Featured Projects

Olivia de Havilland and longtime friend and artist George Dennison, New Museum Los Gatos Permanent Collection

$190,000 Institute of Museum & Library Services
Museums for America Grant
Los Gatos History Project
New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU)

Identified, researched, conceptualized, wrote, and secured full funding for a three-year, $190,000 IMLS award for collections stewardship and access

As NUMU’s Executive Director, I prioritized museum best practices including collections care, fair salaries, paid interns, and public access. Due to a lack of collections policy and cataloging strategy when the museum was founded in 1965, most of the NUMU collections have been uncataloged and improperly stored, and objects’ provenance is largely unknown. This three-year award paid for staffing, supplies, and a graduate intern to make progress on digitization; complete the cataloguing process; begin the process of identification and provenance research; refine the Collections Management Policy and develop a Collections Plan; identify items in need of active conservation; and continue NUMU’s momentum to preserve, steward, and display its history collections following museum collections best practices.

100 Years of Creativity: Landscapes by Our Visionary Founders
March 1-April 14, 2019
Santa Cruz Art League

Curated artwork and wrote label text

The Santa Cruz Art League presented its 89th Annual Statewide California Landscapes Exhibition, juried by Ed Penniman. As part of this show, which coincides with the Art League’s 100th birthday, we featured an exhibit of founding Art League members including Frank Heath, Cor de Gavere, Margaret Rogers, Leonora Penniman, and Lillian Howard.

Interpreter Training Series, History San José

Refined informal learning and quality of K-12 students’ experiences  

History San José has two desirable characteristics that position it as a well-regarded field trip destination for K-12 learners: a positive reputation with teachers, who are prepared to secure independent funding to attend field trips with their students; and paid Interpreters, who can be effectively guided to provide high-quality informal learning experiences. I introduced History San José Interpreters to critical pedagogical concepts and techniques, including dialogue-based tours, age-grade characteristics, and questioning strategies, with an emphasis on student empathy and Interpreter empowerment. Each training consisted of customized 90-minute presentations and suggested readings. Additionally, I observed and advised on strategies and the lesson plan for their acclaimed “Adobe Days” program.

Diane Stevens, Horizon Line Series (Violet Sky), Monterey Museum of Art

Active Voice: Contemporary Landscapes from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, Monterey Museum of Art

Curated, planned and executed interpretive approach

Active Voice presented contemporary landscapes from the museum’s permanent collection, with a focus on community voices. To introduce new voices into conventional exhibition didactics, museum staff and volunteers chose artworks that resonated with them and wrote personal interpretations. I led a label writing workshop for staff and volunteers inspired by Beverly Serrell’s Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach, as well as the American Alliance of Museums Webcast, “Exhibition Label Writing at its Best.” Their labels, with the writer’s photo, were mounted on a plaque in the shape of a speech bubble next to each painting, and a corresponding blank plaque was mounted next to it. Visitors were encouraged to read the responses, then participate in the dialogue by writing their own and displaying it next to the paintings.

Print & Go Activities for Grades K-2

Self-Guided Visit Activities for the Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Assessed, conceptualized, developed, and wrote activities

Despite efforts to coach teachers to prepare for field trips (I am inspired by Leah Melber’s approach in “Informal Learning and Field Trips“), surveys and gallery observations at the Getty indicated that self-guided K-12 teacher and student visitors to the Getty Center were not utilizing existing pre-visit, visit, and post-visit materials. The Getty accommodates tens of thousands of self-guiding students each year, so it was important to ensure a quality experience while managing crowds in the galleries. I took a staggered approach, developing activities ranging from “Print & Go” (to indicate very little teacher preparation was necessary) to more in-depth, grade-based lesson plans requiring more teacher preparation. “Print & Go” featured open-ended, free-choice activities that could be used with any work of art as teachers and chaperones roamed galleries with students. Follow up assessments revealed that teachers were able to easily use the new activities in the galleries to encourage close looking with very little advance preparation.