Episode 73: Hands-on Learning, Creating for Kids and Caregivers

Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. Neil Gordon, CEO, discusses how universal design and User/Experts informed their recent expansion to a 16,000sf accessible building. He also shares their efforts to integrate parents into the exhibit experience. He says that in the museum’s new exhibits for children ages 0-3, the parental education that’s incorporated is as important as the child’s play.

 Neil Gordon. Photo by Mitchell Green.In his nearly ten years as CEO, Neil Gordon has steered the Discovery Museum through a period of tremendous growth and change. Prior to joining the museum in 2009, Gordon served for 14 years as the Executive VP and COO for the Boston Children’s Museum. He is also past chairman of the board of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), a past board member of the New England Museum Association (NEMA), and a board member of the Massachusetts Institute for the Teaching of Science (MITS).
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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 58: Removing Barriers for Theatregoers

Meg O’Brien, Interim Co-Director of Education at Huntington Theatre Company, discusses their long-standing commitment to universal participation. She shares how the Huntington makes productions accessible for patrons with hearing or vision difficulties, and how they’re expanding ways to integrate accessibility into performance models and schedules.

Meg O'BrienMeg O’Brien is in her 10th season at the Huntington Theatre Company, currently serving as one of two Interim Co-Directors of Education.  She has also served as the Manager of Education Operations & Access Coordinator at the Huntington Theatre Company.  Meg is an actor, dancer, singer, director, producer, and stage manager; however, her passion lives with Theatre Education, which she quickly fell in love with when she was in college.  For the past 15 years, Meg has made her living teaching students of all ages about the world of the theater. Continue reading “Episode 58: Removing Barriers for Theatregoers”

Episode 55: Generate and Cultivate Engagement

Zakiya Thomas, Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director of Education, Community Engagement and Inclusion, discusses how evaluation and accountability are key for institutions seeking to reach new audiences.

She says the same rigor that organizations apply to visitor experience or to the quality of work on display needs to also be applied around how that organization works with communities and the kinds of outcomes they expect to see.

Zakiya ThomasFor more than fifteen years, Zakiya Thomas has worked to develop engaging educational and public service initiatives designed to strategically align business, marketing, public relations and community engagement objectives.

She currently serves as the Executive Officer for Education, Community Engagement and Inclusion for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading “Episode 55: Generate and Cultivate Engagement”

Episode 51: Wide Perspective at the Narrows

Patrick Norton is Executive Director of the Narrows Center for the Arts, a regional destination for the visual and performing arts. He discusses the Narrows’ contribution to the Fall River community and their arts therapy program for developmentally delayed adults.

Patrick NortonPatrick Norton has been involved with the Narrows Center for the Arts for 21 years serving as Executive Director the past 11 years. From 1997-2012, he worked for Congressman Jim McGovern. He’s been happily married to the wonderful Maggie for 23 years and is the proud parent to two amazing boys, Benjamin and Owen.
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