Let’s kick off 2020! A Message from your Conference Program Co-Chairs

Written by Andrea Montiel de Shuman and Andrea Ledesma, MCN 2020 Conference Program Chairs

After a lovely break, we’re kicking off the year by getting started with MCN 2020. Last year, we introduced a number of changes meant to enhance the conference experience. To all those who attended, presented, and sponsored: thank you! Your feedback helped us understand our successes, our challenges, and how we can grow.

This year we’re excited to announce two additional program co-chairs. Welcome Mimosa Shah and Meredith L. Steinfels! Together, we’re committed to designing a program that continues to be engaging and accessible, rigorous and thought-provoking. We’re eager to create a space that both spotlights innovative technologies and pressing topics in our sector and amplifies the many voices behind that work.

Also joining us is the Program Committee. They’re a fantastic crew of field experts who are crucial in deciding a theme, nominating keynote speakers, reviewing applications, ideating program changes, and more.

Get to know your MCN 2020 Program Committee below. We can’t wait to get started!

Program Co-Chairs

Meredith Steinfels

Greetings! I’m Meredith, Digital Platforms Manager and Archives Specialist at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth. I’m responsible for the museum’s evolving digital ecosystem: the collection management system, digital asset management system, collection website, discrete digital-based projects, and digitization, as well as rights and reproductions and work on the James Nachtwey archive. I am passionate about equitable digital literacy and access to information, and the intersection of social justice and technology.

When not behind a screen, I live a largely analog life: baking, knitting, reading bad thrillers, and wrangling the raddest preschooler in New England.

Mimosa Shah

Hello! I’m Mimosa, Adult Program Coordinator at Skokie Public Library, where for the past five years I’ve managed, developed, and evaluated informal learning opportunities for adults. I work in collaboration with colleagues across departments to whet our community’s curiosity, ranging from discussions around world cinema to workshops on birdwatching. I teach digital literacy classes, facilitate discussions and pop-up events, and provide advisory support. Stop by a public desk, and I’m ready to dish on the best graphic novels, the upcoming incarnation of “Blade,” or the painterly quality of Merchant-Ivory productions.

I pivot between the analog and digital in my work and beyond. Lately, my interests have focused upon media literacy and ways to deal with misinformation campaigns; digital photography and how we use various platforms to share, archive, and work against the constraints they sustain; zine-making and paper arts that memorialize stories waiting to be documented; and space-making for and with communities marginalized by aspects of their identities.

In my ‘spare’ time, I wrangle two kiddos to the best libraries, museums, gardens, and happenings around Chicago because I am a culture nerd, and hope to instill in them the same curiosity about the world around us. Having perfected my samosa recipe, I’m eager to learn how to make new street foods.

I served on MCN’s DEAI Advisory Board in 2019, and am honored to be part of the team again in 2019. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to make the annual conference and by extension, our field more inclusive and welcoming. I am also very excited to be a Program Co-Chair in 2020, and to give back to a community that has provided me with such insight into how the digital transforms our organizations.

Andrea Montiel de Shuman

Hola! I’m Andrea Montiel de Shuman, Mexican immigrant from beautiful Puebla, where I grew up surrounded by great food, music, colors, and museums.

As the Digital Experience Designer at the Detroit Institute of Arts, I lead public-facing digital experiences to help visitors find themselves in art. My favorite tasks are to collaborate with community advisors, user-test & fill boards with sticky notes. I enjoy engaging in sector-wide conversations discussing moral + ethical implications of technology; Knight Foundation has supported me in joining a number of these endeavors.

In recent years I’ve been collaborating with Smithsonian Latino Center in preparing the first galleries that will honor the contributions of Latinos in the history of America and also help coordinate the annual Media & Tech MUSE Awards by the American Alliance of Museums.

When not thinking about museums, I enjoy illustrating, spoiling my cat, watching 90’s Anime or hunting for green spaces, new music, indigenous art & weird art books with my partner. After a wonderful 2019, I feel excited and honored to be back this year, now with a larger team! We have so many dreams for our MCN family.

Andrea Ledesma

Hi again, MCN! I’m Andrea Ledesma. I’m fascinated with how digital technologies impact how the public engages with history, culture, and each other. As the Web and Digital Project Specialist at the Field Museum in Chicago, I manage fieldmuseum.org and other digital storytelling projects. I weave together strategy, content, and design. I love a good spreadsheet. If not in a museum find me exploring the snack aisle and on Twitter at @am_ledesma.

Before the Field, I enjoyed working on digital projects for Brown University, the Tenement Museum, Digital Public Library of America, and National Park Service. Co-chairing MCN 2019 was such a wonderful experience, and I’m honored to have the opportunity again.

Program Committee Members

  • Adrienne Lalli Hills, Oklahoma Contemporary
  • Alison Koch, Playwrights Horizons
  • Amanda Dearolph, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
  • Ashley Bowen, Science History Institute
  • Castle U. Kim, Florida State University
  • Cathy Sigmond, RK&A
  • Claire Blechman, Peabody Essex Museum
  • Claire Pillsbury, Exploratorium
  • Devon Armstrong, Boston Children’s Museum
  • Eric Longo, MCN
  • Erin Canning, Aga Khan Museum
  • Gavin Mallory, Cogapp
  • Heather White, Yale University
  • Jennifer Foley, Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Jessica Milby, Penn Museum
  • Jessica Warchall, Terra Foundation for American Art
  • John Turner, University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Max Evjen, Michigan State University
  • Miranda Kerr, Shedd Aquarium
  • Pamela Martin, Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Rana Chan, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
  • Roger Tuan, Field Museum
  • Sean Blinn, Consultant
  • Susan Wigodner, Obama Foundation / Obama Presidential Center
  • Tricia Robson, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco