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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