecliff Shelter (Nevada), the deepest archaeological rockshelter in the Americas. Thomas also discovered the 16th-/17th-century Franciscan mission Santa Catalina de Guale (Georgia). Since 1998, he has led excavations at Mission San Marcos, near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Thomas has written 30 books, edited 90 additional volumes, and authored numerous scientific papers. His most recent book is the best-selling “Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity” (Basic Books, 2000, 2001). His archaeological research has been featured in The New York Times and National Geographic, and in 2014 Thomas was awarded the Founders’ Lifetime Achievement Award by the Great Basin Anthropological Association. View Guest page
Geri Thomas is President of Thomas & Associates, Inc., an innovative firm that offers staffing, consulting and professional development programs for museums, universities, and art businesses nationally and internationally, since 2000.
Geri has been involved with recruitment and executive search, organizational development, and consulting for such organizations as The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Christie’s; the Corning Museum of Glass; Galerie Lelong; the Studio Museum in Harlem and Artnet.com.
She has lectured widely and presented numerous papers on professional development and recruitment in the United States and internationally. Geri is an Associate Professor at NYU where she teaches Museum Management and Fundraising for the Arts. She developed a new Certificate Program in Art Collections Management, Registration and Display in 2011 for NYU. She is a Leadership Circle member of ArtTable, the prestigious group of professional women in the arts. View Guest page
In 2016, Brenda will graduate from Emory University with a PhD in History & Culture. Recently, Tindal was appointed Staff Historian at Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. In this role, she is charged with conducting research, planning and curating major exhibits that place the city and region into historical context, developing and delivering educational programs, supporting communications, media, and community relations efforts, and serving on the Museum’s senior management team. Prior to her appointment at Levine Museum of the New South, Tindal was a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of History and Honors College at UNCC. Tindal has been the recipient of numerous awards, professional appointments and citations including Interim Coordinator for 2015 UNCF-Mellon International Faculty Seminar in Nantes, France, 2012-2013 Dean Bobby Paul Mentor & Teaching Excellence Award, and the 2011-2012 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Fellowship at Princeton University. View Guest page
Rainey Tisdale is an independent curator, based in Boston, who specializes in city museums and local history. She spent most of the last decade working for the Bostonian Society. In 2010 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Helsinki, Finland, and in 2011 she was a community fellow at Brown University’s Center for Public Humanities. With Linda Norris (Museum Life guest on April 4, 2014), Rainey is co-author of Creativity in Museum Practice (Left Coast Press, 2013). She blogs at CityStories and teaches in the Museum Studies Graduate Program at Tufts University. She is currently wrapping up a year-long project as Curator for #BostonBetter, the effort by 26 Boston-area cultural institutions to provide programming for the first anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. You can reach Rainey at raineytisdale.com. View Guest page
Alin Tocmacov is an associate partner at C&G Partners, a multi-specialty New-York based design studio. For over two decades, Alin has led multi-disciplinary creative teams in the design of exhibits and experiences for cultural and commercial clients in Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the United States. Projects include the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, the National Children’s Museum Jordan in Amman, the Google Partner Plex Experience Center in Mountain View, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center in Seattle. Alin holds a Master’s degree of Architecture from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He is a guest lecturer and the author of museograph.org, a blog exploring spatial design in the context of museums, art installations, exhibitions and experience environments. Alin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Alin on his blog, museograph.org and on Twitter, @alintocmacov View Guest page
Beth Tuttle is President and CEO of the Cultural Data Project. She has more than 25 years of experience as an author, strategist, and management leader in the cultural, philanthropic, advocacy, and corporate sectors. Previously, Beth founded and served as Managing Director of METStrategies, LLC, a strategic consulting firm specializing in leadership development, planning, communications, and branding for social benefit organizations. She served as Deputy Director and Chief of External Relations and Planning for the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and as Senior Vice President for Communications for The Freedom Forum and Newseum. She is a graduate of Brown University, Beth is co-author of Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University and is a member of The Museum Group. Beth is the co-author of Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement (AAM Press, 2013). View Guest page
Franklin Vagnone serves as Executive Director of the Historic House Trust of New York City and has over 20 years of collaborative leadership in non-profit management, financial oversight, fundraising, strategic planning, Board relationships and award-winning cultural program development. His work experience includes a wide spectrum of organizations ranging from private ownership to complex government/private multiple-agreement stakeholders. He has consulted, lectured, and taught nationally for an extensive list of historic sites, museums, historic houses, community-based historic societies, and membership organizations. Seen as a national thought leader in innovative & entrepreneurial non-profit management for historic sites, Franklin has instituted culturally diverse strategies that transform institutions, encouraged innovative thinking that increases operational functionality, engages diverse new audiences, expands relevancy, attendance and fundraising capacity. Franklin has served on the advisory boards of many not-for-profit entities and maintains a robust twitter presence (@franklinVagnone), and the blog: Twisted Preservation - which to date, has readers in over 60 countries (twistedpreservation.com ). View Guest page
Peter Vega works in Business Development for izi.TRAVEL. Peter began working in the museum industry in 2009. Over the years, he's worked closely with Bedford Historical Society (NY), The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, The Jewish Museum, The Noguchi Museum, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and others. He graduated from New York University with a MA in Museum Studies. You can follow him on Twitter @PeterVega. He is originally from New York City but is currently based in Chicago, IL. View Guest page
Angela is a creative arts non-profit professional, focusing on fundraising and development. After studying French and International Politics for her B.A. at Catholic University in D.C., Angela found herself passionate for art museums and making art available for everyone. She pursued a Master's in Rome, Italy in Government & Politics at St. John's University, and performed research on stolen art and art in public administration. She is currently the proud Membership Officer at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, where she launched the innovative Crew membership and Pay What You Wish admissions initiatives. Angela continues to promote diverse and inclusive fundraising models for museums. Find Angela’s website at: www.mopa.org/crew View Guest page
GARY VIKAN was Director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore from 1994 to 2013. Vikan stepped down from the Walters directorship to write, lecture, and teach; to provide consulting services as Vikan Consulting LLC to cultural non-profits, collectors, and dealers; and to pursue projects at the intersection of the arts and sciences. In 2014, he co-organized an exhibition on “Beauty and the Brain” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he was co-chair of a convening at the Salzburg Global Seminar in February 2015, devoted to neuroscience and creativity. Vikan’s recent books include “From the Holy Land to Graceland” (2012); “UNRAVELED: When, Where, and How the Shroud of Turin was Made by Human Hands” (forthcoming), and his memoirs, “SACRED and STOLEN: Confessions of a Museum Director” (forthcoming in 2016; SelecBooks). Vikan lectures extensively on topics as varied as Byzantine art, looted art and cultural property policy, neuroaesthetics, and art forgeries. View Guest page
Jasper is a change agent, innovator and facilitator, specializing in culture, heritage and the arts. With over ten years of international experience, he helps institutions deal with challenges, formulate strategies for the future and build successful teams. Jasper focuses on digital strategies, new media and technology, audience development and innovative business models. Jasper can be reached at http://inspiredbycoffee.com. View Guest page
Jennifer Walden has been called a marketing guru. Competing for market share during her tenure at Liberty Cable, she helped break up the cable monopoly in NYC. Jennifer’s marketing talents combined with her passion for arts and culture created successful marketing campaigns across multi-platforms. Her work with NYC cultural organizations has strengthened the organizations through increased visibility, larger patron bases and strategic partnerships. Jennifer has found her passion at the Louis Armstrong House Museum and serves as Director, Marketing & External Affairs since 2011. She designed and implemented the museum’s marketing and programming strategy, producing a 21% increase in visitors. Along with the museum’s executive team, Jennifer developed new programming to enrich visitor experiences, while positioning the museum as a key player in NYC’s cultural landscape. After returning from Prague, Jennifer married Mark Weprin and proudly makes Queens her home with her three children. View Guest page
Carol S. Ward
Carol S. Ward is currently the Executive Director of the Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum in New York City. She has been on staff there for 7 years, first as the Director of Education & Public Programs. Ms. Ward also worked at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, where she served as Museum Educator, Outreach Coordinator and curator for two exhibitions. Ms. Ward is an art historian with her BA from Mary Washington College and two Masters Degrees; Museum Education from the College of New Rochelle, and Art History from Hunter College. She has presented at the annual New York City Museum Educators Roundtable conferences on bringing contemporary art into an historic house museum, and recently spoke at Mary Washington College on the future of careers in art history and the museum field. Her articles have been published in The Historic House Trust journal, the American Alliance of Museums Magazine and catalogs for the Bruce Museum, Morris-Jumel Mansion and Keno Auctions. Director@morrisjumel.org View Guest page
Born and raised in Scotland, Stephen Watson attended the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He relocated to Louisiana in 1994 and earned his MBA and BS from Nicholls State University. Stephen held the positions of Development Director and Membership Manager at 89.9 WWNO, the NPR affiliate radio station for New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana. In September 2002, Stephen, the grandson of a British WWII fighter pilot, joined the then-National D-Day Museum as Director of Membership, launching a national membership campaign that in its first 18 months helped increase the Museum’s membership base from 5,000 to 60,000. In 2004, Stephen was promoted to Associate Vice President of Development, and in 2009 he was appointed Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, managing the Museum’s daily operations, educational programming, collections and acquisitions, and marketing and public relations. In January 2014, Stephen was promoted to Executive Vice President. View Guest page
Susie Wilkening works with Reach Advisors, a strategy, research and predictive analytics firm serving some of the nation’s most innovative community-driven enterprises. At Reach, Susie focuses on serving the nation’s leading museums, state historical and humanities councils, and museum service organizations. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Susie was the Executive Director of the Saratoga County Historical Society and Development Director of Historic-Huguenot Street. Susie earned a bachelors degree from Georgia Tech and a masters from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware. Susie is a noted speaker at national museum conferences. She is the lead author of Life Stages of the Museum Visitor and editor of the Museum Audience Insight blog. Susie Wilkening email@example.com Museum Audience Insight http://reachadvisors.typepad.com/ View Guest page
Elee Wood is associate professor and director of the Museum Studies Program in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) with a joint appointment in education, IU School of Education. In addition, she serves as the public scholar of museums, families, and learning in a joint appointment with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis working specifically on audience research and evaluation, and exhibition development.
Elee got her start in museums as a Wizard Wing volunteer at the Milwaukee Public Museum and worked as an exhibit developer and public programs manager at Minnesota Children’s Museum. She holds a PhD in Education for Community and MEd in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Dramatic Arts from Macalester College. View Guest page