SIG Corner: Meet Information Technology!

Stock image of a right hand typing on a keyboard
The IT Special Interest Group focuses on the nuts and bolts of everyday management of IT departments as well as emerging technologies, all while members help members by being a sounding board, giving advise, and sharing our experiences. Our group holds monthly online meetups, including a live intranet software demo in February.
In March we’ll host a roundtable discussion on current technology issues. Just in the past month our Basecamp chats included the topics of intranet technology, email security, music performance rights, information security consulting, ticketing systems and more.
Sound up your alley?
Janice Craddock headshot
Janice Craddock (Chair)
 Brian Dawson headshot
Brian Dawson (Co-Chair)
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The Museum Technology Charter

A visitor engages with technology and the collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art

By Koven Smith

The nature of how museums use technology and digital tools has changed significantly in the last ten years. Perhaps even more critically, the expectations of what museums should be able to produce using digital tools have increased significantly in the last decade. Given this, what is a museum of the 21st Century expected to do in order to deliver on these increased expectations? What is required for a museum to be digitally literate, and what are the appropriate means for achieving this literacy? These questions are particularly acute for smaller museums, who often lack the resources to investigate these questions, or even to assess their own digital literacy. Sector-wide publications like the Horizon Report: Museum Edition once provided peer-reviewed resources (and a critical lifeline) to these museums. These publications no longer exist, but the need they satisfied still remains.

In seeking to address this sector-wide need, the Museum Computer Network is developing a prototype online publication called The Museum Technology Charter, which will be unveiled at MCN 2019 in San Diego. The Charter will be a handbook for museums seeking to develop their own technology and digital capacities in effective and ethical ways. As the end result of six months of deliberation and discussion among leading thinkers in museum technology, the Museum Technology Charter will serve as a sector-wide benchmark against which a museum’s own digital efforts might be evaluated.

The Museum  Technology Charter will be an online publication consisting of four primary components:

  • The Technology “Stack”: The first component of the Charter will be a comprehensive list of technology elements that project participants consider to be sufficient (and in some cases critical) for the normal operation of a museum. These elements will be inclusive of more obvious considerations (websites, mobile apps) to the less obvious (time-based media acquisition strategies), to the future-focused (AR/VR implementations).
  • Values and methodologies: There are multiple ways to implement a given element in the technology stack, some of which are consistent with museum values and some of which aren’t. The goal of this component of the Charter will therefore be to identify values that are non-negotiable (such as accessibility) and those that might be ideal and reflective of a more digitally mature organization, but not necessarily critical  (such as open licensing of digital collections).
  • Maturity matrix: Once the technology stack elements and values have been identified, these two components will be combined into a matrix that will allow a museum to self-assess its own “technological readiness.” This matrix will, in effect, have capabilities on the x-axis and values on the y-axis, allowing a museum to take both elements into account when assessing its own maturity.
  • Skills identification: The final component of the report will be to identify skills that are necessary for moving between capability areas of the Maturity Matrix. This will help museums to better understand what training might be required or what roles may need to be hired in order to improve their overall technological maturity.

With these four components identified, the hope is that The Museum Technology Charter will provide a comprehensive accounting of the state of museum technology and digital efforts circa 2019. Stay tuned for more updates as this project evolves leading up to MCN 2019.

The Museum Technology Charter is made possible with the support of MCN (Museum Computer Network) acting as fiscal sponsor.

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The #MuseTech Water Cooler

If you have an update or announcement, an upcoming event or call for proposals, a new job, an important blog post or other museum technology content that you’d like to share in our monthly newsletter, submit it using the form below no later than the 10th of each month.

 

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MCN statement on the government shutdown

MCN would like to express its support of our colleagues in the community who are experiencing hardship as a result of the government shutdown.

Museums, libraries, parks, monuments, and other cultural heritage agencies funded by the United States’ federal government provide vital services and economic contributions. They enrich the lives of all Americans and strengthen American democracy. In addition, federal granting agencies, such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services, serve the work of many private, nonprofit institutions, and the cultural heritage sector as a whole.

Dedicated to growing the digital capacity of museum professionals, MCN believes a political impasse simply should not disrupt or threaten these critical services. Thousands of federal employees – cultural and information professionals, support staff, and contractors – are currently furloughed without pay, unable to perform their duties or carry out the essential missions of their agencies. All workers, including non-federal contract workers, deserve to be paid in a timely manner, and to be able to work without threat of future disruptions.

We urge our government to find ways to end the standoff and allow everyone to return to work as soon as possible.

MCN (Museum Computer Network), Board of Directors and staff

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Elect SIG Chairs for 2019!

Each December, we ask the MCN community to elect the Chairs of our Special Interest Groups. SIGs, as we call them, are volunteer-led MCN members’ communities of practice that operate under the oversight of the MCN board and Executive Director. SIGs are organized around specific topics of interest or niche practice areas that reflect the diversity of the many technology and digital practices in the museum field (curious about how SIGs are governed? Read the SIG Charter).

These community led groups embody MCN’s grassroots’ history and the dynamism that drives the larger musetech community. Two new SIGs were created last year: Human-Centered Design SIG and IIIF SIG.

SIG Chairs are all volunteers with a passion for their work and for helping their colleagues and the community around their specific practice area and beyond. This year brings many changes with 12 SIG Chairs stepping down. On behalf of MCN, I’d like to thank them for their service and their work over the past years: Kristin Bayans, Christophe Buffet, Daniel Dennehy, Brad Dunn, John ffrench, Jennifer Foley, Melissa Fournier, Elissa Frankle Olinsky, Kurt Heumiller, Mandy Kritzeck, Jennifer Sellar and Elena Villaespesa.

As you review this year’s slate of candidates, you’ll notice 11 new faces, some familiar, some brand new, ready to lead your SIGs next year. Please take a moment to cast your vote now through December 15 and help support the leadership and future direction of our community.

ELECT YOUR SIG CHAIRS! (now closed)

Headshot
Eric Longo
Executive Director, MCN
eric@mcn.edu

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Volunteer and Join the MCN Community!

The end of year is a busy time for everyone, but it’s a particularly busy time at MCN this year! Between now and early January, MCN offers a number of volunteer and professional development opportunities whose deadlines for application are fast approaching. Apply today to shape MCN and its programs, take advantage of professional development opportunities, expand your network, and add a line (or two) to your resume.

So to make sure you don’t miss that precious deadline, we’ve clarified all the available options!

MCN 2019 Mentorship Program

Application deadline: November 30, 2018 EXTENDED THRU DECEMBER 3, 2018 EOD
Program duration: 9 months (January-November 2019)
Openings: 20–24 spots for mentor/mentee pairs
Questions? Email: profdev@mcn.edu
InformationMentor Application | Mentee Application

Now in its third year, MCN’s mentorship program offers a unique professional development opportunity whether you are a veteran or a newbie in the museum tech community. Expand your professional network, build and grow leadership skills, practice personal communication strategies, and much more.

DEAI Advisory Board

Application deadline: December 1, 2018 EXTENDED THRU DECEMBER 3, 2018 EOD
Term: 1 year
Openings: 12–20
Questions? Email: diversity@mcn.edu
Information | Application

We’re assembling a new advisory board to focus on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion at MCN. Members will meet on a quarterly basis to share their expertise, advise on DEAI policies, help prioritize strategic goals, and support new initiatives.

Conference Program Co-Chairs

Application deadline: December 16, 2018
Term: 2 years (2019-2020)
Openings: 2
Questions? Email: program@mcn.edu
Information & Application

Program Co-Chairs will provide leadership for the annual MCN Conference in 2019 and 2020, from sourcing members of the Program Committee to leading the conversation around a theme for the annual conference to developing general topic guidelines and organizing and scheduling a range of creative formats from workshops, to panels and presentations.

2019 Conference Program Committee members

Application deadline: January 12, 2019
Term: 9 months (January-November 2019)
Openings: ~40
Questions? Email: program@mcn.edu
Information & Application

Under the leadership of the Program Co-Chairs, the Program Committee helps establish the conference theme and identify a keynote speaker. Committee members also review between 10-15 proposal submissions according to a variety of criteria designed to ensure quality, expertise, innovation and a fair representation of different perspectives and voices, especially from communities that are traditionally under-represented or minorities to ensure that the program of the annual conference reflects the diversity of the MCN community and the extended musetech community.

Wait, there’s more …

SIG Chairs Annual Elections

Application deadline: November 28, 2018
Online Elections: December 1-15, 2018
Term: 9 months (January-November 2019)
Openings: 12
Questions? Email: sigs@mcn.edu
Information

MCN members can join SIGs for free, and elections to elect SIGs’ chairs and co-chairs are held annually from December 1 through 15, 2018. If interested, ask SIG chairs.

Share you IT/digital skills to help improve MCN’s digital platforms!

Application deadline: December 15, 2018
Term: 12 months (January-December 2019)
Openings: 5-10+
Questions? Email: tech@mcn.edu
Application

MCN is calling out to all the tech/digital nerds out there to put their talent to work by contributing their time and effort, including product/tool research and assessment, coding, strategy, communications and writing, to improve MCN’s digital platforms so you can be a part of the greater sum of all of us by supporting MCN’s new strategic objective “[To] transform MCN’s online presence into a powerful and intuitive user-centered destination”.

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MCN’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, & Inclusion

 

Post by MCN Board Member, Desi Gonzalez

MCN 2017 keynote crowd photo with Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion overlaid text.

One of the things I’ve found to be special about the MCN community is that it’s made up of people who are genuinely interested in building inclusive museum technologies for diverse audiences. You can see this grassroots energy each year at the annual conference, where sessions titles such as “Accessible, Inclusive, Digital Design” and “Taking Action on Inclusion” feel right at home. Over the last year, a small working group has been meeting regularly to investigate how we might be able to weave this culture of equity and inclusion into the organizational fabric of MCN. We began by conducting research into proven practices in diversity and inclusion in peer organizations, as well as examining areas in which our own organization can grow.

 

Today, I’m thrilled to publicly announce MCN’s commitment to holistically reexamining all of its programs, practices, and policies from the lens of equity and inclusion. We’ve developed a statement that describes this commitment. We back up the statement with definitions that outline what we mean when we say we value things like diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI). This area is so important to us that we made “Embed diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in everything we do” one of the five pillars in our new 2019–2021 strategic plan.

 

The work MCN has done in the past has come from a good place, but it’s been piecemeal and primarily focused on the annual conference. A few years ago, we implemented a Friendly Space Policy, establishing shared guidelines for making the conference a safe and respectful place for all attendees. Through our scholarship program, we are able to offer financial support to attend the conference for individuals who Identify as part of a group that is traditionally underrepresented or otherwise marginalized.

 

MCN is much more than a just conference, and thus our future DEAI efforts will extend much further. Over the next few years, we hope to pilot professional development opportunities and programming that critically address the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in museum technology. We plan to examine how we might be able to institute more equitable recruitment as well as provide support or compensation for people who contribute their time and labor to the organization; this includes but is not limited to MCN Board Members, Conference Program Chairs, SIG Chairs, conference presenters and attendees, scholarship recipients, and volunteers. And finally, we want to support the wonderful DEAI organizing that is already happening within our museum technology community.

 

Of course, diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion work is never complete—it’s not something that we can check off a box and say we’re done after a three-year strategic plan. Additionally, it’s not something that only a small group can accomplish; it requires input from our whole community.

 

We’d like to invite you to take part in our DEAI efforts. We’re forming an advisory board that will meet on a quarterly basis to share their expertise and help prioritize strategic goals. We hope to select 12 to 20 members who represent wide-ranging dimensions of diversity, with an eye towards giving voice to underrepresented groups. For our organization, diversity means a lot of things. Advisors will represent groups that are historically marginalized or excluded due to race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic background, and age. We’re also looking for members from a wide range of cultural institutions and professional roles, considering dimensions such as subject matter expertise, organization size, and stage in career.

 

Applications are due December 1, so submit yours now!

 

And whether or not you join the advisory board, we’d like to hear from you about how MCN can foster inclusion and equity within the organization. Another pillar in our new strategic plan is to identify opportunities for, connect with, and involve all of our members who want to contribute to work going on within our organization.

 

To learn how you can be involved, or to share any questions or concerns regarding DEAI at MCN, please contact diversity@mcn.edu. Additionally, we encourage you to swing by our annual conference session MCN Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Where are we, and where are we headed?, where you can voice how you’d like to see DEAI initiatives go in the future.

 

Headshot of Desi Gonzalez, MCN Board Member

Desi Gonzalez, MCN Board Member

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Announcing MCN 2019-2021 Strategic Plan: Achieving impact through inclusion, innovation, and community building

 

Updated mission and vision statements, summer 2018

  • To grow the digital capacity of museum professionals by connecting them to ideas, information, opportunities, proven practices, and each other.
  • A world in which all museums are empowered digitally to achieve their missions.

 

We’re pleased to announce MCN’s new three-year strategic plan (2019-2021), which was developed following a productive and energetic strategic retreat with the full board in Washington, DC this past June.

Board strategic retreat June 2018

Three years ago, in June 2015, the then-board of MCN convened in Princeton, NJ to develop a 3-year strategic plan: “Celebrating 50 Years: Advancing Transformation & Innovation in Museums” (2016-2018). MCN had operated without a formal strategic plan for roughly five years, and it had become necessary to get back on track.

The four-page document was intentionally brief: it cast a vision around five strategic priorities each with a set of non-exhaustive success criteria designed to give future board members buy-in, agency, and creativity to develop a series of tactical tasks under each of the plan’s larger objectives. These tactical tasks were documented in three successive annual “Work Plans” that also served as a tool to track progress. Much was accomplished over the past three years: increasing year-round professional development opportunities with the launch of MCN’s mentorship program (now in its second year), growing the SIGs, and improving MCN’s governance and operations, culminating in 2017 with the celebration of MCN’s 50th anniversary, which galvanized our community and resulted in many inspiring community-led projects such as MCN50 Voices.

Going into this year’s strategic development process, we started by looking at what was achieved and what wasn’t, before identifying the most urgent challenges and risks that MCN currently faces. We found ourselves asking many of the same questions we had three years earlier: What is MCN’s core purpose? How do we best serve the needs of our community? How do we ensure that we have adequate resources to support and deliver on our mission? And perhaps, more fundamentally, how do we ensure MCN’s long-term sustainability?

To respond to these questions, we developed five key strategic priorities to focus MCN’s work and frame our decision-making from 2019 through 2021:

  1. Mobilize members of the MCN community
  2. Refine our products and value
  3. Achieve long-term sustainability
  4. Transform MCN’s online platforms
  5. Embed diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in everything we do

Lastly, in spite of many recent improvements in governance and operational principles that give MCN the support it needs to run effectively, we noticed a few issues calling for our attention. Among them, a lack of continuity in the transfer of institutional memory from outgoing to incoming board members, at a time when the former’s knowledge and experience are at their peak. So the Governance Committee will look at ways to remedy those issues.

Since its beginnings, MCN has been, and remains today more than ever, a community organization. The work invested behind the scenes to strengthen MCN is only driven by our desire to serve the needs of our community and to support each an everyone of you throughout your professional lives in museums. This next strategic plan is designed to grow MCN’s capacity to deliver on its mission so all museums are empowered digitally to achieve theirs.

Eric Longo
Executive Director

MCN 2019-2012 Strategic Plan

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Heads up! Limited Early Bird tickets this year

This year we are changing our Early Bird ticket allotment to make it more predictable.

Starting with MCN 2018, only a limited number of Early Bird tickets will be available.

Predicting conference attendance is difficult and affects MCN’s ability to make reliable financial projections. One of the ways we believe we can have a better handle on this is by limiting the number of Early Bird tickets available.

Registration opens on June 28 with 150 Early Bird tickets up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis until sold out or July 31, whichever comes first.

MCN remains committed to providing the best conference experience your money can buy at a price point we can all live with (conference fees). We look forward to seeing you in Denver in November.

Eric Longo, Executive Director

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Meet the 2018 SIG Chairs

Thank you for participating in the 2017 Annual SIG Chairs Elections. Join me in congratulating each one of our SIG Chairs.

Eric Longo, Executive Director

 

Digital Asset Management

  • Chair: Susan Wamsley, Digital Asset Manager, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

image015I have worked for over ten years in the field of digital asset management setting up DAM systems from analog photography libraries for global companies. In my current role, I work closely with all museum departments to facilitate digital media asset submissions into the museum DAM system. Following the museum’s archival and metadata standards, I ensure the integrity and reliability of the information in the system and provide support to all users. I also research and provide recommendations on best practices for software, asset preservation and digital rights management. I have encountered and solved many implementation, workflow and user adoption issues over the years and am excited to share my knowledge.

  • Co-Chair: Jennifer Sellar, Senior Digital Image Archivist, The Museum of Modern Art

Jennifer Sellar headshotJennifer Sellar began her archiving career at Ole Miss working with a large collection of Southern photography and home movies. At the Museum of Modern Art, she was hired to organize the Imaging Studio’s archive and create an archival workflow for the department’s photographers. When she arrived the archive was still stored on CDs and searchable only through an enormous Excel spreadsheet. Since the launch of MoMA’s DAM in 2008, she has overseen day to day front end operations and works across various departments throughout the museum to create metadata/taxonomy structures and create guidelines for the museum’s quickly expanding digital trove of images, video, audio, and related materials.

Digital Imaging

  • Chair: Dan Dennehy, Senior Photographer and Head of Visual Resources, Minneapolis Institute of Art

image032As Senior Photographer and Head of Visual Resources at Minneapolis Institute of Art, I lead a department responsible for collection imaging, digital asset management and image rights issues. As a member of Mia’s Media and Technology Division, I have the pleasure of working with a creative team of makers and developers dedicated to finding the most innovative ways of bringing our collections and communities together. It has never been a more exciting time to be involved with art and imaging, as new computational techniques revolutionize our practice. I would be honored to help lead the efforts of MCN’s Digital Media SIG in facilitating dialogue around our current and future challenges.

  • Co-Chair: Kurt Heumiller, Studio Production Manager, The Museum of Modern Art

image030As studio production manager for the department of Imaging and Visual Resources at the Museum of Modern Art, Kurt Heumiller is responsible for ensuring the highest image quality, developing workflow improvements, and evaluating new and emerging technologies and methods. Having spent nearly a decade in the museum imaging world, he feels blessed to work in a field with such talented and dedicated members and wishes to help MCN provide a resource for this community.

 

Strategy

  • Chair: Brad Dunn, Web and Digital Communications Director, The Field Museum

Brad Dunn headshotBrad is the Web and Digital Communications Director for The Field Museum in Chicago, overseeing web and mobile experiences, and storytelling in social media and science filmmaking. His experience blends his time in interactive, games, social media and experiential design, stage directing, filmmaking and advertising. He has crafted user- and story-driven multichannel engagements across digital devices and real world spaces for exuberant live audiences, smartphone wielding consumers, smiling children, intoxicated cruise ship passengers, and upper eastside arts funders. The common thread is his desire to tell stories and create experiences that inspire and encourage human connection and personal discovery.

  • Co-Chair: Mark McKay, Director of Digital, Art Gallery of Ontario

Mark McKay headshotMark leads a 10 person division made up of 3 departments. Responsible for developing and executing an action plan in support of the AGO’s Technology Strategy. Google Analytics and Adwords certified content marketer. 12 years experience creating branded content and more than 7 years leading corporate digital and social media strategy. Trained in Project Management and Business Analysis. Eleven years of experience in the entertainment industry. Hands on advanced production knowledge of web development, design, video, and animation set me apart from my peers.

Educational & Interpretive Media

  • Chair: Jennifer Foley, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

image018Jennifer Foley is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY. In this role she oversees all of the museum’s educational programs, as well as the development of educational and interpretive media content, including audio tours, exhibition media, and the museum’s artist interview series, Outspoken. Prior to coming the A-K she was the Director of Interpretation at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where she worked on numerous media projects, including content development for the museum’s collection app, ArtLens. She has been attending MCN since 2011, and signed on for a two year term as one of the program co-chairs for MCN2016 in New Orleans and MCN2017 in Pittsburgh.

  • Co-Chair: Kristin Bayans, Manager of Interpretive Media, Portland Art Museum

Kristin BayansAs Manager of Interpretive Media at the Portland Art Museum Kristin is a connector, producer, and storyteller. She works to diversify the museum narrative by interrupting the single authoritative voice with the voices and perspectives of Portland’s many communities. She accomplishes this by crafting inquiry based in-gallery and online participatory experiences linking visitors to each other, the museum’s permanent collection, and special exhibitions. At PAM, Kristin also drives initiatives grounding the museum to its city through intimate, personal community based story work with the Object Stories storytelling project and exhibition series. Ms. Bayans has served on NEH and IMLS grant review committees, spoken at national conferences, lead workshops, and published on the subjects of digital storytelling, developing participatory spaces for dialogue and reflection, and the visitor empowerment model among others. Immediately prior to PAM, she served as Senior Educator for the Vernier Technology and Design Lab at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and as an Assistant Educator for the Smithsonian’s Mobile Learning Institute. She holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Kristin is passionate about the unique role museums can play as social justice advocates for their cities communities.

Information Technology

  • Chair: Janice Craddock, Director of Information Technology, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

image010As Director of Information Technology, Janice heads a department of three to provide technical support for about 120 staff. In her thirty years at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, she has seen firsthand how technology has changed, evolving into an increasingly vital role supporting the institutional mission—a change she has also witnessed during her twenty years involved with MCN. As IT SIG chair, Janice’s aim is to support new IT professionals and engage those with more experience in ongoing conversations about the fundamentals of IT operations and emerging technologies.

  • Co-Chair: Brian Dawson, Chief Digital Officer, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation

image012Brian is the Chief Digital Officer at the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, which also operates the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.  As CDO, Brian drives the development and implementation of the strategy for digital platforms, content, distribution and engagement throughout the organization, leading a team of information technology, digital media and exhibition specialists. Prior to joining the museum, Brian worked at Nortel Networks in telephony software development and process improvement. Brian holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from the Dalhousie University (Technical University of Nova Scotia) and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cape Breton. Brian is keen to help keep connections alive and conversations going through the year, with a regular rhythm of topic discussions, leverage tools such as the Basecamp platform more fully, and sounding out the SIG on additional ideas.

Intellectual Property 

  • Chair: Melissa Gold Fournier, Manager Imaging services and IP, Yale Center for British Art

image004At the Yale Center for British Art, Melissa oversees digital imaging, manages the Center’s intellectual property and rights-related collection information, and serves as the lead for the Center’s participation in Yale’s shared digital asset management system.  Melissa served as the convener of Yale University’s Open Access Implementation Working Group and oversees the online release of the Center’s open images.  A museum collection professional since 1998, Melissa was grateful to find in MCN a superb resource for discussion and education around digitization and intellectual property.  She has volunteered for MCN in various capacities since attending her first conference in Boston in 2005. Working with the IP SIG, Melissa wishes to help MCN continue to provide these opportunities to others.

  • Co-Chair: John ffrench, Director of Visual Resources, Yale University Art Gallery

image002John oversees workflow, design, color management and long-term archiving of images and image data and supervises the creation, quality control, asset management, distribution of and rights related to images of works of art for publication, study, documentation, educational programs, promotion and other uses. He has been actively involved in the development of the YUAG/Yale Campus DAM and the creation of Yale University’s Open Access policy. He also oversees the rights and reproductions staff responsible for clearing rights for internal publications and publicity campaigns at YUAG. On campus he founded and leads the Digital Coffee Group, a campus-wide organization established to create core standards, develop resources and provide guidance and support for digital imaging related technology, projects and professionals on campus. I am interested in working with the IP-SIG as I feel I have a sense of how these issues touch all of our work in museums.

Media Production & Branding

  • Chair: Mandy Kritzeck, Digital Media Producer & Project Manager, The Corning Museum of Glass

Mandy Kritzeck headshotMandy Kritzeck is the Digital Media Producer and Project Manager at The Corning Museum of Glass. Working with an in-house digital media production team, she produces over 150 videos a year for both internal and external audiences including artist profiles, live-streamed demonstrations, lectures, conservation case studies, marketing videos, and docent trainings. Mandy manages the museum’s popular YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/corningmuseumofglass, which shares a mix of informational glass how-to demos and interviews with artists who work in glass. She has contributed to many digital media projects at the Corning Museum including the GlassApp web app, GlassLab web app and Pyrex Potluck website. She received an M.A. in History Museum Studies from The Cooperstown Graduate Program and a B.A. in American History, Museum Studies and Documentary Journalism from the University of Minnesota. Her prior experience includes the Minnesota Historical Society and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Find her on Twitter at @mkritzeck.

  • Co-Chair: Christophe Buffet, Creative Technologist and Digital Content Producer

Christophe BuffetChristophe has been producing digital content since 2004 for a variety of museums and institutions such as MASP (São Paulo Museum of Art), The São Paulo Art Biennial, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Monumenta, Bozar, The National Gallery or the British Museum. He helps cultural organizations define their digital strategy and content production methodology, select and set-up mobile interpretation and accessibility solutions.

Data & Insights

  • Chair: Elena Villaespesa, Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute

Elena VillaespesaElena Villaespesa works as an Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute. Her research and teaching areas include: digital strategy, digital analytics, and user experience methods applied to the cultural and museum sector. Her professional career encompasses an international experience in some of the most prestigious museums in the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate in the United Kingdom and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Spain, where she has served in leading digital producer and data analyst roles.

Elena holds a M.A. in Arts Management and a Ph.D. in Digital Heritage from the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. Her dissertation defines a performance measurement framework that may serve as a tool for museums to evaluate the success of their activities on social media. As part of her PhD research she worked in the action research project led by Culture 24 Let’s get real. Tate is the main case study for this research and as part of this collaboration she became a Tate Honorary Research Fellow 2015-17.

Elena will be looking to appoint a volunteer to join her as SIG co-chair during 2018.

Social Media

  • Chair: Alexis Light, Senior Manager of Media Relations and Marketing, The Frick Collection

Alexis LightAlexis Light is currently the Senior Manager of Media Relations and Marketing at The Frick Collection, where she has worked since 2007. Throughout her tenure at the museum, she has been deeply involved in the role social media has played in shaping the voice of the institution and how it is used to communicate to its various audiences. As Social Media SIG chair, she hopes to strengthen our community of members, continue an open dialogue between colleagues, and evaluate strategies for ongoing cross-institutional collaboration through social. She received an M.A. in Modern Art, Connoisseurship and the History of the Art Market from Christie’s, New York, and a B.A. from Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. She has been actively participating in MCN since 2015.

Alexis will be looking to appoint a volunteer to join her as SIG co-chair during 2018.

 

In addition, the board of MCN has approved the creation of a new SIG called “Human-Centered Design SIG“, which will aim to foster conversations in the MCN community and beyond about who we serve, how to understand their needs, and the role that museums can and should play in the broader human community.

Human-Centered Design SIG

  • Chair: Elissa Frankle Olinsky, Senior User Experience Researcher, Ad Hoc LLC

Elissa FrankleElissa Frankle Olinsky is a DC-based Senior User Experience Researcher at Ad Hoc LLC, where she works with the US Digital Service at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to help build websites with Veterans’ needs in mind. Prior to joining Ad Hoc, Elissa spent nine years at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she worked on social media, ethical leadership training, public programs with Holocaust survivors, citizen history, and the online and in-person visitor experience — sometimes all at the same time. When not working with Veterans, she can be found advocating for paid internships and better signage in museums. Elissa holds an AB in German from Princeton University and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from The George Washington University.

  • Co-Chair: Seema Rao, Principal, Brilliant Idea Studio

Seema Rao head shotSeema Rao runs the consulting firm, Brilliant Idea Studio, LLC, based in Cleveland, Ohio, working with museums, libraries, and non-profits to improve experiences at their sites. Seema has nearly 20 years of museum experience including leading large teams of educators, developing ground breaking interpretation, and implementing successful technology projects. She holds an MLIS/MS in Information Science and User Experience Design from Kent State University as well as a MA in Art History from Case Western Reserve University.

 

 

Not part of a SIG? Want to be? Click on the SIG links above and you’ll find a signup form on each SIG’s page, you can join as many SIGs as you like!

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