Struggling Toward Visitor-Centeredness

Track
Forces of Change
Start Day and Time
Wednesday May 10 9:45-11 a.m.
Venue and Meeting Room
224 America's Center
Description
Many professionals agree that museums need to be visitor-centered. But some of the "best practices" museums have developed over the years can actually impede our efforts to engage visitors on a variety of levels. Conservation dictums, design processes, staff assumptions, and security procedures can, even with the best of intentions, get in the way of creating more compelling and accessible experiences for visitors. Join four museum colleagues to discuss the difficult and sometimes messy process of shifting our practices toward more visitor-centered programs, exhibitions, and overall values.
Learner Outcome
  1. Identify which aspects of museum practice and professional assumptions about "high standards" can actually impede visitor-centered programs and exhibitions.
  2. Learn about examples of new types of processes and procedures that maintain rigorous and necessary standards while allowing more visitor participation and consideration.
  3. Learn about examples of new types of processes and procedures that maintain rigorous and necessary standards while allowing more visitor participation and consideration.
Speakers
Presenter: 
Joshua Helmer
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Assistant Director for Interpretation
Organization: 
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Bio
Joshua Helmer is the Assistant Director for Interpretation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a position tasked with leading the institution in a complete rethinking of how the Museum engages its public both onsite and online. Over the past three years, Josh has been focused on building cross departmental teams, fostering an environment of innovation through the implementation of iterative processes, and the strategic alignment/prioritization of interpretive projects.
Presenter: 
Kathleen McLean
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Principal
Organization: 
Independent Exhibitions
Bio
Kathleen McLean is principal of Independent Exhibitions. 2008-2012 she was creative director for design of OMCA galleries; 1994-2004 Dir., Center for Public Exhibits & Programs, Exploratorium .Co-author of The Convivial Museum" and author of "Planning for People in Museum Exhibitions," she was selected for 2006 AAM Centennial Honor Role of people who've made a significant contribution to American museums in the last 100 years."
Presenter: 
Marla Shoemaker
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Senior Curator of Education and Public Programs
Organization: 
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Bio
Marla Shoemaker is Sr. Curator of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she oversees a large division whose programs serve 200,000 visitors annually, and whose interpretative projects aim to connect museum collections to the curiosity, interests, and life experiences of a broad, diverse audience. Her 2008 book, A is for Art Museum, was recently transformed into an interactive self-guide, winning a 2016 AAM Gold Muse Award.
Presenter: 
Stacy Lieberman
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Deputy Director
Organization: 
The Broad
Bio
Stacy Lieberman is Executive Vice President and Deputy Director of the Autry Museum of the American West where she leads day-to-day museum operations and oversees programmatic content, guiding the implementation of a visitor-centered strategic plan. Previously, Lieberman was Director of External Affairs at the Skirball Cultural Center where she directed the award-winning campaign to open Noah's Ark at the Skirball. Her work has been recognized by AAM, BizBash, and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-LA).