MCN

All about MCN

Meet Class of 2019: MCN’s new Board members!

 

Join me in congratulating Alexis Light, Yvonne Lee, David Nuñez and Mark Osterman who have just been appointed to serve as Directors on the Board of MCN for a 3-year term effective this November.

The Board also appointed current board member Mitch Sava to serve as Vice-President in 2020 and succeed Matt Tarr as President in 2021.

Lastly, join me in extending our gratitude to Elizabeth Bollwerk (MCN President), Deborah Howes, Greg Albers, Darren Milligan and Lori Byrd-McDevitt, who will be stepping down in November. Thank you for the time, care and efforts, you each dedicated to making MCN a stronger organization over the past 3 years.

You will get a chance to see them in person as well as current and past MCN board members, in a couple of months in San Diego for MCN 2019. We hope to see you there.

Eric Longo
Executive Director

2019 Nominating Committee

  • Elizabeth Bollwerk, President
  • Matt Tarr, VP/President-Elect
  • Courtney OCallaghan, Director
  • Lori Byrd-McDevitt, Director
  • Eric Longo, Executive Director

Yvonne Lee

Head of Collection Information and Digital Assets | LACMA (Los Angeles, CA)

Yvonne Lee

In her current role at LACMA, Yvonne Lee oversees stewardship of the art administration systems and their data and provides strategic solutions for pluralistic user needs. Before joining LACMA, Yvonne served as Research and Data Manager at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission (now Department of Arts and Culture) administering arts data that balanced accuracy with sensitivity and inclusion to develop and implement policies for a diverse constituency of 10 million individuals.

In addition to serving on MCN’s Board, Yvonne is active with Los Angeles County’s Arts Datathon group and speaks regularly on data literacy in the arts, empowering cultural workers in the assessment of technology, and critically examining assumptions coded into prevailing data practices. She holds a B.A. in Art History from UC Berkeley and an MLIS in Archival Science from UCLA.

Alexis Light

Assistant Director of Communications & Marketing | Frick Collection (New York, NY)

Alexis Light

With over 17 years working in communications and marketing for arts and culture, and in her current leadership role at the Frick, Alexis brings expertise in public relations, marketing, and social media content strategy.

 

She received an M.A. in Modern Art, Connoisseurship, and the History of the Art Market from Christie’s, New York, in 2004, and a B.A. from Saint Louis University in 2002.

David Nuñez

Director of Technology and Digital Strategy | MIT Museum (Boston, CA)

David Nuñez

In his current role at the MIT Museum, David leads the digital+physical transformation as the museum reboots in its new location and is in the process of deploying new infrastructure to support improved collections access, innovative digital experiences, and more consistent ongoing audience engagement.

Through his consulting work, David helps organizations identify, understand, and build strategies for near-future digital approaches. Over the past twenty years working with non-profits, startups, and brands, he has developed an unwavering belief in a hands-on approach to research about digital+physical innovation: the best way to understand a topic is through rapid and soulful prototyping with upcoming technologies. Thus, he knows his hands will always be covered in source code regardless of his job title.

Previously he was Managing Partner at Midnight Commercial, a Brooklyn-based digital strategy/innovation consultancy. His multidisciplinary team of engineers, designers, and strategists invented new products, experiences, and artwork for C-suite leaders and global design teams, including digital engagement initiatives for Target, Google, Cartier, and Samsung. David held a Visiting Scientist appointment with the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab, where he explored the evocative movement of machines and robots. He was a visiting lecturer at Northeastern University, teaching programming in the College of Arts, Media, and Design. He regularly delivers guest talks for museum studies, design, and technology courses and meetups. His personal research interests include source code ephemera and esoteric programming languages, and his work seeks to illuminate the human soul that exists in all software. He built Geppetto, a platform for the computational choreography of machines and robots in performances. He is working on a text editor for live coding, kn0t, that enables human expression through the performative act of writing software.

David holds an M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab where he worked in the Personal Robots group. He earned a B.A. in Computer Science and Managerial Studies from Rice University.

Mark Osterman

Digital Experience Designer | Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami (Miami, FL)

Mark Osterman

A formally trained educator (Ed.D from Florida University), Mark Osterman is a museum administrator, researcher, technologist and artist. Mark recently joined the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami after 5 years at the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. He brings experience in strategic planning, education, curriculum development, interpretive technologies, accessibility, volunteer management, evaluations, and DEAI initiatives related to museum practice. He previously worked at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Museum of Art and Design, and The Wolfsonian-FIU.

Mark served as a volunteer in various capacities: Conference Committee Chair for AAM EdCom, Member of the Museum Education Division Peers Initiative for NAEA, and Grant Reviewer & Panelist for Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs. He also often presents nationally on technology in museums and art educational theory and research studies, and has published work in the Journal of Museum Education, the Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia among others. Mark lives in Miami Beach.

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Join the MCN board in 2019!

 

We’re pleased to announce the 2019 call for candidates to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors of MCN. MCN is looking to recruit four (4) board members to replace those whose 3-year term will be ending in November.

Why serve on the MCN board of Directors?

Envisioning a world in which all museums are empowered digitally to achieve their missions, MCN’s mission is to grow the digital capacity of museum professionals by connecting them to ideas, information, opportunities, proven practices, and each other.

For many past and current board members, serving on the board of MCN is a way to give back to an organization and a community that have supported them throughout their careers in museums. It’s also an invaluable opportunity for personal and professional development: join a great team of talented museum professionals who, together with MCN’s Executive Director and staff, shape the strategic direction of the organization and continually find ways to better serve the needs of our community.

What we’re looking for?

Since the new year, the staff and board have been actively engaged in implementing the vision of MCN’s new three-year Strategic Plan (2019-2021) called “Achieving impact through inclusion, innovation, and community building”.

MCN is looking for community members from diverse backgrounds, and with varied skill sets, perspectives and voices to help MCN execute on its strategic vision and contribute their expertise to grow MCN’s capacity and impact. As a newly appointed board member, you will join us in San Diego for your first board meeting on November 4, 2019 to develop a tactical Work Plan that will guide the work of the organization and the Board throughout 2020 in support of the larger 3-year strategic vision.

While all members of the community with an interest in serving MCN are welcome to apply, this year we are particularly interested in candidates who can bring specific expertise, or have a background and experience, in one or more of the following key areas:

  • Sustainable practices, business modeling and development
    As a community organization, MCN’s sole purpose is to serve its members. Over the next three years MCN’s leadership will make strategic changes in order to mitigate risks and increase the organization’s long-term financial and operational sustainability. If you have expertise running programs or organizations that resulted in demonstrated sustainable outcomes, we want to hear from you. Skills or expertise in business development, strategic partnerships, securing sponsorships and fundraising are equally desirable.
  • Grant Writing and Fundraising
    MCN recognizes that it must diversify its revenue streams as well as leverage the organization’s non-profit status to support its expansion in various programmatic areas. We are seeking a board member who has a successful track record in securing grant funding or fundraising for program development, and can help us select funders and communicate our vision to them.
  • Program Development
    We’re seeking a board member who has experience developing organizational programs, such as professional development (that includes mentorship), designing a content strategy, events & conferences or teams that empower community members to act with more autonomy to address their needs. If you’ve designed and led volunteer programs that are anchored within the community, or helped existing programs successfully expand their capacity, we’d like to hear from you.
  • Digital/IT strategy and systems infrastructure
    Over the next two years MCN is committed to transforming our online tools to create a better user experience, and revamping our backend infrastructure to streamline organizational processes. We’re looking for someone who has experience designing or integrating backend infrastructures or architecture, or with a strong background in systems administration.
  • Marketing, Communications and PR
    Clear, effective, and open communication with our members and the broader MCN community is critical to the success of our organization. Over the next few years MCN will develop, implement and expand the range of products we offer with the goal of increasing the value of membership for MCN members. We are seeking a board member with skills and experience in marketing and communication practices to design and implement new messaging and communication practices around these products and help us demonstrate their value to our members.
What’s expected of MCN Board members?

MCN’s board of Directors is both a governance and a working board. This means that in addition to being fiduciary guardians of this 503(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, our board members roll up their sleeves, put on their thinking caps, and dedicate a good portion of their time working on organizational projects. For most, this means taking an active role on one or more of our board committees.

As a working board, MCN Directors are expected to dedicate about 8-12 hours per month working on MCN business, including attending a monthly conference-call board call as well as other committee meetings. Additionally, you will be expected to attend two (2) annual board meetings in person: one the week of MCN’s annual conference (typically in November), and another, generally in the spring, the week of the Museums and the Web conference wherever that location may be. Directors cannot be compensated and MCN is not currently in a position to support its Directors for travel related expenses to attend these two annual in-person board meetings (expenses to attend board retreats are however fully covered).

Once appointed, MCN Directors serve a three-year term. For reference, we invite you to familiarize yourself with MCN’s By-Laws.

The MCN Governance Guidelines outline the expectations and responsibilities of board members:

  • 8-12 hours of MCN-related work per month, depending upon activities
  • Play an active leadership role in delivering on MCN’s overall business in general and on assigned strategic priorities specifically
  • Attend and prepare for each board meeting
  • Be prepared and willing to lead the board and/or a committee
  • Join and participate actively in the activities of at least one committee
  • Follow, participate and contribute to online board discussions in a timely manner
  • Make every reasonable effort to bring financial support to the organization annually from external sources, e.g. identify and introduce sponsor prospects and secure sponsorships
  • Leverage personal relationships with others (including corporations, professional service firms, vendors, foundations, and individuals) to assist the staff of the organization with implementing fundraising strategies, including adding names of potential sources of support to the organization’s mailing list
  • Actively participate in the development of the annual conference
  • Attend the annual conference (board members receive a special discounted registration rate)
  • Actively participate in MCN fundraising efforts
  • Travel at their own cost (MCN is not currently in a position to cover travel expenses for board members) to attend two (2) annual board meetings in person: one the week of MCN’s annual conference (typically in November), and another, generally in the spring, the week of the Museums and the Web conference wherever that location may be Directors cannot be compensated and MCN does not pay Directors for travel or other related expenses (expenses to attend board retreats are however fully covered).
Who we’re looking for?

MCN encourages people from diverse backgrounds, institutions, and experiences to apply. MCN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression and identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

In addition, to ensure that a diverse range of institutions are represented on the board, each individual institution may be represented by only one member of the board at any given time. Candidates are encouraged to review the current board members’ list below to check the institution that they are currently affiliated with.

What’s the nomination and appointment process?

To be considered by the 2019 Nominating Committee, please fill out and submit the online application form. If you believe someone you know would be a qualified candidate, please encourage them to apply. Applications are due Sunday June 30, 2019 at 11:59pm PT. We will let you know if we require additional information about your application.

What’s next?

MCN’s 2019 Nominating Committee will review all applications and propose a slate of candidates to the board of Directors for discussion, followed by a vote on the individual appointment of each proposed candidate for Director. We anticipate notifying successful candidates by late August 2019 at the latest (it’s often sooner). The announcement of newly appointed Directors will posted on our website and shared with the MCN community on MCN-L.

If you have any additional questions, please email the Executive Director.

————————————–
We encourage all qualified candidates to apply or hope that you will refer someone you think would be a qualified candidate.

Thank you for being a part of MCN.

MCN 2019 Nominating Committee
Elizabeth Bollwerk, President
Matt Tarr, VP-President Elect
Lori Byrd-McDevitt, Director
Courtney OCallagan, Director
Eric Longo, Executive Director

Current MCN Board members list with terms
  • Elizabeth Bollwerk (2015 – 2019), Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  • Greg Albers (2016 – 2019), The Getty
  • Lori Byrd McDevitt (2016 – 2019), Children’s Museum Indianapolis
  • Darren Milligan (2016 – 2019), Smithsonian, Center for Learning & Digital Access
  • Deborah Howes (2016 – 2019), Johns Hopkins University
  • Matt Tarr (2016 – 2020), American Museum of Natural History
  • Keir Winesmith (2017 – 2020), Winesmith Digital Studio
  • Samantha Diamond (2017 – 2020), CultureConnect
  • Susan Edwards (2017 – 2020), Hammer Museum
  • Desi Gonzalez (2017 – 2020), City of Austin
  • Mitchell Sava (2017 – 2020), Museum of Life and Science
  • Mara Kurlandsky (2018 – 2021), National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • Courtney OCallaghan (2018 – 2021), Freer Gallery of Art & Sackler Gallery
  • Nathan Adkisson (2018 – 2021), Local Projects
  • Doug Allen (2018 – 2021), The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
  • Kai Frazier (2018 – 2021), Curated x Kai

 

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Announcing the 2019 DEAI Advisory Board

By MCN Board Member, Desi Gonzalez

I’m thrilled to announce the 2019 MCN Advisory Board for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion! The mission of MCN’s DEAI Advisory Board is to represent and advocate for the interests of the MCN community on these matters. We were overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm for MCN’s new initiative in DEAI—we received over 40 incredibly strong candidates for 16 spots on the Advisory Board.

Over the next year, the Advisory Board will support and guide the work of MCN in DEAI initiatives and begin our ongoing process to make the organization—and the field of museum technology—more inclusive. I’m excited to welcome our new advisors, who bring a rich panoply of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to our efforts. Congratulations, and I’m looking forward to getting to work!

Rumana Chaudhuri

Rumana Chaudhuri (she/her) is a visitor experience volunteer at the National Museum of the American Indian, helping pioneer human-centered design at the museum. She looks forward to strengthening diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion at MCN and to initiating DEAI-based transformation in museums. Rumana attended Wellesley College, Georgetown University, and George Washington University.

 

 

Jim Fishwick

Jim Fishwick (he/him) is an award-winning director, performer, and experience designer based in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently an assistant curator at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and general manager of Jetpack Theatre Collective. He enjoys promoting queer, trans and non-binary representation in the arts.

 

 

 

Erin Harper

In her work as a museum producer and journalist, Erin Harper (she/her) is especially interested in telling stories that challenge common narratives and amplify essential voices. As a member of the LGBTQ community, Erin continuously stands up for inclusion and equality in both the personal and professional realm.

 

 

 

Nora Pinell-Hernandez

Nora Hernandez (she/her) is an Exhibits Fabricator at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. Her exhibit designs have created palpable experiences for underrepresented stories of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Hernandez is developing an online hub called Atomic Carrots for museums that want to design and fabricate impactful exhibits.

 

 

Scarlett Hu

Scarlett Hu (she/her) is the Assistant Director of Getty Digital. In her IT career of 30+ years, she has created opportunities for underprivileged minorities and made attempts to close the digital divide whenever she can. She is an immigrant and a strong believer of “America Can”—she brought an outsourced department back home and won the Help Desk Institute Team Excellence Award in 2014.

 

 

Wided Rihana Khadraoui

Wided Khadraoui (she/her) is a Business Development Associate with Art Processors. Previously she managed a commercial art space. She holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and an MA from CSM in Arts and Cultural Enterprise. She is passionate about technology’s potential to foster diversity and inclusion in the creative sector.

 

 

 

Ryan King

Ryan King (he/him) is the Digital Experience Designer at the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler. Ryan is the co-chair of the Smithsonian GLOBE (LGBTQ) Employee Group and the F|S accessibility task force, and an active member of the AAM LGBTQ Alliance.

 

 

 

Yvonne Lee

Rooted in experiences as a 1.5 generation immigrant in the largest Korean diasporic community in America, Yvonne Lee (she/her) has advocated professionally for strategies of inclusion including Los Angeles County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative. She is the Head of Collection Information and Digital Assets at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

 

Nameiko Miller

Nameiko Miller (she/her) lives in Nassau, Bahamas where she works as a museum curator. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2018 with an MA in Museum Studies. Her master’s thesis, “Beyond the Walls: Inclusion, Equity and Community Engagement in Museums,” examines issues of racial equity and inclusion in museums.

 

 

A. Andrea Montiel de Shuman

Andrea (she/her) is a Digital Experience Designer based in Detroit, where she has lived since immigrating from Mexico in 2013. She has been involved a variety of nonprofits that exposed her to consistent DEAI needs. Currently, she is interested in exploring opportunities to use digital in serving traditionally underrepresented audiences, especially indigenous communities.

 

 

 

James Neal

James Neal (he/him) is a Senior Program Officer in the Office of Library Services of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, DC. He cultivates and manages discretionary grants in the domain areas of digital inclusion (broadband access and digital literacy), privacy, open data and civic technology, open education resources, and e-books.

 

 

Alessandra Pearson

Alessandra (she/her) is currently a Digital Coordinator at David Zwirner Gallery in NYC. She recently received her Master’s Degree in Emergent Digital Practices from the University of Denver where she researched art, tech, and disability. In Denver, she managed the online presence for the newly-formed Art of Access Alliance, a partnership between arts organizations highlighting access programs for disability communities.

 

 

Mimosa Shah

Mimosa Shah (she/her) is the Adult Program Coordinator at Skokie Public Library, where she develops, manages, and evaluates public programs. As secretary of the library’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, she’s committed to helping increase staff’s knowledge and awareness of issues related to DEAI and how it affects our community.

 

 

Halee Sommer

Halee Sommer (she/her) is the Editorial Associate at the Jewish Museum in New York City, where she bridges the realms of marketing and digital, streamlining all audience-facing content. Halee’s area of focus on the DEAI advisory board is to build strategic initiatives to make MCN economically accessible for all.

 

 

Lanae Spruce

Lanae Spruce (she/her) leads the award-winning social engagement team at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is working to build the museum’s digital presence to foster learning, creativity and shared discovery as a means to transform our understanding of the African American experience, American history, race, and modern society.

 

 

Coleman Tharpe

Coleman Tharpe (he/him) strives to create inclusive and positive working environments within his companies by evaluating intersectionality, privilege, and power against policies, procedures, and culture. He holds degrees in Anthropology and Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and splits his time between Austin and London.

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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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Board Class of 2018: meet MCN’s newly appointed board members!

From a pool of 17 candidates, the 2018 Nominating Committee selected five nominees to fill the board vacancies. Endorsing the Committee’s recommendations, the board appointed the following five candidates to serve as Directors on the board of MCN:  Nathan Adkisson, Doug Allen, Kai Frazier, Mara Kurlandsky and Courtney OCallaghan (see bios below).

Their three-year term will start this November. Please join me in congratulating them on their appointment.

We also want to extend a sincere thanks to all the other candidates who, driven by their passion for MCN and a desire to serve our community, also took the time to apply this year. Don’t let this discourage you from applying again in future years: often the choice between two candidates is timing and context. Many of our current board members applied more than once before being nominated.

So if you weren’t selected this time around, we want you to know that MCN is your community, and we encourage you to stay involved. There are many opportunities to get involved with MCN in addition to serving on the board, and we invite you to look into an opportunity that’s right for you. We are always looking for volunteers to co-lead or join the annual Conference Program Committee; you could serve as a SIG chair (elections are held annually in December); and we will soon be announcing the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force and we’ll be looking for folks to serve on that as well. In many cases, a candidate’s demonstrated commitment to MCN will put them in good stead for a board role in future. For any questions about Professional Development opportunities, email us at ProfDev@mcn.edu.

The board also appointed Matt Tarr as Vice-President/President-Elect effective November 2018. Matt will serve as VP in 2019 and will succeed Elizabeth Bollwerk as MCN’s President in 2020.

Lastly, this November, three amazing board members and respected community members will be leaving the board as their term ends: Suse Anderson, who is serving as President this year, Bert Degenhart Drenth, Treasurer, and Laura Mann.

I hope you will join us in Denver for MCN 2018, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Eric Longo
Executive Director
eric@mcn.edu

2018 Nominating Committee

  • Suse Anderson, President
  • Elizabeth Bollwerk, Vice President
  • Laura Mann, Director
  • Mitch Sava, Director
  • Eric Longo, Executive Director

Nathan Adkisson

Director of Strategy & Associate Creative Director, Local Projects (NYC)

Nathan Adkisson

Nathan Adkisson is the Director of Strategy and Associate Creative Director at Local Projects. His clients include numerous cultural institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus, Denmark. He also launched Target Open House, a permanent concept store for the Internet of Things in downtown San Francisco. Currently, he is developing Planet Word, a 50,000 square foot museum of language scheduled to open in 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Before joining Local Projects, Nathan was a senior strategist at renowned digital agency Big Spaceship where he led projects for Crayola, Chobani, Belvedere, Google, Samsung, Sonos, Purina, AOL, and Fiji water. He began his career as a journalist, holding reporter positions for the Austin American-Statesman and Money magazine. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Doug Allen

Chief Information Officer, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO)

Doug Allen

Doug Allen is the chief information officer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art where he oversees the design, implementation and support of technology for the museum’s staff, patrons and visitors. He has over 30 years of experience in the Information Services industry in positions as diverse as computer programmer, hardware repair technician and networking engineer. For the past two decades, he has served as CIO for Pioneer Financial Services, Johnson County Community College and Franklin Savings and Loan.

Doug has published two books, “Learning Guide to the Internet” (Sybex) and “Internet Explorer 5 At A Glance” (Microsoft Press). He has also authored several courses on a variety of personal computer technologies, including Internet Search Engines and HTML/Web Publishing. A nationally known lecturer, Doug has developed and delivered over 50 different seminars on Social Media, Cloud Computing, Presentation Software and ePublishing.

A leader in the Kansas City technology community, Doug has been a member of the Silicon Prairie Association, several local user groups and was a founding member and President of ITKC. On the national scene, Doug has served on advisory panels for Microsoft, Compaq, ComputerLand, SCT and others.

Kai Frazier

Founder & CEO | Museum Storyteller, Curated x Kai (San Francisco, CA)

Kai Frazier

Kai is a historian (B.A History) and innovative educator (M.Ed) passionate about utilizing technology to provide inclusive opportunities and increased exposure for underrepresented communities.

She is the founder & CEO of Curated x Kai, an award-winning virtual reality company which films inclusive VR field trips in museums and other cultural institutions. Through intense outreach, CxK delivers those experiences to students & young adults, including those in underserved communities.

Before creating Curated x Kai, she worked with several museums such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as well as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, specializing in digital strategy and content creation.

Kai is a DC Fem Tech Award recipient, which celebrates power women in code, design, and data. In addition, Kai is a fellow of Facebook’s Oculus Launchpad which provides people from underrepresented backgrounds funding and resources to ensure diversity of thought in the VR ecosystem.

Mara Kurlandsky

Digital Projects Manager, National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC)

Mara Kurlandski

Mara Kurlandsky is the Digital Projects Manager at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, where she oversees the museum’s website, social media, and interactive digital content, coordinates the award-winning annual social media campaign #5WomenArtists, and leads the development of digital strategy. Before joining NMWA, Mara was a Project Coordinator at Gallagher & Associates where she worked on developing museum exhibitions, including the Spy Museum, the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center, and the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.

Mara fell in love with museums as a kid at the Art Institute of Chicago, and decided to make museums her career during a visit to The Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa. She believes strongly in the potential of museums for building community and making social change, and in 2017, led an international campaign for museums to stand up for their missions and reject “alternative facts.” She sees the leveraging of digital technologies in cultural institutions as a key tool in making museums relevant in the 21st century.

In addition to serving on the MCN Board, Mara is a part of the American Alliance of Museums Media & Technology Professional Network leadership team. She has given presentations at MCN, MuseumNext, the Council of American Jewish Museums Conference, and at the Georgetown and George Washington Universities about how to start a career in museum technology.  Mara holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a B.A. in Jewish Studies from the University of Toronto.

Courtney OCallaghan

Chief Digital Officer, Freer Gallery of Art & Sackler Gallery (Washington, DC)

Courtney OCallaghan

Courtney OCallaghan has spent nearly two decades in the IT world as a designer, developer, user experience negotiator, and everything in between.

Courtney currently works at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, as the museums’ first Chief Digital Officer and head of the Digital Media and Technology department. She oversees the ongoing museums’ goal of sharing its collection through all relevant digital means.

Prior to the Freer|Sackler, she worked as the IT Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation and online editor of Ms. magazine. Her educational background is in Women and Gender Studies, Ethnographic Film, and Creative Writing of Poetry.

She continues to volunteer as an organizer and developer in the Open Source world, focusing on diversity and accessibility in the community.

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2018 Call for MCN Board Directors: opens today through July 31, 2018!

We’re pleased to announce the 2018 call for candidates to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors of MCN. This year, MCN is looking to recruit four (4) Board members to replace those whose 3-year term will be ending in November.

MCN Board group image

From left to right starting with back row: Darren Milligan, Greg Albers, Keir Winesmith, Lori Byrd-McDevitt, Desi Gonzalez, Matt Tarr, Mitchell Sava, Bert Degenhart Drenth; front row: Samantha Diamond, Susan Edwards, Elizabeth Bollwerk, Laura Mann, Deborah Howes; Eric Longo in the center. Suse Anderson absent. 

Board retreat image

WHY SERVE ON THE MCN BOARD OF DIRECTORS?

MCN is a membership-based professional association that provides a space for museum professionals to connect, share resources and best practices, develop their careers, and advance digital transformation in museums.

Founded in 1967 by a group of early museum technologists eager to explore practical applications for computers in museums, MCN has provided a space for our community to connect, share their experiences and support each other, thereby leading the thinking around emerging technologies in museums. Much has changed in the past 50 years, but what sparked MCN to life then, remains unchanged today – this is a testament to its vibrancy and relevance as we continue to lead our museums into the future.

For many past and current Board members, serving on the board of MCN is a way to give back to an organization and a community that have helped them throughout their museum careers, but it also provides an enriching and valuable professional development experience. Serving on the Board gives you the opportunity to be part of a team of talented museum professionals who, together with MCN’s Executive Director and staff, shape the strategic direction of the organization and constantly think about new ways to better serve the needs of our community.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

The Board recently spent a weekend on retreat to develop MCN’s 3-year Strategic Plan (2019-2021). As a Board member you will be integral to achieving MCN’s strategic objectives and play an important role in the growth and evolution of the organization. At their first Board meeting in November in Denver, new Board members will actively participate in developing the next calendar year Work Plan, which is a series of smaller goals and tactical tasks that support the objectives of the 3-year Strategic Plan, and guides the work of the organization and the Board for the whole year.

For MCN to have a meaningful impact on its community, it is essential that the Board of Directors be composed of committed individuals who have the relevant skills and a wide range of perspectives to effectively lead the organization. The freshly developed 2019-2021 Strategic Plan (which we will share with the community this fall) will focus on:

  1. Ensuring that MCN grows in a sustainable fashion
  2. Expand opportunities for community members to actively contribute to MCN’s projects and programs  
  3. Transform MCN’s online presence into a user-centered destination for all of your MCN needs
  4. Simplifying MCN’s various offerings as well as how we communicate their benefits to you

So we’re looking for leaders in our field to help MCN execute the current 3-year Strategic Plan (2019-2021), and to contribute their expertise to make MCN the “go-to” professional support and development organization for digital technology in museums.

While all members of the community with an interest in serving MCN are welcome to apply, this year we are particularly interested in candidates who bring specific expertise, or have a background and experience, in one or more of the following key areas:

  • Sustainable practices and development expertise: as a community-centered organization, MCN’s sole purpose is to serve its members. Faced with limited resources and capacity, MCN needs to be mindful both strategically and operationally to how it can become self-sustainable. If you have expertise running programs or organizations that resulted in demonstrated sustainable outcomes, we want to hear from you. Skills or expertise in business development, strategic partnerships, sponsorship and fundraising are equally desirable.
  • Community development: we’re seeking a board member who has empowered communities to act with more autonomy while effectively running unique support functions for the community. If you’ve led volunteer programs, fortified community-based practices, or inspired large groups to rally around projects, we’d like to hear from you.
  • Systems infrastructure: if backend infrastructure, systems administration, architecture and integration are your claim to fame, let us know. We’re looking for someone with a strong IT systems background.
  • Product development and communications strategy: the objective here is to align all of MCN’s present and future offerings on a model that emphasizes the benefits so that you clearly understand their value. We are seeking a board member with the skills and experience to help us strategically develop, implement and support a range of products or offerings. If you have prior experience in product development, as well as demonstrated skills in marketing and communication practices around messaging, we want to hear from you specifically.

WHAT’S EXPECTED OF MCN BOARD MEMBERS?

MCN’s Board of Directors is both a governance and a working board. This means that in addition to the fiduciary duties expected from Directors of a 503(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Board members of MCN are also expected to volunteer their time in doing hands-on project work. For most, this means taking an active role on one or more of our internal committees.

As a working board, MCN Directors are expected to dedicate about 8-12 hours per month working on MCN business, including attending  a monthly conference-call board call as well as other committee meetings. Additionally, they are also expected to attend two (2) annual board meetings in person: one the week of MCN’s Annual Conference (typically in November), and another, generally in the spring, the week of the Museums and the Web conference wherever that location may be. Directors cannot be compensated and MCN does not pay Directors for travel or other related expenses.

Once appointed, MCN Directors serve a three-year term. For reference, MCN’s By-Laws are posted on our website; feel free to familiarize yourself with them.

The MCN Governance Guidelines list the key expectations from MCN Board members:

  • 8-12 hours per month, depending upon activities
  • Play an active leadership role in delivering on MCN’s overall business in general and on assigned strategic priorities specifically
  • Attend and prepare for each Board meeting
  • Be prepared and willing to lead the Board and/or a committee
  • Join and participate actively in the activities of at least one committee
  • Follow, participate and contribute to online Board discussions in a timely manner
  • Make every reasonable effort to bring financial support to the Organization annually from external sources, e.g. identify and introduce sponsor prospects and secure sponsorships
  • Leverage personal relationships with others (including corporations, professional service firms, vendors, foundations, and individuals) to assist the staff of the Organization with implementing fundraising strategies, including adding names of potential sources of support to the Organization’s mailing list
  • Actively participate in the development of the annual conference
  • Attend the annual conference
  • Actively participate in MCN fundraising efforts
  • Travel at their own cost (MCN doesn’t cover travel expenses for Board members) to attend two (2) annual board meetings in person: one the week of MCN’s Annual Conference (typically in November), and another, generally in the spring, the week of the Museums and the Web conference wherever that location may be
  • Directors cannot be compensated and MCN does not pay Directors for travel or other related expenses

WHO WE’RE LOOKING FOR

MCN encourages people from diverse backgrounds, institutions, and experiences to apply. MCN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression and identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

In addition, to ensure that a diverse range of institutions are represented on the Board, each individual institution may be represented by only one member of the Board at any given time. Candidates are encouraged to review the current Board members’ list below to check the institution that they are currently affiliated with.

WHAT’S THE NOMINATION AND APPOINTMENT PROCESS?

To be considered by the 2018 Nominating Committee, please fill out and submit the application form. If you believe someone you know would be a qualified candidate, please encourage them to apply. Applications are due Sunday July 31, 2018 at 11:59pm PT. We will let you know if we require additional information about your application.

WHAT’S NEXT?

MCN’s 2018 Nominating Committee will review all applications and propose a slate of candidates to the Board of Directors for discussion, followed by a vote on the individual appointment of each proposed candidate for Director. We anticipate notifying successful candidates by early September 2018 at the latest (it’s often sooner). The newly appointed Directors will also be announced on our website and shared with the MCN community on MCN-L.

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

If you have any additional questions, please contact Eric Longo, MCN’s Executive Director at eric@mcn.edu.

We encourage all qualified candidates to apply or hope that you will refer someone you think would be a qualified candidate.

Thank you for being a part of MCN.

MCN 2018 Nominating Committee

  •  Suse Anderson, President
  •  Elizabeth Bollwerk, VP-President Elect
  •  Laura Mann, Director
  •  Mitchell Sava, Director
  •  Eric Longo, Executive Director

2018 MCN board members list

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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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How Might We: Some Questions We’re Asking for MCN 2018

Denver skyline at dusk

With our Program Co-chairs in place, and our Program Committee filled, work on MCN 2018 has begun in earnest. In fact, one of our first steps began soon after MCN 2017 concluded in Pittsburgh: we took stock of the previous year’s conference by talking to the staff and community members who made it happen and reviewing the post-conference survey that more than 200 of you so generously and thoughtfully completed.

From that, we’ve tried to distill some key takeaways. This year, taking a page out of the design thinking playbook, we’ve expressed them as How Might We questions that the program staff, co-chairs, committee, volunteers and conference participants will be able to come back to and answer anew throughout the next nine months. The phrasing of How Might We questions is designed to elicit creative thinking and open responses and move us toward actionable steps. The MCN leadership team has discussed some possible answers which we’ll roll out over the next few months as the conference starts to take shape.

Of course, reviewing the previous conference is only one of the many aspects of the work involved in putting together the conference program every year. The Program Committee—a group of about 40 professionals representing disciplines and institutions across the sector—is already working on a theme and will shortly begin to identify possible keynote speakers. Program co-chairs and conference planners will soon visit the Denver conference site, and meetings and calls and Basecamp messages are flying at a furious rate. We’re also going to be taking a fresh look at some MCN staples like Ignite and workshops, as well as evaluating some recent additions like innovative “other format” sessions and pop-ups. And we’ll continue to evolve the call for proposals, which will open in April.

There’s a lot to look forward to this year, and a lot to do to make it happen. In the end, there’s really one question that drives it all: How might we make it your MCN?

Our Key Questions for MCN 2018:

  • How might we make the most of the spaces at the conference and turn challenging physical limitations into networking and learning opportunities?
  • How might we help speakers become better teachers and also partners in the success of the conference?
  • How might we make each session unique?
  • How might we ensure new ideas don’t crowd out important fundamentals and big thinking doesn’t replace hands-on skills?
  • How might we make space for the introverted and the newcomer, for reflection and rejuvenation?
  • How might we manage the deluge of communications in the months before the conference?
  • How might we help speakers share their presentations beyond the session walls?

We encourage the MCN community to discuss, comment, and expand upon these questions and answers, to make this part of a conversation that will lead to a constantly learning and improving conference this and every year. We can’t do it without you—it’s your MCN!

Greg Albers, MCN board member and program liaison
Robert Weisberg, Catherine Devine, and Adrienne Lalli Hills, Program co-chairs

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MCN: It’s all about the people

Ben Fast (@benfaster),

Programs & Member Services Coordinator, BC Museums Association

 

 

MCN is all about the people. Dont get me wrong, the learning experiences available from the remarkably diverse sessions and the fun times visiting local museums and galleries are great, but it all comes down to who you meet.

From Day 1 it was easy to tell that MCN was centred on the people. Whether they knew you or only sort of knew you (hey, I know you from Twitter), MCN attendees were friendly and welcoming.

As a first timer from north of the border, sitting down with or taking an elevator with people from the Guggenheim, Smithsonian, or Getty (who each have staff larger than most BC towns) provided great opportunities to talk museums and learn about new trends from the people at the cutting edge. They are the gods of the Twittersphere, those names you see on blogs and that you think must be so much smarter and more capable than you. Or who at least have bigger budgets.

Being an MCN Scholar gave me the opportunity to meet these people who seemed so distant from my experience and professional context. It was the people themselves, however, whose genuine interest and friendliness revealed more commonalities and shared passions than I ever believed possible. And they sing just out of tune at karaoke, who knew?!

The 2017 MCN Scholar group was no different, 14 other museum professionals whose passion and innovation astounded me but whose friendliness helped create what Im sure will become long-lasting professional connections.

As an MCN Scholar, I also had the chance to meet with many MCN Board members whose encouragement and interest made us Scholars feel like an important part of the conference.  Thank you for supporting us in our presentations—it was great to see some of you in the crowd—and for supporting this meaningful scholarship.

At MCN we met our idols, we made our friends, and we were inspired.  And yes: we will be back!

Some MCN Scholars (and Marilyn Monroe) toasting MCN’s 50th at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Some MCN Scholars (and Marilyn Monroe) toasting MCN’s 50th at the Andy Warhol Museum.

 

The 2017 MCN Scholars meeting up for our first (of many) group photos. It was great to have a group of like-minded first-timers who also had to present and were also loving every minute of conference!

The 2017 MCN Scholars meeting up for our first (of many) group photos. It was great to have a group of like-minded first-timers who also had to present and were also loving every minute of conference!

 

Getting ready for our MCN Scholar Lightning Talks. Our group was so large we needed to rotate through the presenters’ table, but it made it look like there were lots of keep attendees right up in the front row. Can you spot some MCN staff and board members in the background? Thank you for coming and hearing our presentations - it was great to have your support!

Getting ready for our MCN Scholar Lightning Talks. Our group was so large we needed to rotate through the presenters’ table, but it made it look like there were lots of keep attendees right up in the front row. Can you spot some MCN staff and board members in the background? Thank you for coming and hearing our presentations – it was great to have your support!

 

Celebrating the end of our MCN scholarship talks with a trip to the Mattress Factory’s 40th anniversary party. Here some of us are in a roof selfie in the Kusama exhibit. Thanks MCN for putting us friends together and offering us such interesting cultural experiences too!

Celebrating the end of our MCN scholarship talks with a trip to the Mattress Factory’s 40th anniversary party. Here some of us are in a roof selfie in the Kusama exhibit. Thanks MCN for putting us friends together and offering us such interesting cultural experiences too!

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