Episode 68: Access Means Overcoming Psychological Barriers, Too

Matthias Waschek, Executive Director of the Worcester Art Museum, says truly accessible museums create experiences that make visitors want to return. In doing so they must challenge institutional norms to welcome and engage more diverse populations.

Matthias WaschekMatthias Waschek joined the Worcester Art Museum in 2011 as the C. Jean and Myles McDonough Director. German born, he earned his Ph.D. from Bonn University, working on French art in the age of Colonialism. He has published extensively in the areas of French art nouveau and the history of art history. His curatorial experience spans from old masters to contemporary art.
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Episode 61: Oh, the Places Springfield Museums Will Go!

Kay Simpson, President of the Springfield Museums, speaks to the opening of the Dr. Seuss Museum, and what it means to Springfield, MA, Theodor Geisel’s hometown.

Kay SimpsonKay Simpson is President of the Springfield Museums. She received her B.A. from Smith College and a M.Ed. in educational administration from the University of Massachusetts. Ms. Simpson has more than 30 years of museum experience.

Her current responsibilities include the direction of all areas of operations for the Springfield Museums, an interdisciplinary complex of two art museums, a history museum, a science museum, the outdoor Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden and the newly open Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum.
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Episode 57: Mounting a Comeback for Edith Wharton’s Legacy

Susan Wissler, Executive Director of The Mount, shares her experience of bringing an organization back from the precipice, and how retiring its $9M debt helped its community rethink what a historic home can be.

Susan WisslerSusan Wissler joined The Mount in 2001 as Vice President and became Executive Director in 2008. Ms. Wissler graduated from Brown University, received a J.D. from Columbia University, and, prior to joining The Mount, practiced law in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Highlights of Ms. Wissler’s sixteen years at The Mount include the return of Wharton’s books to the library, the retirement of The Mount’s debt, and most recently, welcoming over 50,000 visitors to the property in 2017.
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Episode 46: Museums in the Face of Changing Communities

New England has the largest per capita concentration of museums in the country. Dan Yaeger, Executive Director of the New England Museum Association, speaks to the health of the region’s museums and the systemic challenges museums face to diversify their staffs and boards.

Dan YaegerDan Yaeger was named executive director of New England Museum Association in April, 2010. His passion is to strengthen capacity in museums and build skills in the leaders that serve them. Dan has a 20‐year history with museums, most recently as the director of the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation in Waltham, Massachusetts. He has developed communications programs for the Museum of Fine Arts/Boston, Peabody Essex Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art, Currier Museum of Art, Old Sturbridge Village, John F. Kennedy Library, and Plimoth Plantation among others. Continue reading “Episode 46: Museums in the Face of Changing Communities”

Episode 44: How to Responsibly Close a Museum

Todd Smith, the Interim Executive Director at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, discusses the difficult process of closing a museum and the importance of a deaccession plan that supports the collection as well as the public good.

Todd SmithTodd Smith uses his experience in education, corporate strategy, and nonprofit leadership to help organizations navigate pathways for ongoing public service. Focusing on sustainable outcomes, Smith assists organizations in evaluating goals in the context of real world economics and creating action plans with clearly defined financial targets.

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