DEIA: Diversity & Inclusion in Collections

Wednesday, May 12, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Webinar #3: Diversity and Inclusion in Collections & Exhibition

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The Florida Association of Museums DEIA webinar series is a resource for our Florida Museums that are seeking to activate their DEIA programs. At the core of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, is being thoughtful, purposeful, anti-racist, and authentic in your work, and human-centered in your actions and practice. For a museum, this includes everything from your facility to your collections, from your exhibitions to your programming, from your board and staff to your outreach into the community.

How thoughtful is your Museum about handling and sharing culturally sensitive objects? Does your institution need help with best practices for how to collect and share difficult histories? The third in a four-part DEAI webinar series will focus on caring for and sharing sacred, culturally, racially, and politically sensitive objects, as well as how to build relationships and engage communities to share diverse stories through folklife initiatives. The webinar includes the following presentations, as well as a healthy Q&A, resource lists, and group discussion:

Caring & Accessibility of Sacred & Culturally Sensitive Objects
Speaker: Kate Macuen, Director, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Kate Macuen is the Director of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, the first Tribally owned and operated museum to receive AAM accreditation.  She began working for the Tribe in 2009 as the Collections Manager for their Tribal Historic Preservation Office.  For the past eight years has served on the Tribe’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Committee, assisting with the return of hundreds of Seminole ancestors.  She earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Colorado and an MA in Museum Science from Texas Tech University.


Kate Macuen, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Difficult Histories: Racially, Culturally & Politically Sensitive Objects
Speakers: Steven High, Executive Director, The Ringling; Mari Carpenter, Director of Interpretation and Historical Research at Conner Prairie Living History Museum in Indiana. 

Steven High is the Executive Director of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and is on faculty at Florida State University. He has worked in art museums since 1977 in cities from San Francisco to Boston. Joining The Ringling in 2011, he has undertaken major strategic planning; launched design, construction, and the opening for the Kotler|Coville Glass Pavilion and the Center for Asian Art; re-branded The Ringling; and opened the Turrell Skyspace, Tibbals Immersive Circus Galleries, the Bolger Playspace, the Monda Gallery of Contemporary Art, and re-opening of the Historic Circus Museum. He is currently overseeing the complete reinstallation of the Museum of Art and recently concluded a 7-year $100 million fundraising campaign. He manages a staff of over 250 with an operating budget over $20 million.  He has a M.A. in Art History from Williams College, and a M.B.A. from the School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University. 


Steven High, The Ringling

Marian Carpenter has 25 years of experience in the museum field in the area of curation, collection management and exhibitions.  To promote the need for museums to be inclusive and diverse in its collections, Ms. Carpenter wrote the article “The Challenges to Being Inclusive in Museum Collections.” It was featured in History News, The Magazine of the American Association for State and Local History and in The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook, an online publication co-sponsored by the AASLH and the National Council on Public History.  Ms. Carpenter holds a B.A. in American history from Indiana University and a M.A in American history with a concentration in African American history from the University of Cincinnati. She was the Associate Director of Collections/Chief Registrar at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and now Ms. Carpenter is the Director of Interpretation and Historical Research at Conner Prairie Living History Museum in Indiana. 


Marian Carpenter, Conner Prairie Living History Museum

Engaging Communities & Sharing Diverse Stories through Folklife Initiatives
Speakers: Michael Knoll, Director of Curatorial Affairs & Chief Curator, HistoryMiami Museum; Vanessa Navarro Maza, Folklife Curator, HistoryMiami Museum

As Director of Curatorial Affairs & Chief Curator, Michael Knoll oversees HistoryMiami Museum’s Archives & Research Center, object collection, exhibitions, South Florida Folklife Center, and Center for Photography, which he co-founded. He is responsible for building, caring for, and providing access to the museum’s collection; the conceptualization, production, and maintenance of long-term, temporary, and offsite exhibitions; and the folklife division’s work to document, present, and support the region’s traditional arts and cultural heritage. As Folklife Curator, Michael directed field research, established the artist-in-residence program, and created the Folklife Gallery, a flex space for exhibits and cultural programming. Prior work experience includes the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the Jewish Museum of Florida. Michael holds a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and History from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in Folklore from the University of North Carolina.


Michael Knoll, HistoryMiami Museum

Vanessa Navarro Maza, Folklife Curator, directs HistoryMiami Museum’s South Florida Folklife Center. She curates exhibitions in the museum’s Folklife Gallery and conducts fieldwork and collecting projects such as the What Makes Miami, Miami Project research initiative and the Miami Street Culture Project, resulting in the exhibition Avenues of Expression: Street Traditions in Miami, curated by Vanessa. She also develops educational programs, manages the artist-in-residence program, and established the Cultural Encounters series and CultureFest 305 Folklife Festival. Additionally, she creates media products about local folklife and assists the region’s traditional artists. She studied Anthropology at the University of Florida and Ethnomusicology at Florida State University.


Vanessa Navarro Maza, History Miami Museum

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