Your new MCN Special Interest Group (SIG) Chairs and Vice Chairs

In December we held the very first SIG Chair elections. The voter turn out was impressive, which shows that our SIGs are an important part of the MCN community. Strong SIGs foster discussion and collaboration among colleagues and this is at the heart of what MCN does.

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


Digital Asset Management

  • Chair: Julie Shean, Technical Architect, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

image014Currently leading a multi-phase project to migrate all of the Met’s audio, video, and still image content into a new enterprise digital asset management system (launching in 2016). I have over a decade of experience supporting DAM software products including Canto, Xinet, MediaBin, and NetXposure and am a member of professional groups related to digital asset management technology (“DAM Guru Program” since 2013). Interested in collaborating with colleagues in the MCN community to share resources and define best practices for DAM product selection and procurement, system architecture, metadata and taxonomy, workflow design, digital media archiving, and systems integrations (with TMS, online publications, and photography ordering systems).

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

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


Digital Imaging

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

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

  • Vice Chair: Kurt Heumiller, Senior Imaging Systems Specialist, Yale Center for British Art

image030Since 2008, Kurt Heumiller has worked in the Imaging Systems and Intellectual Property department at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT. He currently serves as the Senior Imaging Systems specialist where his areas of focus include imaging workflows, color management, and digital asset management. He also has an interest in emerging technologies such as Reflectance Transform Imaging, 3D imaging and printing, and VR sysstems. In addition to MCN, he is also a member of the ImageMuse museum imaging group.


Digital Strategies & Transformations

  • Chair: Jeff Steward, Director of Digital Infrastructure and Emerging Technology, Harvard Art Museums

image024Jeff Steward is the Director of Digital Infrastructure and Emerging Technology (DIET) at the Harvard Art Museums. For the past 17 years he has worked at museums with museum data. He provides leadership and guidance on the use of a wide range of technologies at the museums to reshape the museum experience inside and out. In November 2014 he helped launch the Lightbox Gallery, a public research and development space, in the newly renovated Harvard Art Museums.

  • Vice Chair: Janet Strohl-Morgan, Associate Director for Information & Technology, Princeton University Art Museum

image022Janet Strohl-Morgan is the Associate Director for Information and Technology at the Princeton University Art Museum. Janet oversees a department dedicated to providing universal digital access to the Museum’s collections. Janet leads a team of people with responsibilities for all aspects of information management, digitization, collections documentation, web, new media and mobile-based initiatives, collections-related online and in-gallery initiatives, social strategies, and technology at the Museum. Janet is the co-chair of MCN’s Digital Strategies & Transformations SIG. She has presented at Museum Computer Network, Museums and the Web, New Media Consortium, and The Digital World of Art History. Janet holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with an interdisciplinary focus and a Bachelor of Computer Science, both from Rutgers University. Janet feels as leader of setting strategic direction for information management and technology for her own museum, she is able to facilitate sharing knowledge across institutions through continuing her role as a co-chair. Janet is excited to continue her time with the many talented and dedicated colleagues of MCN.


Educational & Interpretive Media

  • Chair: Jennifer Foley, Director of Interpretation, Cleveland Museum of Art

image018Jennifer Foley is the Director of Interpretation at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She and the CMA’s Interpretation team focus on connecting visitors to the collection and the intersection of digital technology and interpretation, particularly through the development of exhibition audio and multimedia tours, exhibition interactives, and digital content through the museum’s collection-wide app, ArtLens. She has actively participated in MCN since 2011, and was one of the inaugural co-chairs of the Educational and Interpretive Media SIG when it was established earlier this year, and is dedicated to growing this community of practice.

  • Vice Chair: Emily Fry, Lead Interpretation Planner, Peabody Essex Museum

image020Emily Fry is Lead Interpretation Planner at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. She specializes in integrating analog and digital technologies for developing engaging, innovative, and inclusive audience experiences. In her current position she brings leading-edge methods of interpretation to the development of interpretation at PEM. She has presented nationally and internationally on interpretation in cultural institutions and the intersection between audience research and digital interpretation. Emily has actively participated in MCN since 2010 and in her current role leading the Interpretation Planners Pre-conference, she will dedicate cultivating the Educational and Interpretive SIG to build bridges across disciplines and support professional development for educators and interpretive specialists.


Information Technology

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

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

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

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


Intellectual Property 

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

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

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

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


Media Production & Branding

  • Chair: Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, Director of Digital Media, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

image034Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli is a filmmaker and digital media professional. She has been telling stories with video for over 15 years and more recently has found herself tangled up in the various ways digital technology provides a platform for storytelling. She is interested in the potential of production methods to re-think how (and why) we produce content in the museum context.

  • Vice Chair: Luis Marcelo Mendes, Journalist 

image036Luis Marcelo Mendes is a journalist, design and communication consultant. He has worked for 20 years with the public and private companies specializing in communication, branding, digital media, publishing and exhibitions. His works have been selected and awarded in festivals both in Brazil and abroad. Will open SIG members hearts and minds to the relationship between branding and museums.


Data & Insights

  • Chair: Elena Villaespesa, Digital Analyst, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

image027As Digital Analyst at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Elena is responsible for establishing and overseeing an analytics program to monitor and assess departmental channels, platforms, and programs. She conducts user research, and develops timely reports to understand the fluctuations in data and identify trends and opportunities to optimize the museum’s digital platforms and programs. Previously she worked during five years as Digital Analyst at Tate (London) producing website, mobile and social media metrics reports and coordinating surveys, to inform decision making with the aim of improving user journeys across different digital platforms. Elena is also a PhD student at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester and a Tate Honorary Research Fellow 15-17. Her research is about how museums can measure the impact and value of their social media activities. There is increasing need for data literacy in the museum sector. I envision the Data & Insights SIG as an active community of practice to share information and discuss experiences. I believe the DI SIG should support museum professionals in the implementation and management of data analytics creating resources and defining best practices.

  • Vice Chair: Trilce Navarette, Researcher at University of Southern Denmark / Guest researcher at University of Amsterdam

image025Trilce Navarrete is researcher with interest in the historic and economic aspects of digital heritage. My research is driven by an interest to support understanding of the role of digital heritage in our lives and to increase efficiency, equity and effectiveness in the (re)use of heritage knowledge. I have actively participated in international communities as speaker, researcher, and organizer. I regularly present at different universities, at conferences and academic meetings, generally around the subjects of heritage, digital, policy and cultural economics. From my passion and knowledge of museums as well as my curiosity , I started researching the adoption of computers at work in 1999. An important source of inspiration has been the spark of (sharing) knowledge across generations. Not surprisingly, my research has made me a great fan of MCN for its international role in advocating for and advancing the specialized work needed to best manage collections information and improve communication inside and outside the museum. I envision the DI-SIG as core group to support raise awareness, familiarity and know how of the power of data.


Social Media

  • Chair: Meagan Estep, Social Media Manager, National Gallery of Art (DC)

image040Meagan Estep is an educator who believes deeply in the power of online tools to create conversation. Meagan is social media manager at the National Gallery of Art, where she creates participatory experiences using a variety of platforms. Actively participating with MCN since 2012, she also contributes to the National Art Education Association (museum education division) and Museums and the Web. Meagan’s idea of co-leading MCN’s social media SIG would build on current momentum. This means facilitating an atmosphere of mentorship, allowing us to shape strong relationships with colleagues. The best moments are the ones where we learn from each other. With Meagan, our SIG would be a space for learning new and expansive ideas, ultimately provoking intentional, relevant conversations.

  • Vice Chair: Amy Fox, Digital Marketing Associate, Walker Art Center

Amy Fox is timage042he Digital Marketing Associate at the Walker Art Center, where she manages the social media channels and online communities. She is passionate about social engagement and connecting online audiences with museums. She is interested in the intersection of technology, conversation, learning, entertainment, innovation, and people.



Small Museum

  • Chair: Lisa Worley, Education Specialist, Texas Historical Commission

image005Lisa (@goodlisa) develops programming to connect youth to Texas history. She also consults for historic sites on interpretive planning and collections issues. Lisa is co-chair of the Austin Museum Partnership and is an active member of Texas Association of Museums where she leads an effort to publish a new edition of The Museum Forms Book. She has worked for small museums for the majority of her career and believes their work is enormously important and vital. Lisa holds a MA in Public History (Colorado State University), and a BA in History (University of Arizona). In her free time, she reads, drinks beer, and is learning to sew.

  • Vice Chair: Don Erwin, Niagara Aerospace Museum

image008Don has been in various IT roles for over 23 years in DoD, NASA, and Higher Education from developer and tester to project and service management. I’ve served as CIO at a 4-year college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and am currently Chief Service Manager for a SUNY IT managed services provider.  I’ve volunteered at several museums over the past 18 years, helping with their web and other IT needs.  I currently volunteer for the Niagara Aerospace Museum. I hope to leverage my experience in the SUNY system, where I’ve been involved in sharing best practices, experiences, and even resources among campuses.  I would like to facilitate discussion within the SIG to identify areas for collaboration.