SIGs (Special Interest Groups)

Find Your Tribe: Branding & Media Production

The Media Production and Branding Special Interest Group (SIG) is Chaired by Kelsey Cvach and Co-Chaired by Ryan Waggoner. In this blog post they share the new ways they’re organizing to create resources for the community. Read on to learn how you can get involved. You can also check out all of the recently announced 2020 SIG Chairs.

Meet the Media Production and Branding SIG!

This SIG supports museum professionals through discussions on methods for digital media production (video, audio, text, etc.) as a storytelling and audience engagement device to manifest an organization’s identity and mission. We also maintain a technical focus on production methodology as well as developing brand identity through creation and distribution of digital content. This year, we’re piloting several new formats unique from other SIGs!

Join in our collaborative projects
We aim to collaborate on several deliverables throughout the year. Our first project, inspired by momentum from the MCN Open House, is a Best Practices for Captioning and Accessibility Guidance that can be circulated throughout the museum community and beyond. Working with expertise across many institutions, we plan to complete this project by March. If you would like to collaborate with us on this project, or have ideas/best practices to contribute, please reach out to us. Other ideas for the upcoming year are welcome! Existing SIG members can post on Basecamp or anyone can contact us at cvachkl@america.gov or wag44@ku.edu.

Contribute to our Critique Corner
This is a place for members to share new or in-progress work and to receive feedback from the group. Feel free to share any relevant project for comment, and provide constructive ideas for the projects that others have contributed.

Excited yet? Sign up today!

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Meet the 2020 SIG Chairs!

Thank you for participating in the 2019 Annual SIG Chairs Elections. Join me in congratulating each one of our SIG Chairs.

Eric Longo, Executive Director


Data & Insights SIG

Chair: Katherine Nip, Manager, Digital Services at the Art Gallery of Ontario (newly elected)

Katherine NipKatherine is a digital strategy professional with over 15 years in corporate, higher education, and non-profit sectors. She is currently the Manager, Digital Services at the Art Gallery of Ontario, providing direction and technical expertise to manage the operations and delivery of digital products and services across the gallery. A graduate in information systems analysis and math, trained in project management and Six Sigma Green Belt certified, she enjoys working in the trenches with numbers. In a former role, Katherine has led Google Analytics campaigns to inform search, marketing, measurement and optimization of websites. Although, not a self-proclaimed expert in data and insights, she is interested in learning and advancing ways to leverage data to tell stories, convert data to actions and develop data-driven decision making organizational cultures.

Co-Chair: Chris Unitt, Founder, One Further (newly elected)

Chris UnittChris Unitt is the founder of One Further, a digital analytics and user research agency in the UK. He works with organizations that want to figure out how to gain a better understanding of their online audiences and how best to serve them. He has a particular specialism in Google Analytics (along with Google Tag Manager and Data Studio), both in terms of technical implementation and extracting insights from the data. Chris has worked with cultural organizations for over a decade, from involvement in a wide range of projects to holding board positions. In the museum sector more specifically, Chris currently works with the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, and Royal Museums Greenwich among others. Outside of work (bit still on a work-related theme), Chris publishes the Cultural Digital email newsletter, rounding up tech developments in the cultural sector, speaks at conferences, and occasionally blogs at chrisunitt.co.uk.

Digital Asset Management SIG

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

I 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: Jessica Herczeg-Konecny, Digital Asset Manager, Detroit Institute of Arts (newly elected)

Jessica Herczeg-KonecnyJessica Herczeg-Konecny is the Digital Asset Manager at the Detroit Institute of Arts. After undergraduate work in English and American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Jessica obtained a master’s degree in Public History from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She has been working in the museum industry for over ten years in archives, collections management, rights and reproductions, and digital asset management. Jessica implemented the DIA’s first-ever Digital Asset Management System, founded and chairs the Metadata and Digital Assets Standards Committee, supervises rights management, and trains users and content creators for the DAM.

Digital Imaging SIG

Chair: Ben Cort, Collections Photographer, Portland Art Museum

Ben Cort graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 with a degree in Professional Photographic Illustration and a minor in Imaging Systems. Upon moving to Portland Oregon that May, he began working as a freelance digital tech/lighting assistant in the commercial and advertising photography markets. He also began working at the Portland Art Museum where he was tasked with constructing and implementing an in-house digital photo studio, with associated workflows, processes and procedures. As responsibilities increased from the initial grant based funding, Ben came on full time in 2016 and was additionally tasked with exhibition documentation and working with Conservation to develop a conservation imaging workflow. Ben has expanded the studio’s capabilities to include UV/IR imaging, photogrammetry and RTI in addition to continually growing the traditional capture potential of the space. Ben remains committed to further developing the imaging program at PAM, and is active in several professional imaging organizations, as well as attending conferences, workshops and seminars on cultural heritage imaging.

Co-Chair: Christopher Ciccone, Photographer & Digital Asset Manager, North Carolina Museum of Art

I have been a Collections Photographer at the North Carolina Museum of Art since 2000, and an MCN member since 2014. My current duties also include digital asset administration and I am a member of MCN’s DAM SIG. Prior to my museum tenure I worked in a variety of commercial photographic settings. Having experienced the industry transition from film to digital has given me a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the field. Membership in the MCN Digital Imaging SIG has been extremely helpful to me in my profession and I am enthusiastic about contributing to its ongoing success. I’m particularly interested in encouraging more practical and technical imaging presentations at MCN conferences as well as facilitating ongoing engagement and collaboration between large and small institutions. I look forward to the opportunity to serve and will do my best to sustain the excellent leadership of our current Chairs.

Human-Centered Design SIG

Chair: Bora Sheshu, Head of UX, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (newly elected)

Bora SheshuBora is the Head of user experience design at The Met. She’s a multi-disciplinary designer, storyteller and researcher, who focuses on creating audience-centered and data-driven experiences. She’s devoted to advancing user experience as a practice across the museum sphere. At The Met, she has successfully implemented audience development, usability testing, and design thinking across all digital initiatives as well as non-digital practices. She’s created the User Research Lab to conduct moderated and unmoderated testing, and integrating user testing into the design process. She’s passionate about big ideas and always aiming to represent the unspoken user voice. She seeks excellence in every aspect of her work with empathy and a strong sense of design. Since starting at The Met, she’s launched redesigns for The Met’s homepage, object page, and a new digital product, The Primer, that prepares visitors for their visit based on audience engagement. Her main effort this year is establishing a Design System that incorporates UX, visual design, and voice as part of a universal system across The Met’s digital experiences to include: website, media and e-commerce in an effort to establish consistency and user-centered system of components that reflect UX best practices. Prior to joining The Met, she lead user experience at HBC Digital and NBCUniversal.

Co-Chair: Cathy Sigmond, Research Associate, RK&A, Inc.

Cathy Sigmond is a Research Associate at RK&A, Inc., a firm in Alexandria, VA and New York City that partners with cultural organizations across the country on intentional planning, research, and evaluation. In her work as an evaluator, Cathy helps museum professionals think strategically about the audiences they intend to serve. She is a strong advocate for integrating research and evaluation into all aspects of museum work– particularly, exhibition and program development — to help practitioners understand how the interplay of design, messaging, and the built environment affect the visitor experience. Most recently, she evaluated approaches to digital interactives at a children’s museum, conducted message testing for an exhibition on fossils and climate change, and assessed usability and messaging for an exhibition on the future of New York City. Cathy has spoken about the value of evaluation and design research for museums at a variety of conferences and universities, including the Museum Computer Network, Visitor Studies Association, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to joining RK&A, Cathy earned her master’s degree in Museum Education from Tufts University and worked as an educator and researcher in a variety of science, history, and art museums.

Educational & Interpretive Media SIG

Chair: Melissa Mair, Senior Interpretation Planner, Carnegie Museum of Art

Melissa MairFor the past seven years, Melissa Mair has worked in museum interpretation and education, focusing specifically on visitor engagement. Her projects have included in-gallery digital interactives, videos, and a gold MUSE award-winning immersive audio walk. She currently works as the Senior Interpretation Planner at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she is leading the interpretive and evaluative efforts on an upcoming reinstallation of the Decorative Arts and Design Galleries. Prior to coming to CMOA, Melissa was an Interpretive Planner at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and worked in the education and curatorial departments of the Norwich Castle Museum and Michael C. Carlos Museum. Melissa takes an active role in both the MCN and Interpretation communities. For the Association for Art Museum Interpretation, Melissa currently serves on the membership committee. She also served on MCN’s program committee for both the 2018 and 2019 conferences. This year, she was the co-chair for the Educational and Interpretive Media SIG, and she hopes to continue her leadership into 2020.

Co-Chair: Devon Armstrong, Exhibit Mentor, Boston Children’s Museum (newly elected)

Devon ArmstrongMy name is Devon Armstrong, and I am running as co-chair for the Educational and Interpretive Media SIG. I hold a Bachelor’s in Anthropology, Classical Archaeology, and Museum Studies from Beloit College, a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University, and am pursuing a Master’s in Classical Archaeology. I have worked in museums since 2010, beginning as an attendant at the Wright Museum of Art and volunteer at the Logan Museum of Anthropology, before moving to Boston and working at the MIT Museum and Tufts University Art Gallery. I also volunteered on the MCN 2019 Program Committee. MCN means a lot to me, both as a professional organization, and as a collective of my friends and colleagues. As such, I hope that you will consider me for SIG Co-Chair this next year.

Intellectual Property SIG 

Chair: Margaret McKee, Digital Asset Manager, The Menil Collection

Margaret C. McKee is the Digital Asset Manager at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Her department oversees rights and reproductions, and she co-authored the institution’s internal fair use policy. Previously, she worked in photographic and imaging services at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She holds an AA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, a BAFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico, and an MS in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. This spring she will complete a two-year term as co-chair of the Visual Resources Association’s Intellectual Property Rights Committee.

Co-Chair: Margaret will be looking to appoint someone to join her as co-chair during 2020. If interested in serving, please reach out to her directly.

Information Technology SIG

Chair: Janice Craddock, Information Technology Director, Amon Carter Museum

Janice Craddock headshotAs 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, Ingenium (Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation)

Brian 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.

International Image Interoperability Framework SIG

Chair: Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Collections Data Manager, Yale Center for British Art

Emmanuelle is currently the Collections Data Manager at the Yale Center for British Art, where she started working in 2006 as the Collections Catalog Specialist. In her current role, she oversees the creation of and access to the museum’s collections data. She plays the lead role in ensuring its intellectual and technical integrity. She identifies and implements new data standards and technologies to disseminate to as wide an audience as possible as well as to support the scholarly mission of the Center. She is currently the Secretary for the International Image Interoperability Framework, and has been an ICOM CIDOC board member since 2013. She previously worked at the Williams College Museum of Art and the Louvre Museum. She has a Master’s of Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Co-Chair:  Stefano Cossu, Software Architect, J. Paul Getty Trust

Stefano Cossu was Director of Application Services at the Art Institute of Chicago from 2012 to 2018 where he oversaw the implementation of a DAMS for the Collections and the publishing of 100,000 collection images online using IIIF. He recently joined the Getty Trust as a Software Architect, where he is collaboratively implementing a large-scale consolidation of the Getty’s visual materials, many millions of images from several Getty programs that will be served online via IIIF. Stefano is an advocate of open source, open access, open standards, and digital literacy in the humanities. He is currently a member of the Fedora Steering Group, the IIIF technical review committee, and chair of the MCN IIIF SIG. He has spoken at MCN and other digital cultural heritage conferences about Linked Data, repository technologies, DAM, and IIIF.

Media Production & Branding SIG

Chair:  Kelsey Cvach, Digital Content Producer, U.S. Department of State

Kelsey Cvach is passionate about digital storytelling, communicative design and user experience. She’s also excited about leading museums in communicating their value and creating compelling, mutually beneficial experiences for their target audiences. In my past 18 months at the United States Diplomacy Center, a new museum in development in Washington D.C. telling the story of American diplomacy and inspiring discovery of its global impact. I lead our museum’s rebrand, built and implemented style guide, redesigned and launched our website in WordPress, and wrote our digital strategy and the digital components of our museum’s interpretive plan. I also led other projects, such as our first hackathon, and exhibit testing at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. In my three previous roles, I also led branding efforts, including implementing website redesigns, building style guides, leading mission and vision defining activities, and unifying sub-brands.

Co-Chair: Ryan Waggoner, Creative Services Manager, Spencer Museum of Art

Ryan Waggoner

Ryan Waggoner is a visual storyteller with a passion for art and museums. He is currently Creative Services Manager at the Spencer Museum of Art, leading a team of employees in video production, collection photography and graphic design. Waggoner is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the Getty Leadership Institute.

Social Media SIG

Chair: Emily Haight, Social Media Manager, New-York Historical Society

Emily HaightEmily Haight is currently the Social Media Manager at the New-York Historical Society. Previously, Emily managed social media, e-communications, planned advertising, and designed and coordinated graphic materials at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. She also previously managed social media at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, collaborating and planning the museum’s #5WomenArtists social media campaign. She currently serves on the board of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Media & Technology Professional Network. She values cross-institutional collaboration through social media, sparking dialogue with online audiences and diverse communities, and creative uses of tech in museum spaces.

Co-Chair: Jonathan Munar, Director of Digital Media and Strategy, Art21

Jonathan Munar headshotJonathan Munar is the Director of Digital at Art21, heading the organization’s digital presence across Web, social media, and related platforms. Previously, Jonathan was a member of the Website department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has served on the board of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Media & Technology Professional Network and has been a presenter, guest lecturer, contributor, and panelist for organizations such as New York University, Baruch College, Art Dealers Association of America, Museum Computer Network, Museums and the Web, the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report, and the New York City ArtsTech Meetup.

Strategy SIG

Chair: Tricia Robson, Director of Digital Strategy, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Tricia RobsonTricia Robson is a strategist and team lead with over a decade of experience in digital strategy and production, contemporary art history, and project management. As the current Director of Digital Strategy at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young and Legion of Honor museums), she manages the overall strategy, content production, development, scheduling, and budgets for the museums’ chief digital channels, including websites, digital interactives, tech partnerships, video production, mobile/apps, and onsite digital signage. Prior to the Fine Arts Museums, she worked at Google, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. She has her Masters in Contemporary Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her Bachelors in Art History and English from the University of San Diego.

Co-Chair: Douglas Hegley, Chief Digital Officer, Minneapolis Institute of Art

Douglas Hegley joined the museum sector in 1997, after previous stints in higher education and pediatric research. During 14 years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he helped create collaborative technology operations and deliver engaging digital content to visitors. In 2011 he joined the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where as the Chief Digital Officer he sets the vision and strategy for all digital media and technology efforts, and aims to deliver engaging stories to all audiences via digital channels. Mr. Hegley has been recognized by his peers as a leader in the field, and has served on the boards and committees of several cultural heritage organizations, including the Minnesota Association of Museums, and MCN.


Don’t belong to a SIG yet? Want to join one or more? 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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Elect your 2020 SIG Chairs!

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).

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, let’s thank Angie Judge, Keith Laba, David Garfinkel, Seema Rao, Alicia Viera, Ama Iromuanya, Alexis Light and Mark McKay for their service as they step down from their role.

As you review this year’s slate of candidates, you’ll notice 8 new faces ready to lead your SIGs next year.

Take a moment now through December 22, 2019 to elect your preferred chairs to lead our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in 2020.

ELECT YOUR SIG CHAIRS

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Eric Longo
Executive Director

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Meet the Educational and Interpretive Media SIG

A visitor interacts with a table and collections items

A visitor engages with All At Once at the Williams College Museum of Art

Thanks to an ever-growing number of interactives, apps, and online platforms, museums can engage with their audiences in more ways than ever before.

With so many tools available, staff often find themselves discussing the role technology plays in visitor learning:

  • In what ways can technology help provide inclusive and accessible interpretation of the museum’s
    collections?
  • How can digital media be used to connect with visitors both onsite and online?
  • What stories can the museum’s content tell and how can we create that content collaboratively?

Conversations around these topics are the central focus of the Educational and Interpretive Media SIG. As a community of practice, our mission is to build knowledge and skills around the planning and implementation of media and experiences that support visitor’s connections to collections and ideas. Through our messaging board on Basecamp and regular google hangouts, the group addresses the role of digital interpretation and educational tools in the museum.

Interested? Come join us! We’d love to hear about your experiences and learn from each other.

 

SIG Chair – Alicia Viera, Interpretive Planner, Detroit Institute of Arts

SIG Co-Chair Melissa Mair, Senior Interpretation Planner, Carnegie Museum of Art

 

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Meet the Human Centered Design SIG

Human-centered design (HCD) is a process for understanding problems and creating solutions that meet real people’s needs. It emphasizes research and ideation, and can be applied to any type of product, service, or experience, inside and outside museums.   

The HCD SIG is a network for anyone who wants to learn about using human-centered design in your museum work. Anyone interested in using HCD to improve people’s experiences in museums is welcome, no matter your role or level of design experience!   

 

What have we been up to lately? 

Earlier this year, we hosted a webinar with Kathi Kaiser of Centralis. Kathi shared three case studies that took different approaches to usability testing and factors to consider when using this methodology.

We also publish monthly newsletters on our message board with HCD resources that catch our eye. 

 

What’s coming up? 

Since we are a relatively new SIG (only 2 years old!) we’re hoping to use this year’s conference to bring together existing and potential members to brainstorm and iterate on what our SIG should look like moving forward to be the most effective and useful for everyone involved. Stop by the HCD SIG area at the SIG Open House, where we’ll be applying the HCD process to our very own SIG! 

Additionally, Seema Rao will step down from her role as a SIG co-chair after this year’s conference. While we’ll be sad to see her go, we also can’t wait to meet the next SIG co-chair who will help shape and grow the SIG. If you have expertise in HCD or are simply really excited about diving deeper, consider running for co-chair next year! Want to discuss before the conference? Contact Cathy and Seema to learn more.  

Not a member of the HCD SIG yet? Sign up today!

 

Cathy Sigmond, HCD SIG co-chair

 

Seema Rao headshot

Seema Rao, HCD SIG co-chair

 

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Meet the Digital Asset Management SIG

 

A group of people around a table at the Digital Asset Management SIG happy hour, 2017

Photos, videos, audio files! Every museum produces thousands of them – documenting collections, capturing events and exhibitions, marketing the work of the institution. Digital Asset Managers are here to organize, preserve and make accessible all of these priceless assets for research and reuse.  Our SIG supports knowledge sharing, strategy and best practices for DAMS based on the practical knowledge gained through years of experience implementing and working on these systems.  

We have a robust Basecamp group where members share tricky situations and pesky problems to generate solutions – there’s always someone in the group who’s tackled something similar! We also like to collaborate with other SIGs because content users, producers and intrepid IT professionals all have valuable feedback on how these systems function. 

Our interests go beyond what is already available and into what’s coming up in advances in imaging techniques, making connections in meaningful ways through machine learning and feeding new frontiers such as augmented and virtual reality.

We’re a fun SIG that likes to chat about metadata during happy hour – keep your eyes peeled for one coming up soon!

Interested in joining the DAM SIG? 

Fill out the Google form here, someone will be in touch shortly.

 

CO-CHAIR – David Garfinkel, Senior Digital Asset Manager Technician, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet the Digital Imaging SIG

A photographer setting up a shot for a museum object

 

Even if you’re not familiar with institutional digitization programs, book scanners, rapid imaging or FADGI standards, chances are you’ve seen the result of these ideas and by extension, the work of members of the Digital Imaging SIG. Images are the face of museums in the public sphere, from bus and transit ads, to instagram posts about the newest exhibition.

 

The Digital Imaging SIG provides a place for museum photographers and imaging professionals to discuss ideas, explore technical problems and discuss the latest color to be removed from the spectrum. We also organize dinners, happy hours and meet-ups for members to meet face to face and provide a forum for more informal discussion.

 

In May, we held a dinner/social event during the 2+3d conference at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and we are beginning to plan a similar even during the MCN conference in November. A new initiative for 2019 that we are excited about working on is several virtual studio tours, which will take the form of videos partially driven by member questions.

 

We hope this will help build a more collaborative network amongst small studios, by sharing knowledge and innovation that might otherwise be glossed over, or not mentioned in conference talks. More on this in the coming months! If you aren’t currently a member of the Digital Imaging SIG, following along on our Basecamp for updates and to join in the discussion!

 

Ben Cort, Collections Photographer, Portland Art Museum and SIG Chair

 

Christopher Ciccone headshot

Christopher Ciccone, Photographer & Digital Asset Manager, North Carolina Museum of Art and SIG Co-Chair

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Meet the Social Media SIG

Greetings from the Social Media SIG. If you’ve ever engaged with a cultural institution on social media, then it’s highly likely that you have encountered the work of our SIG members. We are a group of museum professionals—representing areas such as marketing, communications, and education—who use social media as way to communicate, educate, and engage audiences on behalf of our institutions. Our group acts as a forum for sharing ideas, knowledge, strategies, and experiences in an effort to maximize the impact of our work.

So, what have been up to of late?

For starters, we’ve been making progress on producing a Social Media Handbook. This is a resource of social media guidelines and best practices that we, as a community of expert practitioners, will create and maintain for the benefit of the broader MCN community. Our goal is to have a version available to share publicly in time for the upcoming annual conference. Special shout out to Katharine Uhrich at the Field Museum who has been helping us lead the effort in producing this resource.

Finally, we encourage everyone to join us for our next monthly call on June 13. The topic will be about cross-institutional collaborations across social. We will be joined by a group from the National Archives who will set the stage for the conversation by first speaking about their Archives Hashtag Party campaign. If you were at Museums at the Web this past spring, you may have caught their lightning talk on the subject. This is certain be a lively conversation, so don’t miss out.

Not yet a member of the Social Media SIG? Sign up today!

Alexis Light
Alexis Light, Chair

Jonathan Munar headshot

Jonathan Munar, Co-Chair

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Meet the Strategy SIG

Strategy is integral to the success of our projects and organizations. The Strategy SIG brings together change-makers to learn from one another’s experiences in developing and  implementing strategies.

The Strategy SIG strategy

Since the Strategy SIG is about strategy, we thought that we should have a … strategy. Like any good strategy, ours starts with our objectives which are to facilitate the sharing of experience and expertise; and create opportunities for community and collaboration around the conference.

With these 2 goals, we have come up with the following 4  tactics to achieve them.

– Professional development  via online meetings

– Basecamp conversations

– Promote conference proposal collaboration

– Meetup for dinner or drinks at the conference

April 2019 update

– This month we have a professional development call Strategies for Preserving Digital Assets. We’ll be recording the webinar and posting it to the Basecamp, in-case you miss it.

– It’s conference proposal season. Conversations are happening on Basecamp. Got an idea or looking for someone to partner up with? Post to Basecamp.

– We’re planning an offsite for the conference. We’ve got San Diego native Nik Honeysett planning a social. More details to come and guaranteed to be a good time.

– Not a member of the Strategy SIG? Click here to sign up by filling out our Google Form

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Meet your 2019 SIG Chairs!

Thank you for participating in the 2018 Annual SIG Chairs Elections. Join me in congratulating each one of our SIG Chairs.

Eric Longo, Executive Director


Data & Insights SIG

Chair: Angie Judge, CEO, Dexibit

A kiwi technology entrepreneur with a background in computer science, Angie leads an award winning team at Dexibit, the company she founded to transform decision making in the arts. Named the 2018 Woman of Influence for Business Enterprise, Angie developed her passion for analytics in the telecoms industry with over 10 years in a corporate career as an Analyst at Hewlett Packard and Israeli software company Amdocs. Prior, she started her career in marketing for a merchant bank across a portfolio of brands.

Angie is also the Chair of the American Alliance of Museum’s Technology Board and host of a tourism analytics think tank network across the US. In her spare time, Angie mentors young women into technology careers, lecturers in data science and is a keen water skier.

Co-Chair: Keith Laba, Chief Information & Analytics Officer, Arizona Science Center

Keith Laba joined Arizona Science Center as their Chief Information & Analytics Officer (CIAO) in March of 2017. With a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Optimization and Applied Mathematics from The College of William and Mary, Keith has been delivering advanced analytics solutions and developing data-informed strategies for over 20 years. He has experience with a wide range of organizations, in areas such as financial services, travel, and post-secondary education. In his current role, Keith leads a technology and analytics team that collaborates with departments across the entire organization, to establish a data-informed culture and help transform Arizona Science Center into a global leader through research, technology, advanced analytics, and strategic insight.

Digital Asset Management SIG

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

I 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: David Garfinkel, Senior Digital Asset Manager Technician, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and my dad thought that someday I’d like to be a computer programmer, so he bought the family an early Macintosh. Turns out I liked MacDraw better than programming, but somehow twenty or so years later I found my first full-time job doing Mac Support work for Penguin Books. Seems I liked fixing computers and that started my career. After leaving IT for a couple of years do get a graduate degree from Teachers College I worked at a small private high school in Manhattan, where wrote a grant for, and ended up starting a program in Media Arts designed for students to use digital video and audio equipment as tools for learning within individual and group projects. In 2003 I left the high school and took a job doing IT consulting work at MoMA and in 2006 I was asked to take the lead on the DAM project at the Museum of Modern Art. At the time I didn’t know what Digital Asset Management was, but with some help, a good team and some stumbles along the way, we managed to choose a vendor, create a plan and eventually set up a speedy and stable system. In 2018 I left MoMA to take a job doing DAMS work at The MET. I work on NetX, processing engines, Jira, Jira Service Desk and Confluence and the challenges and learning opportunities at the new position are many. We are working on 3D ingest and preservation, film archiving and restoration, agile processes for project management and other larger initiatives.

Digital Imaging SIG

Chair: Ben Cort, Collections Photographer, Portland Art Museum

Ben Cort graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 with a degree in Professional Photographic Illustration and a minor in Imaging Systems. Upon moving to Portland Oregon that May, he began working as a freelance digital tech/lighting assistant in the commercial and advertising photography markets. He also began working at the Portland Art Museum where he was tasked with constructing and implementing an in-house digital photo studio, with associated workflows, processes and procedures. As responsibilities increased from the initial grant based funding, Ben came on full time in 2016 and was additionally tasked with exhibition documentation and working with Conservation to develop a conservation imaging workflow. Ben has expanded the studio’s capabilities to include UV/IR imaging, photogrammetry and RTI in addition to continually growing the traditional capture potential of the space. Ben remains committed to further developing the imaging program at PAM, and is active in several professional imaging organizations, as well as attending conferences, workshops and seminars on cultural heritage imaging.

Co-Chair: Christopher Ciccone, Photographer & Digital Asset Manager, North Carolina Museum of Art

I have been a Collections Photographer at the North Carolina Museum of Art since 2000, and an MCN member since 2014. My current duties also include digital asset administration and I am a member of MCN’s DAM SIG. Prior to my museum tenure I worked in a variety of commercial photographic settings. Having experienced the industry transition from film to digital has given me a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the field. Membership in the MCN Digital Imaging SIG has been extremely helpful to me in my profession and I am enthusiastic about contributing to its ongoing success. I’m particularly interested in encouraging more practical and technical imaging presentations at MCN conferences as well as facilitating ongoing engagement and collaboration between large and small institutions. I look forward to the opportunity to serve and will do my best to sustain the excellent leadership of our current Chairs.

Human-Centered Design SIG

Chair: Seema Rao, Principal & CEO, Brilliant Idea Studio

Seema Rao head shotSeema Rao has worked in museums for nearly 20 years at the interstices of visitor experience, education, and technology. She heads Brilliant Idea Studio, a firm that helps museums develop the best experiences for all their visitors. Trained as a UX Designer, her particularly focus is on content strategy. She has presented at MCN for many years speaking on social media in education, content development, and educational technology. She has been involved in many other aspects of MCN, including volunteering for MCN50, serving on the initial DEAI committee, and co-chairing the Volunteer committee.

Co-Chair: Cathy Sigmond, Research Associate, RK&A, Inc.

Cathy Sigmond is a Research Associate at RK&A, Inc., a firm in Alexandria, VA and New York City that partners with cultural organizations across the country on intentional planning, research, and evaluation. In her work as an evaluator, Cathy helps museum professionals think strategically about the audiences they intend to serve. She is a strong advocate for integrating research and evaluation into all aspects of museum work– particularly, exhibition and program development — to help practitioners understand how the interplay of design, messaging, and the built environment affect the visitor experience. Most recently, she evaluated approaches to digital interactives at a children’s museum, conducted message testing for an exhibition on fossils and climate change, and assessed usability and messaging for an exhibition on the future of New York City. Cathy has spoken about the value of evaluation and design research for museums at a variety of conferences and universities, including the Museum Computer Network, Visitor Studies Association, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to joining RK&A, Cathy earned her master’s degree in Museum Education from Tufts University and worked as an educator and researcher in a variety of science, history, and art museums.

Educational & Interpretive Media SIG

Chair: Alicia Viera, Interpretive Planner, Detroit Institute of Arts

Alicia Viera is currently an Interpretive Planner at the Detroit Institute of Arts where she continues to advance her goal of facilitating meaningful connections with art. While at the DIA, Alicia has developed interpretive plans for gallery projects and exhibitions, and has written content for analog and digital interpretive components. Most recently, she has worked on the award-winning augmented reality tour Lumin at the DIA as well as exhibitions such as “Making Home: Contemporary Works from the DIA,” “Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage,” “Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos,” and the upcoming “Ruben & Isabel Toledo: Labor of Love.” Before moving to Detroit, Alicia was arts administrator, director of cultural programs, and acting curator in San Antonio, Texas, where she organized “Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazón de San Antonio,” “Arte y Tradición de la Frontera: The U.S. – México Borderlands in the Works of Santa Barraza and Carmen Lomas Garza,” “The Texas Size Breach Collaborative: From El Paso to San Antonio” as well as “Absolute Resolution: A Participatory Photography Exhibition.” In these exhibitions, as well as those at the DIA, she explored the use of technology and social media for interpretative engagement—one of her current interests. Alicia holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Art Education and Arts Administration respectively from Florida State University, where she also completed graduate certificates in Museum Studies, Art Museum Education, and Program Evaluation. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Her research interests include edu-curation, visitor-centered and multilingual exhibitions, supported interpretation (SI), and multiculturalism and inclusivity in art museums and galleries. She strives for developing exhibitions that are non-authoritative and that facilitate the understanding and appreciation of art by engaging new and current museum audiences in more relevant and meaningful museum experiences that can enrich their personal lives and those of their loved ones.

Co-Chair: Melissa Mair, Senior Interpretation Planner, Carnegie Museum of Art

In her current role as Senior Interpretation Planner at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Melissa Mair focuses specifically on visitor engagement in the permanent collection galleries. Working within an interdisciplinary core team, she concentrates on realizing the goals of the museum’s Collecting Experiences initiative, which prioritizes collaborating with audiences and embracing multiple narratives. Prior to coming to CMOA, Melissa worked for five years in the Interpretation department of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Throughout her career, Melissa has worked on a variety of educational and interpretative materials, from videos to interactives and immersive audio walks.

Intellectual Property SIG 

Chair: Ama Iromuanya, Intellectual Property & Digital Rights Administrator, Dallas Museum of Art

In his current capacity as the Intellectual Property & Digital Rights Administrator at The Dallas Museum of Art, Ama oversees the management, distribution, and procurement of intellectual property and rights related information. He works cross-departmentally with publications, marketing, exhibitions, curatorial, and other areas within the institution. Ama has been instrumental to major projects such as the development of the museum’s Open Access Policy and has worked to streamline rights & reproduction workflows. He believes that IP presents a unique and engaging challenge that is relevant to every facet of a museum.

Co-Chair: Margaret McKee, Digital Asset Manager, The Menil Collection

Margaret C. McKee is the Digital Asset Manager at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Her department oversees rights and reproductions, and she co-authored the institution’s internal fair use policy. Previously, she worked in photographic and imaging services at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She holds an AA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, a BAFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico, and an MS in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. This spring she will complete a two-year term as co-chair of the Visual Resources Association’s Intellectual Property Rights Committee.

Information Technology SIG

Chair: Janice Craddock, Information Technology Director, Amon Carter Museum

Janice Craddock headshotAs 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, Ingenium (Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation)

Brian 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.

International Image Interoperability Framework SIG

Chair:  Stefano Cossu, Software Architect, J. Paul Getty Trust

Stefano Cossu was Director of Application Services at the Art Institute of Chicago from 2012 to 2018 where he oversaw the implementation of a DAMS for the Collections and the publishing of 100,000 collection images online using IIIF. He recently joined the Getty Trust as a Software Architect, where he is collaboratively implementing a large-scale consolidation of the Getty’s visual materials, many millions of images from several Getty programs that will be served online via IIIF. Stefano is an advocate of open source, open access, open standards, and digital literacy in the humanities. He is currently a member of the Fedora Steering Group, the IIIF technical review committee, and chair of the MCN IIIF SIG. He has spoken at MCN and other digital cultural heritage conferences about Linked Data, repository technologies, DAM, and IIIF.

Co-Chair: Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Collections Data Manager, Yale Center for British Art

Emmanuelle is currently the Collections Data Manager at the Yale Center for British Art, where she started working in 2006 as the Collections Catalog Specialist. In her current role, she oversees the creation of and access to the museum’s collections data. She plays the lead role in ensuring its intellectual and technical integrity. She identifies and implements new data standards and technologies to disseminate to as wide an audience as possible as well as to support the scholarly mission of the Center. She is currently the Secretary for the International Image Interoperability Framework, and has been an ICOM CIDOC board member since 2013. She previously worked at the Williams College Museum of Art and the Louvre Museum. She has a Master’s of Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Media Production & Branding SIG

Chair:  Kelsey Cvach, Digital Content Producer, U.S. Department of State

Kelsey Cvach is passionate about digital storytelling, communicative design and user experience. She’s also excited about leading museums in communicating their value and creating compelling, mutually beneficial experiences for their target audiences. In my past 18 months at the United States Diplomacy Center, a new museum in development in Washington D.C. telling the story of American diplomacy and inspiring discovery of its global impact. I lead our museum’s rebrand, built and implemented style guide, redesigned and launched our website in WordPress, and wrote our digital strategy and the digital components of our museum’s interpretive plan. I also led other projects, such as our first hackathon, and exhibit testing at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. In my three previous roles, I also led branding efforts, including implementing website redesigns, building style guides, leading mission and vision defining activities, and unifying sub-brands.

Co-Chair: Kelsey will be looking to appoint someone to join her as co-chair during 2019.

Social Media SIG

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.

Co-Chair: Jonathan Munar, Director of Digital Media and Strategy, Art21

Jonathan Munar headshotJonathan Munar is the Director of Digital at Art21, heading the organization’s digital presence across Web, social media, and related platforms. Previously, Jonathan was a member of the Website department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has served on the board of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Media & Technology Professional Network and has been a presenter, guest lecturer, contributor, and panelist for organizations such as New York University, Baruch College, Art Dealers Association of America, Museum Computer Network, Museums and the Web, the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report, and the New York City ArtsTech Meetup.

Strategy SIG

Chair: Douglas Hegley, Chief Digital Officer, Minneapolis Institute of Art

Douglas Hegley joined the museum sector in 1997, after previous stints in higher education and pediatric research. During 14 years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he helped create collaborative technology operations and deliver engaging digital content to visitors. In 2011 he joined the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where as the Chief Digital Officer he sets the vision and strategy for all digital media and technology efforts, and aims to deliver engaging stories to all audiences via digital channels. Mr. Hegley has been recognized by his peers as a leader in the field, and has served on the boards and committees of several cultural heritage organizations, including the Minnesota Association of Museums, and MCN.

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.


Don’t belong to a SIG yet? Want to join one or more? 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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