Program Draft

Day Activities
Monday April 5th Intoroduction Day
Tours and Workshops
Tuesday April 6th Conversation Day
GLAMi Finalist, Tour, Birds of a Feather, Demonstrations, Social Event: MW Trivia
Wednesday April 7th Leadership Day
Opening Keynote Plenary: Mr. Lonnie Bunch
Lightning Talk 1, Sessions, Tours, Workshops, Social Event: MW GAMESHOW
Friday April 16th Audience Engagement Day
Plenary, Lightning Talk 2, Sessions, App Crit, Inspirational Graffiti Wall: Inspiration is Everywhere by Lyrics & Lattes Podcast
Friday April 23th Pandemic and Digital Transformation Day
Plenary, GLAMi’s Winners, Lightning Talk 3, Sessions, Tours, Web Crit
Friday April 30th Innovation and AR/VR Day
Closing Plenary, Lightning Talk 4, Sessions, Tours, Video Crit, Social Event: Karaoke

The time is Central Daylight Time (CDT). To check what time a session is where you are please use WorldClock.

Tour: Planet Word Museum

Visit Planet Word—D.C.'s spectacular new museum of language
Nathan Adkisson, Local Projects, LLC, USA, Rebecca Roberts, Planet Word, USA, Kel Millionie, Planet Word Museum, USA

Join us for a tour of Planet Word, the D.C's new language museum, located at 14th NW & K St.

Workshop: Click. Click. Done. Developing Your Google Analytics Skills

Click. Click. Done. Developing Your Google Analytics Skills
Ceci Dadisman, Cardinal + Company, USA, Drew McManus

Users of all skill levels can join in as we focus on the nuts and bolts of metrics to understand Google Analytics (GA). All attendees will receive step-by-step guides on how to setup and use GA, optimize data quality, and create custom reports. Organizations will walk away understanding how to leverage metrics and convert data into action. A generous Q&A rounds out the skills-based session.

Workshop: Creating Powerful Digital Campaigns That Engage and Inspire

Creating Powerful Digital Campaigns That Engage and Inspire
Sara Tetreault, Forum One, USA, Steven Bond, Forum One, USA, Christina Crawley, Forum One, USA

Successful digital campaigns create the buzz you need to get awareness about your mission. They can kick start a movement, create brand ambassadors, and implement long-lasting change. Digital campaigns have many moving parts and often have crazy schedules. Maybe you have a small team and wonder how to create a successful campaign that is manageable? In this workshop, participants will learn about what it takes to run a strong digital campaign. What are the priorities? What the must-haves versus the nice-to-haves? How do you even get started?

Workshop: Digital Presence and Personal Digital Strategy

Member content.

Digital Presence and Personal Digital Strategy
Max Evjen, Michigan State University, USA

We are often introduced to new platforms that we adopt without thinking much about how we operate in the digital sphere and whether or not we wish to change our behavior in one way or another. It may be difficult to understand the big picture of our digital presence, hard to keep track of just how invested we are in digital platforms.  Even if we understand our digital presence, we may wish to engage certain audiences in one way or another but not know where to start, or how to plan effectively for that engagement.  In this workshop, we will explore White's Visitor and Resident Model for digital presence, and Visser and Richardson's Digital Engagement Framework (DEF). Attendees will walk away with a plotted V and R model, and own DEF.

Workshop: Unstick Your Audience Thinking

Unstick Your Audience Thinking
Isabella Bruno, Radical Museum Futures, USA, Kyle Bowen, SuperHelpful, USA

In this workshop we will use future thinking tools to open our mindset about audiences and then we will learn about Jobs To Be Done framework, a way of looking at people's goals in life and experience. Professional futurists have all kinds of exercises for actively challenging what you believe could or could not be different, helping get our brains unstuck about what we think is possible. All that imagining is part of unstick it and making space for new, different thinking patterns about the people’s goals in life and experience. Workshop led by KyleBowen (SuperHelpful) and Isabella Bruno (Radical Museum Futures)

Tour: National Virtual Museum of Language

How do you keep language in a museum?
Jill Robbins, National Museum of Language, USA, Laura Murray, National Museum of Language, USA

This session presents the National Museum of Language, a virtual, movable, and outreach museum, focused on inspiring an appreciation for the magic and beauty of language.

Social Event: MW21 Trivia Night - hosted by Jonathan Munar

Jonathan Munar from Art21 will MC and moderate the night.  MW21's conference co-chairs, Rich Cherry and Shanita Brackett will greet and welcome the first-timers.  If you have been to MW conferences and events before, please join us to meet our first-timers.

Put your #musetech knowledge to the test at the inaugural MW Trivia Night!

In the tradition of pub trivia, teams of 2–5 will compete for prizes, glory, and conference-long bragging rights. What is the most common tree species in the Walker Art Center sculpture garden? How many floor tiles are in the Great Hall of The Met? Did “Night at the Museum” really happen? You will hear none of these questions at MW21 Trivia Night. But you will be lightly peppered with a style of general knowledge quizzing that any hard working GLAM professional would be proud to conquer. Please feel welcome to either assemble your team of 2–5 in advance, or just show up and we will happily help match you with a team to call your very own.

Sing-up here alone or with team.  Prizes will be given to the winners!

Chair: Katherine Behnke

MW21 Trivia Night
Jonathan Munar, Art21, USA

Put your #musetech knowledge to the test at the inaugural MW Trivia Night. In the tradition of pub trivia, teams of 2–5 will compete for prizes, glory, and conference-long bragging rights.

What is the most common tree species in the Walker Art Center sculpture garden? How many floor tiles are in the Great Hall of The Met? Did “Night at the Museum” really happen? You will hear none of these questions at MW21 Trivia Night. But you will be lightly peppered with a style of general knowledge quizzing that any hard working GLAM professional would be proud to conquer.

Please feel welcome to either assemble your team of 2–5 in advance, or just show up and we will happily help match you with a team to call your very own.

GLAMi Finalists

This lively session will present conversations between GLAMi jury chairs and representatives of projects that have been named finalists for the 2021 GLAMi awards.

- Susan Chun, Susan Chun, Publishing, Consulting, and Research, USA, Heather Hart, The Huntington, USA
Tour: National Museum of US Army

Virtual Tour of National Museum of the United States Army
Zelpha Anderson, National Museum of the United States Army, USA, Paul Morando, National Museum of the United States Army, USA

The National Museum of the United States Army celebrates over 240 years of Army history and honors our nation’s Soldiers—past, present and future. The 185,000-square-foot museum has been a longtime coming. The Army Historical Foundation has worked for more than a decade to build the service’s first comprehensive museum. The Museum opened to the public in November of 2020 in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The tour will cover the process of opening the historical institution, creating the digital programs and visitor experience, and review audio tour, "This We'll Defend: The History of the United States Army"

Inclusive Design: Informing Museum Practice

Please submit your questions and topics that you would like to discuss here!

Inclusive Design: Informing Museum Practices
Corey Timpson, Corey Timpson Design Inc., Canada, Sina Bahram, Prime Access Consulting, Inc., USA

Corey and Sina return to facilitate a discussion on inclusive design and accessibility across all aspects of a museum's enterprise – programming (exhibitions, education, public and community engagement, digital, service, outreach, and more).

Discussion will be supported by Corey and Sina's Ecosystem of Inclusive Design methodology. Questions and topics for discussion can be submitted prior to the session even though the session will focus on unscripted dialogue between the facilitators and participants. The session will be documented and salient topics published to an online resource building on the sessions of the past 2 years and evolving into a MuseWeb resource accessible to its members year long.

Professional Forum: SPICE: Social cohesion Participation Inclusion through Cultural Engagement

SPICE: Social cohesion Participation Inclusion through Cultural Engagement
Tsvi Kuflik, The University of Haifa, Israel

A major challenges in cultural heritage today is how to engage visitors and make them active participants rather than passive observers. This is the aim of the SPICE project: to foster diverse participation in the heritage domain through a process of "citizen curation". Citizens will be supported to: develop their own personal interpretations of cultural objects; work together to present their collective view of life through culture and heritage; and gain an appreciation of alternative cultural viewpoints. We aim to discuss the challenges, present our ideas for technology-based solutions and discuss them with MW participants, to gain their points of view on the matter, ideas and solutions, and encourage the community to adopt them


Chair: Jo Morrison

Cratylus: Crowd-sourced Tagging to Enhance Discoverability (Breakout 1)
David Francis, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, USA

Cratylus is a crowd-sourced tagging system that helps us describe our collection in terms of subjects and depictions we may not capture in the cataloging process (E.g., show me all works that contain depictions of roses). Using our own collection management system in combination with a IIIF image viewer and the AAT vocabularies, Cratylus empowers the public to provide rich analysis of our works and allows us to build new search interfaces that make our collections more discoverable.

Teachers' Zone: Engaging teachers online at the Canadian Museum of History (Breakout 2)
Meaghan Dalby, Canadian Museum of History, Canada, Colin Chen, Canadian Museum of History, Canada

Using the case study of the newly created Teachers’ Zone, we will explore the challenges of digitally engaging a teacher audience across Canada. The Canadian Museum of History was called to create a digital education tool that works for our wide and diverse audience. Armed with a digitized collection of over 3 million items, that includes objects, documents, audio and video clips, we aimed to present good historical content to teachers in a way that wasn’t overwhelming.

Museum professionals who are interested in reaching a teacher audience digitally, particularly as virtual learning is becoming more prominent, will find this demonstration useful.

Burma's Path to Genocide Online Exhibition: What We Learned Creating an Immersive Storytelling Experience (Breakout 3)
Alison Kitchens, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, USA

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum launched a new online exhibition, Burma’s Path to Genocide, in May 2020. The exhibition explores how the Rohingya, a religious and ethnic minority in Burma, became targets of a sustained campaign of genocide. During this demonstration, a project team member shares what the Museum team learned working on this online exhibition. She will discuss, among other topics, crafting content that is easy for audiences to understand, creating templates for a content management system, designing “immersive” experiences online, and making the site accessible for audiences.

The One Minute app: developing inclusive narrative design at the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, UK(Breakout 4)
Kevin Bacon, Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, UK

This demonstration introduces the One Minute app, a simple visitor interpretation tool built on a powerful story editor. The Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust (RPMT) will show how it is using this tool to produce more intellectually accessible storytelling in its museums and garden. It will also show the potential of rule based narrative design for empowering community co-producers to tell their stories in heritage spaces.

As a partner in the University of Brighton's DigiPiCH project, this demonstration will also briefly relate to other experiments in inclusive narrative design that it has conducted in 2020.

Van Gogh Worldwide – the making of a new digital platform providing art-historical and technical data about the works of Vincent van Gogh, using linked open data (Breakout 5)
Evelien de Visser, RKD - Netherlands Institute for Art History, Netherlands, Marjon van Schendel, Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Netherlands

Van Gogh Worldwide is a new digital platform providing art-historical and technical data about the work of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890). The aim of Van Gogh Worldwide is to present data for all of his artworks in an accessible way, via a user-friendly website. In this demonstration, we will discuss the process of developing the platform and the decisions that went into it.

Make Your Content Pop Using Interactive Multimedia eBooks! (Breakout 6)
Tom Thompson, Library and Archives Canada, Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is working on an unprecedented collaborative project, using the medium of interactive multimedia eBooks. In 2021 LAC will release an eBook highlighting content from the collections of LAC related to the Indigenous peoples of Canada. The content has been chosen by Indigenous staff at LAC and given a critical examination from their personal perspectives. Each essay is presented in the Indigenous language associated with the content whenever possible, with translations into English and French available via pop-up windows. The demonstration will feature a walk-through of this multimedia content, highlighting the interactive features of the eBook.

Synthaisthesia (Breakout 7)
Ian McDermott, Smithsonian, USA

Using augmented reality for accessibility; a new way to hear visual art. Access Smithsonian gives a sneak peek of their unreleased software that will allow visitors who are blind to experience the visuals within museums. The software allows a user to hear activated regions of an image, providing a richer understanding of artwork than a general alternative text description could achieve. By being able to experience museum objects in a way parallel to the act of seeing, museums can open new discussions and fuel greater empathy between its visitors. Join us for a live demonstration of the device, a breakdown of its open-source hardware and software, and discussion of the project’s possibilities

Facebook Horizon Live Demonstration (Breakout 8)
Paige Dansinger, Better World Museum, USA

Join Facebook Horizon Alpha Creator Paige Dansinger for a Facebook Horizon (beta) World-Building demonstration. Paige will create an interactive Starry Night using primitive shapes, gizmos, and simple block scripting. Paige has privately trained with Facebook Horizon since 2019 as a Pre-Alpha Creator to design animated and interactive worlds. In this demonstration, the attendees will witness an efficient and fun demonstration to create an immersive, animated, and interactive experience that brings new life to the world's most beloved masterpiece.

Professional Forum: Building Resilience Through Strong Digital Foundations

Building Resilience Through Strong Digital Foundations
Rielle Ullberg, Axiell, Canada, Maria Wasing, Axiell, Sweden, Samantha Diamond, CultureConnect, USA

When the world went into lockdown and the existence of cultural institutions was threatened, there came an opportunity to recalibrate and a chance to grow digitally. Most notably has been the shift from using digital for competitive relevance to using digital for building institutional resilience.

The presentation will share insights from Axiell’s 2020 digital assessment survey conducted in partnership with Museums and the Web. The data explores the sector's experiences in 2020 and assesses digital growth (or decay) since 2016 when the survey was first administered. This session explores data from the research, shares digital strategies from organizations across the sector, and highlights the importance of strong digital foundations.

Birds of a Feather

Chair: Alison Heney, PhD

Book-in-progress critique session: The Revolution Has Been Digitized - a Toolkit for the Future of Museums
Barry Joseph, Barry Joseph Consulting, USA

Inspired by my 6 years as Associate Director of Digital Learning at the American Museum of Natural History, and my 350+ blog posts documenting that work and of others leading digital innovations at museums around the world, I am writing a new book. At the time this is being submitted, it is called: The Revolution has Been Digitized - a Toolkit for the Future of Museums. This critique session is designed to give you - my fellow museum peers - an early look at the book under development (to be published by AAM in 2022) so you can provide feedback and insure it will be an effective tool to advance your work and support those around you. Please come help me more effectively advance the design of digital engagement in museums.

Virtual Coffee with Elena Gonzales, author of Exhibitions for Social Justice
Elena Gonzales, Author, Exhibitions for Social Justice, USA

Join Elena for a casual conversation of her book, Exhibitions for Social Justice, current events in the world and the world of museums, and their intersection with your own work. These days, Elena’s focus on social justice is particularly directed into research on the history and lived present of racism and environmental justice. She is exploring them through the lens of the pandemic. Bring your stories of exhibitions working for social justice, your questions about the book, and your own cozy beverage. Elena will also share worksheets from the book and let you know how to acquire a signed copy of the book.

Let’s Do This Together: Revealing the Hard Work Required to Transform Diversity in the Workplace
Jason Brooker, Metanoia Global 360, USA

The latest racial events of police brutality against African Americans have brought to the forefront an awareness of systemic racial inequalities, and conversations about diversity and inclusion that never occurred are more prevalent, including the lack of African American men and women in Senior Executive roles. This is mirrored in organizations across all industries, including GLAM. Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums are cultural institutions with a mission to provide access to knowledge. This is the time when knowledge is the key to unlock the future for all generations.

Workshop: Transforming the Museum Experience Requires More than a Light Bulb and Groupthink

Transforming the Museum Experience Requires More than a Light Bulb and Groupthink
Shanita Brackett, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, USA, Carolyn Royston, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, USA, Rachel Ginsberg

Remember when that lightbulb moment of inspiration spread like wildfire, was picked up by a conscientious group of change makers, then flopped like a pancake. Was it because the well-intentioned group of change makers fell into the abyss of groupthink? Or was it because the creative juices were halted by soured thoughts of past efforts? During this workshop, designed for both in-person and remote participants, a group of change makers will describe a new path to success they recently chartered when they reimagined the museum visitor experience and considered engagement within a variety of audiences and platforms. This workshop is not designed to be a show and tell, but rather an introduction and hands-on practice to lead transformation.

Workshop: User Journey Mapping for Museums: Visitor-focused Experience Design

User Journey Mapping for Museums: Visitor-focused Experience Design
Hanna Cho, NGX Interactive, Canada, Luyi Wang, NGX Interactive, Canada

n this hands-on workshop, participants will be introduced to user journey maps as a design tool and methodology, and learn how to apply it towards designing interactive digital exhibits and physical spaces alike. User journey mapping is a method that visually and conceptually illustrates visitor’s, needs, emotions, and perceptions throughout their relationship with an organization. Combined with subsequent user engagement and evaluation, user journey mapping can be a powerful way to establish and validate creative and interpretive goals and uncover and reduce barriers to a fulfilling and effective experience.

Journey maps can provide insight into the challenges, questions, and experiences of a single user (persona) in a given situation and

Social Event: Gameshow - Who Wants to Be a MWillionaire? hosted by Barry Joseph

Come compete in the first MuseWeb gameshow: Who Wants to Be a MWillionaire? Have fun playing with other MuseWeb participants, laughing, and learning something new. A few lucky individuals will leave with some conference swag and some serious bragging rights. No previous experience required.

- James Sims Jr., Katherine Behnke, International Women's Air & Space Museum, USA

Gameshow: Who Wants to Be a MWillionaire?
Barry Joseph, Barry Joseph Consulting, USA

Come compete in the first MuseWeb gameshow: Who Wants to Be a MWillionaire? Have fun playing with other MuseWeb participants, laughing, and learning something new. A few lucky individuals will leave with some conference swag and some serious bragging rights. No previous experience required.

Opening Keynote Panel: Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution & Arianna Davis, Director of O, The Oprah Magazine

In this session, Arianna Davis, Digital Director of O, The Oprah Magazine, will interview Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, a position he assumed in 2019. As Secretary, he oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and numerous education and research centers.

Bunch was formerly the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He began this position in 2005 with one staff member, and no funding, collections, or location for a museum. Propelled by a dedication to build “a place that would make America better,” Bunch brought his vision to life. The museum now boasts a collection of 40,000 objects and has welcomed over 6 million visitors since opening in 2016.



[caption id="attachment_7969" align="alignleft" width="214"] Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian. (Michael Barnes/Smithsonian Institution Archives)[/caption]

Bunch will be interviewed by Ariana Davis, Digital Director of O, The Oprah Magazine, where she manages all editorial, social, and video content and strategy for She is also the author of What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly, inspired by the life of artist Frida Kahlo, and is an adjunct professor of writing and editing for New York University's Digital & Print Media Master's program.

The speakers will be introduced by Shanita Brackett, Co-Chair of the MW21 Conference, who will also moderate a Q&A between Davis and Bunch following the interview. Brackett is also the Walmart Director of Visitor and Guest Services at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.

Chair: Shanita Brackett

Paper Session: Innovation in the museum

Chair: Piotr Adamczyk

From the Server Room to the Board Room: A Decade of Creating Digital Literacy at the CMA
Jane Alexander, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA

This paper will present the digital department at the Cleveland Museum of Art as a case study for bringing digital to the table and creating effective workflows for internal and external projects alike. Most importantly, we will elaborate on our driving philosophy - no siloes, no one-off projects, and always one source of truth!
Over a decade ago, the IT department was by itself in the server room. Through an iterative process of workflow changes and departmental reorganization, we now work through projects from the beginning to launch and have top-level support.
After a year of working in this new landscape, necessitated by the pandemic, we will also elaborate on how we brought our museum staff up to the next level of digital literacy.

Employee experience is a key to success: Improving our museum from the inside out
Wendy Pryor, Museums Victoria, Australia

In 2018 Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia re-focused on employee experience as a key input to delivering its ambitious strategic plan. The primary project input was a staff survey to elicit specific barriers to getting work done. The survey results were used as impetus for two related initiatives: the Business Improvement Group and the Digital Technology Plan.

By describing the process and highlighting transferable features, as well as lessons learned, the paper presents an example of a scalable approach to back office improvement in museums. Ideally readers will be inspired to revisit their own digital transformation strategies from the inside out, leveraging new and ever more available technologies to improve employee experience.

Paper Session: Leadership in the Museum

Chair: Elena Gonzales

Digital diplomacy in the midst of (post) pandemic crisis: Inspiring, educating, contributing to global peace and well-being.
Natalia Grincheva, School of Creative Industries, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

This presentation explores opportunities and challenges of digital museum diplomacy developed during the Covid-19 outbreak by surveying the best practices and examples of the museum work and activities conducted during the covid-19 pandemic crisis. On the one hand, it will expose how digital museum spaces could provide important sites of cultural diplomacy by fulfilling two important functions of diplomacy: national projection and cultural relations. On the other hand, my presentation will illuminate how online museum programs, developed in response to (post) pandemic situation and challenges, in fact, continue to enthuse and educate audiences across borders, adhering to ideals of multilateral diplomacy and aspiring to global wellbeing.

Learning ‘Digital Courage’: Using Technology to Build Agency and Equality in the Museum Workforce
Sophie Frost, University of Leicester, UK

The coronavirus pandemic has added a greater sense of urgency to existing deficits in digital skills in museums. We need to learn to practice "digital courage" in our museums and heritage organisations. More collaborative and less individualistic than "confidence," "digital courage" has the practice of equality at its core. This is an idea that reclaims digital activity as a radical, equalising practice that, by including all the voices that make up a museum workforce, can speak more clearly to audiences and communities. This session will feature voices and case studies from recent UK-US "One by One" research collaboration, including museum people from Royal Pavilion & Museums Brighton & Hove, and units across the Smithsonian Institution.

An innovative tool to program exhibitions in museums
Ursula Imbernon, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Spain, Maria del Mar Casanovas-Rubio, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain, Jaume Armengou, IESE Business School, España, marta crispí, Universitat Interancional de Catalunya, Spain. Catalonia

Have you ever thought how exhibitions are chosen in museums? Do the museums follow any theory or method to do so? This presentation presents a new and innovative model to optimize the decisions when programming exhibitions in museums. The research methodology is based on the multi-criteria decision-making, specifically on Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT), widely used in other sectors such as engineering. This method helps in selecting the most appropriate choice among others, optimizing the decision-making process and the final result. The presentation exposes the application of the tool in CaixaForum (Spain).

Paper Session: Marketing Now

Chair: Jane Finnis

Meet the Users: Understanding the User Experience on Museums' Social Media
Sophia Bakogianni, Open University of Cyprus, Cyprus

This paper aims to clarify who the followers of museums on social media platforms are, what they like, what motivates them and what they expect from museums. We pursue a comprehensive understanding of the users' experiences that shape their following of museums on social media. This is a mixed-method, cross-platform, multi-site, empirical study, using both online surveys and online interviews to gain a better understanding of the people who follow or not museums on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter). The analysis is framed by the conceptualization of "experience" from three perspectives: from people's communicative practices, views, and emerged feelings through their interaction with museums on social media.

Pandemic Prototyping and Augmenting the Art Museum
Ben Millstein, Local Projects, USA, Eric Mika, Local Projects, USA, Meredith Gregory

Norton Art+ is a new augmented-reality (AR) iPad app developed in partnership with exhibition designer Local Projects for the Norton Museum of Art. The app is designed specifically for use at the museum, in the context of six artworks. It goes beyond simply adding a digital layer of curation, empowering visitors to create in the style of the artists whose work they're observing.

Our proposed formal paper will take readers through the remote prototyping process we developed due to the pandemic, explore how the app achieved its core goals, and draw on previous scholarship to understand how this digital layer focused on drawing visitors' attention to the visual and process-driven dimensions of an artist's work resulted in positive feedback.

Addressing social media challenges and choices of top European museums during COVID-19: realities and trends
Georgios Papaioannou, Ionian University, Greece, Greece, Eleni Sfyridou, Ionian University, Greece

This paper addresses the social media presence of the "top" museums in twenty-seven European countries (as per TripAdvisor 2018) during the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues and builds upon the work presented at the MW20 conference. We aim to address the change in the approaches and practices, as well as to identify new social media channels, policies, and strategies employed by museums towards supporting museums as online-only entities during the pandemic, expanding audiences, seeking new sources of income, re-approaching sustainability, maintaining and/or developing educational roles, and supporting local communities. Our comparative approach aims to offer an insight into the role of social media in museums' new normalcy.

Professional Forum: “It’s not iteration if you do it only once.”: Lean UX and pushing for iteration in a waterfall world

“It’s not iteration if you do it only once.”: Lean UX and pushing for iteration in a waterfall world
Gretchen Halverson, Minneapolis Institute of Art, USA, Alyssa Machida, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, USA, Molly Horton, Lexi Rose

In this professional forum, we will break down the principles and processes of LeanUX, a methodology that combines Design Thinking and Agile software development, and Lean Startup methods which touts a "build-measure-learn" approach in order to minimize project risk and support teams in speed and efficiency. We’ll provide the tools and templates to begin implementing LeanUX practices on large-scale digital projects in museums while outlining the ways it improved outcomes for the creation of an online learning resource ultimately leading toward increased user adoption and benefits to internal relationships and collaboration.

How-to Session: How to identify your museum's economic impact on your community

How to identify your museum's economic impact on your community
Eric Moraczewski, NMBL Strategies, USA, Dion Brown

NMBL Strategies' CEO, Eric Moraczewski and Dion Brown, Managing Director of Nonprofit Services, look forward to sharing the economic influence museums and green spaces can make upon communities. It will be a time where the audience is invited to think of opportunities of how to come out of this significant time in our history stronger than ever. The speakers welcome plenty of Q&A to make the session dynamic and collaborative.

How-to Session: The Cultural Institution as a Brand - A New Way of Thinking

The Cultural Institution as a Brand: A New Way of Thinking
Sara Tetreault, Forum One, USA, Joey Tackett, Forum One, USA

Viewing your organization from the lens of a strategic brand-building perspective allows cultural institutions to build strong, appealing consumer brands. In this session, we will explore a brand framework for developing a lasting and unique brand story by seeing your institution through your audiences' eyes.

Professional Forum: Taking Big Ideas and Making Them Work

Taking Big Ideas and Making Them Work — How to Bring Agility to Everything You Do
Jill Roberts, National Museum of African American History and Culture, USA, Adam Martin, National Museum of African American History and Culture, USA

Join us for a discussion of how one team at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture took on a "Big Idea" to create a new digital exhibition experience and used it to begin to develop a more inclusive and collaborative culture of innovation within the museum.

Professional Forum: All Museum for All People

Chair: Robin Marquis

All Museums for All People - The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
Dan Cooper, Centre Screen Ltd, UK, Hayley Walsh, Centre Screen Ltd, UK

"All sports for all people.“
- Pierre de Coubertin, Founder of the Modern Olympic Games

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum (USOPM) opened in Colorado Springs, CO, on July 31, 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, with the goal of becoming one of the most accessible museums in the world. With full parity for individuals with and without disabilities established right upfront in the museum’s name, it was imperative that the exhibition content and design was inclusive in all aspects.

Dan Cooper (Head of Interactive) presents his paper on the project development and delivery, first published in Inclusive Digital Interactives: Best Practices and Research.

Lightning Talk 1 - Leadership

Chair: Bruce Wyman redesign: A unique institution’s website success story
John Meyerhofer, HMML, USA

Facing problems with the usability and functionality of our website, the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) recently underwent a website redesign. As HMML is dedicated to the digital preservation of other libraries, museums, and archives, the website required unique decisions about the structure, content, and design to facilitate online access and discoverability for multiple users. These include the scholars and our partner libraries, foundations, donors, and the general public interested in HMML's unique mission to preserve hand-written culture. Learn how we were able to maximize our team’s talents, work with a volunteer, function with a limited budget, to create a highly functional website that is utilized around the world.

How a Rebrand and Renovation Showed the Need for a New Digital Presence
Kassandra Swenson, Forum One, USA, Christine Perlick, Forum One, USA

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is a catalyst for advancing arts education, enhancing the quality of life, and promoting civic and cultural development in the Little Rock community and beyond. In an effort to elevate their visibility, the museum launched a significant rebrand in January 2021 and is undergoing a complete renovation of their physical space. During renovations, it became clear that the museum’s existing digital presence would not do justice to the quality of their new space and renowned collection. Forum One designed and built a new online home for the AMFA, creating new opportunities for the museum to engage with their existing audience and cultivate new users. The new site highlights the world-class artwork in the museum’s

How we Collaborated for the Greater Good!
Karen Engen, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Australia

The presentation will outline some practical examples of the successes and challenges that come with a large collaborative, complex, digital project with many facets, and reflections on the collaborative approach that could be used elsewhere.

It will present an overview of a Tasmanian state-wide collaborative project called The Digital Cultural Experience (DCE) Project.  The DCE Project was born out of four major institutions desire to collaborate to digitally transform the states cultural collections.  As leaders in the cultural sector in Tasmania they saw an opportunity to work together to achieve more for the state’s collections and its users, together, than any partner could achieve on its own.

Responding digitally to community needs: digital interfaces and the changing functions of civic museums in the US and the UK
Lara Perry, University of Brighton, UK

Changing funding priorities, frameworks for understanding the value of culture, and audience values, have placed a premium on serving social inclusion and audience wellbeing for small museums. This lightning talk will give a quick guide to three projects in small, civic museums in the US and UK that tried to navigate these demands in 2020, for the benefit of both audiences and their host museum. Can apps, websites and online events make your museum more accessible to wider audiences with diverse needs? Of course they can, and I'll share some findings from our project about what works best from the point of view of the user, and the provider.

Solving for Grant Funding Inequity with the Lucidea Database and Workbook
Rachael Woody, Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC, USA

Very few museums were prepared for the economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. With museum admissions, event rentals, and retail dollars drying up museum found themselves facing catastrophic financial losses. Relief funding hasn’t been enough and what is available is handed out as grants via the federal, state, and local levels. While some museums have the staffing capacity and knowledge to successfully apply for grant funding, it’s an inequitable system leaving many small to moderate museums behind. Seeing the devastation, and knowing how overwhelmed many museum colleagues were feeling, Rachael Woody teamed up with Lucidea to create a grant resource that solves for the equity gap in grant funding. Together, Woody and Lucidea built a comp

Plenary: #HashtagTheCowboy & MoMA’s Security Officers Speak for Themselves

Co-Chair Rich Cherry will introduce two programs innovative programs and moderate a discussion around these boundary pushing efforts:

#HashtagTheCowboy: How a Global Pandemic Became an Opportunity to Do “Different”


When the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City shut its doors on March 17, 2020, the museum's Director of Security and Operations was tasked with taking over the museum’s social media accounts. Since then, the museum’s social media following has soared; their Twitter account peaked at 300,000 followers, and their Instagram and Facebook pages each gained tens of thousands of followers. In this program, Seth Spillman, Chief Marketing Officer for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, will discuss the museum’s closure and how appointing a social media novice led to a marketing triumph in the midst of a global pandemic.

MoMA’s Security Officers Speak for Themselves

Museums have long called upon experts from a variety of backgrounds within the field to engage a broad audience through their unique perspectives. The “Beyond the Uniform” program at the Museum of Modern Art went one step further by calling upon experts already within the museum: security staff. The project resulted in an audio guide and a day of public programming initiated by the socially-engaged artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo and created by nine artists who work in the museum’s Security Department. This panel will present findings from “Beyond the Uniform”, encouraging museum professionals to look past existing structures in order to engage audiences with new perspectives.

“I think people just see me in a uniform but don't know who I am. You don't know that I've written over a hundred songs. . . . I’m more than just a suit.”

– Kevin Reid, Security Officer and Artist

Photo Credit: Beyond the Uniform by Chemi Rosado-Seijo, featuring Eric Scott, Chet Gold, Brian Wilson, Kevin Reid (back row), Joseph N. Tramantano, Rabbila Konock, Eva Luisa Rodríguez, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Jose Colon, and Jose Martinez (front row). The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Beatriz
Meseguer/ © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York


Chair: Rich Cherry

MoMA’s Security Officers Speak for Themselves
Alethea Rockwell, Museum of Modern Art, USA, Jose Colon, Museum of Modern Art, USA, Chet Gold, Museum of Modern Art, USA, Rabbila Konock, Museum of Modern Art, USA, José Martinez, Museum of Modern Art, USA, Christine Murray, Art Processors, USA, Kevin Reid, Museum of Modern Art, USA, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, MoMA, Puerto Rico, Joseph Tramantano, MoMA, USA, Brian Wilson, MoMA, America, Hannah Fagin, Museum of Modern Art, USA

What happens when you truly give over programming control to people who do not typically have creative power within museums? Find out from this collective group of MoMA security officers who are also artists themselves. They will share their knowledge and experience creating Beyond the Uniform, a series of visitor-facing programs that included officer-led art-making, live performances, in-gallery talks, workshops and a public panel, as well as a museum-wide audio guide that has been incorporated into MoMA’s permanent interpretive offerings. The group will discuss defying institutional expectations, breaking rules, and how they built a new culture of shared authorship within MoMA.

#HashtagTheCowboy: How a Global Pandemic Became an Opportunity to Do “Different”
Seth Spillman, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum , USA

Tim Tiller serves as the director of security and operations at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. But after the museum closed on March 17, he was asked to take over the museum's social media accounts during the  shutdown.

He said he was "brand new" to social media and made his first tweet:

"Hello Friends, my name is Tim and I am the head of security for The Cowboy. I have been asked to take on the additional duty of social media management while the museum is closed. I'm new to social media but excited to share what I am told is called 'content' on all of The Cowboy's what I am told are 'platforms' including the Twitter, the Facebook, and the Instagram. My team and I will also continue to protect and monitor the museum and grou

How-to Session: Conversational Marketing - Can Chatbots Increase Engagement with Your Museum?

Conversational Marketing: Can Chatbots Increase Engagement with Your Museum?
Christina Crawley, Forum One, USA

This past year has challenged cultural institutions and museums to explore new engagement channels — from helping online users to more easily find what they are looking for, to engaging them in an educational and inspiring virtual experience. As online users attempt to navigate all that is out there (and there is more than ever!), conversational marketing can provide a user-friendly approach that gets them engaging sooner and more deeply.

In this session, we'll explore: What is conversational marketing, and how does it work? How to create a more personal approach to your digital content to deepen user engagement and facilitate user journeys? Why conversational marketing makes a lot of sense for cultural institutions and museums.

Professional Forum: Beyond the Collecting Social Photo project

Beyond the Collecting Social Photo project – Implementing practices and digital tools for collecting social digital photography into four Nordic museums and archives
Kajsa Hartig, Västernorrlands museum , Sweden, Bente Jensen, Aalborg City Archives, Denmark , Anni Wallenius, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Finland, Elisabeth Boogh, Stockholm County Museum, Sweden, Aron Ambrosiani, Nordiska museet, Sweden

Over the past three years Collecting Social Photo, a Nordic research project, has explored methods for collecting social digital photography in museums and archives. The results are a set of recommendations, that in 2020 was shared with the international museum and archives sectors. The professional forum is aiming to explore the practical consequences of applying new methods into five Nordic national, regional and local institutions museums and archives, all with different missions as well as backgrounds in collecting from social media / social digital photography.

Professional Forum: Neurological Perceptions of Art through Augmented and Virtual Realities

Chair: Robin White Owen

Neurological Perceptions of Art through Augmented and Virtual Realities
Brendan Ciecko, Cuseum, USA

Ever since Walter Benjamin published his influential essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” in 1935, the art and cultural world has been fascinated by what makes art “real.” In light of advancements in AR and VR technology, this session revisits questions about how people experience art through various forms. We will expound upon a ten-month research study conducted by a team of neuroscientists, supervised by MIT faculty, which examined the emotive responses to original artworks, as compared to their AR and VR equivalents. The study sits at the intersection of tech, neuroscience, arts + culture, and museum studies, and represents the pinnacle of how cross-disciplinary research can deliver fresh insights to museums.

Professional Forum: The Power of Wikidata

The Power of Wikidata
Jennie Choi, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA, Andrew Lih, Wikimedia, USA

Take a deep dive into Wikidata. Learn what it is, what the benefits are, see existing use cases, and learn how to contribute data.

MW Wellness & Resilience Room - Starry Night Museumspace & Draw a Flowerbomb on Twitter!


Sponsored by 



MW Wellness & Resilience Room - April 16
Paige Dansinger, Better World Museum, USA

Another proposal will follow this for MW Wellness & Resilience Room for April 30th - Innovation.

Lightning Talk 2 - Audience Engagement

Chair: Eric Moraczewski

Beyond Museum Walls: Locative media providing encounters with European history
Jo Morrison, Calvium, UK, Fabrizio Nevola, University of Exeter, UK

The Hidden Cities research project enables us to explore how locative media releases the histories held within a museum's walls to urban public spaces. As such, we can examine how public spaces, from street-corners to major city squares, were shaped by the everyday activities of ordinary city-dwellers.
Audience members learn how:
- locative media supports public engagement with history in urban space;
- the practice of creating locative media enhances the understanding of museum professionals;
- museums can extend the stories of their collections in to the physical fabric of shared urban spaces;
- museums can benefit from conceptualising public space as a blend of physical and digital settings, i.e. hybrid public space.

Designing Digital Learning
Bridget Hanna, Museums Victoria, Australia

Imagine what you could do in a museum learning space that was truly interoperable! With the opening of Melbourne Museum’s first-of-its-kind Learning Lab, a new digital vision for museums has emerged. This talk explores the creative process behind the development of the Learning Lab, working with collaborators across the sector - from teacher focus groups, digital designers, First Peoples advisors and every department available at Museums Victoria. We examine the challenges along the way, including the use of digital technologies to support co-creation as well as producing an immersive digital experience and creating a suite of programs that appeals to all audiences. 

K-12 needs you to de-colonize, asap
Deborah Howes, Howes Studio Inc, USA

The wheels of collection information production are finally turning in some interesting and promising directions towards diversity, equity, accessibility & inclusion (DEAI). So are national standards for teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools. Hear my value proposition for making school teachers and their students a target audience for your museum’s re-imagined content. Short and long term gains, even income-generating ones, will be proposed and discussed with equal parts humor and insight. Case studies are drawn from real experiences including the Brooklyn Historical Society (now Brooklyn Center for History) and the Gilcrease Museum; your mileage may vary.

From Getty to Google: Taking Exhibits Online when Galleries are Closed
Betsy Werner Brand, J. Paul Getty Museum, USA, Thuy Bui, J.Paul Getty Museum, USA

Google's not-for-profit platform Arts & Culture allows visitors to get up-close-and-personal with objects in ways the average visitor can't in-gallery. In this lightning talk, Getty Museum discusses its approach to publishing content, the process for soliciting and developing ideas, and the new workflow they created to publish 22 new online exhibits in 9 months.

More valuable than gold: Your visitors attention
Michael Neault, Art Institute of Chicago , USA

Museums often discuss methods for attracting the attention of visitors, but how do you effectively manage that attention once you actually have it? As visitors navigate the online or the onsite experience, they have a limited amount of time and attention — how do you guide them respectfully, ethically, and engagingly? Living outside an advertising model, museums don’t need to follow the practices of other “attention merchants,” like streaming video or journalism, who fiscally benefit from every click or every minute watched. This lightning talk will cover the internet, the gravitational pull it has on your attention, and how you can intentionally respect your visitor’s attention through design.

App Crit

This Crit Room is an opportunity for an interactive conversation between an expert panel of peer reviewers, attendees in the session and the creator(s),editor(s), producer(s) and/or project manager(s) of a recent project in the following category: Public-facing Apps – iOS and Android, touch tables, kiosks and bespoke hardware (as distinct from websites including mobile sites)

Chair: Kate Raisz

- Yvel Guelce, Children's Museum of Indianapolis, USA, Brad MacDonald, Shelley Kobrenski, Richard Lewis Media Group, USA

Digital learning resources for museums and teachers with LessonUp
Iris Harpman, LessonUp, Nederland

LessonUp is a platform to teach and to easily create interactive lessons and is available to anybody who wants to create, share or use a lesson, such as teachers, schools, museums and foundations. In this crit session Educational Specialist Iris Harpman will present two cases from two museums, The Van Gogh Museum (NL) and the Migration Museum (UK), who already work with LessonUp. LessonUp would love to help more teachers and museums. That’s why we want to actively involve the participants and let them think about our “the chicken or the egg dilemma”. Can LessonUp help museums (so museums become pioneers on the platform) or does LessonUp first need more international users to interest more museums?

App crit - Cook's Voyages
peter tattersall, Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia

To help guide their decisions and actions, players have the opportunity to learn from Larila, a proud Pakana woman from Tasmania’s North East. For the first time, players have the opportunity to engage with perspectives from both on the shore, as well as from the ship, making this a landmark game that responds to our dynamic understanding of these early interactions between the British and Australia’s First People. If players choose to act responsibly, they can learn language from five different nations as they travel up Australia’s East Coast while also taking the opportunity to record the local plants and animals on Country at each location.
The game is designed to challenge students across a series of content areas, as well as engaging

Augmented Reality Microscope - InsectaAR
eddie carbin, Gizmo, USA

Insecta AR was created for the Lawrence Hall of Science, working closely with a team of researchers for an Augmented Reality grant. Developed for the live animal room this virtual petting zoo gives the visitor an eye-opening view of the vast world of invertebrates

App Crit-Getty's Animal Crossing Art Generator
David Newbury, Getty, USA

Add Art to your Nintendo Animal Crossing game using Getty's Animal Crossing Art Generator!

With this tool you can fill your island with art and transform your home into a world-class art gallery. Create your own custom patterns featuring artwork from famous art collections around the world.

Patterns can be used in Animal Crossing to make shirts, cover walls and floors, make paintings for an easel or canvas, and for display on mannequins. Delightful! 

App Crit: Gettysburg Battlefield Augmented Reality App
Eric Veal, Interactive Knowledge, Inc., USA, Tim Songer, Interactive Knowledge, Inc., USA

Each scene includes one or more characters who are designated as ‘ambassadors’ for that event. A rotating triangle above the ambassador’s head is touchable and begins the conversation. The ambassador turns toward the user and talks about the situation they find themselves in using clear audio. The scripts were prepared by ABT’s Chief Historian and reflect the language and sentiments current in 1863. The details included in these scripts are surprising and open a portal to the past that is unique and very memorable. Each ambassador has one or more comments to tell the user. All comments can be repeated in order to share the experience with other members of your group

Paper Session: Audience Creativity, Perception and Health

Chair: Seema Rao

More than numbers: how visitor engagement data can be captured and used to amplify your creativity
Tim Stroh, Art Processors, Australia

Presentation and discussion of a three-phase research program designed to generate a better understanding of the wider consumer market, museum visitors, and their engagement with objects and spaces. Research results encompassing (1) literature review, (2) direct research on visitors conducted in 2020 at major U.S. and Australian museums, and (3) analysis of the single largest data set in existence of museum-visitor movement, dwell time, and interactions will be shared. Useful take-aways will include: (1) a new model for segmenting the consumer market place and visitors, (2) a description of pragmatic cost effective tools for capturing engagement data, and (3) methods for using insights to amplify creativity and impact.

Optimising online cultural content to positively impact mental health in young people
Helen Adams, GLAM, University of Oxford, UK

Cultural venues are increasingly recognised by social and healthcare systems to offer benefits for mental health and wellbeing. However, there has been little research to date on whether online cultural content also has a part to play. The COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique opportunity to investigate this area, due to the closure of museums, a surge in online activity, a spike in mental health problems (particularly in young people) and reduced support services. This session shares the research and co-production undertaken by museum and psychiatry staff at the University of Oxford, and the evaluation of a medical intervention to provide evidence-based tips on optimising digital content to combat anxiety and depression in young people.

Paper Session: Education & Innovation

Chair: Barry Joseph

Rapid-Response Educating
Vince Dziekan, Monash University, Australia

This paper shares the unsettling experience of teaching through the global pandemic through the case of Design for Culture and Heritage, a postgraduate unit at Monash University that introduces students to design practice in the cultural heritage domain. The disruptive impact of the coronavirus called for a reconceptualized approach to curriculum, and demanded it be performed in real-time. This paper addresses the potential of design-led creative pedagogy to museum practice. By reflecting upon what this case of "rapid-response education" teaches us, these learnings will contribute to how educational programmes can be designed to inspire the next generation of practitioners to rise to the challenges of a Post-COVID, post-digital museum.

Students as innovators: a digital humanities and GLAM sector collaboration to produce new web-based content through student led projects
Katrina Grant, Australian National University, Australia, Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Australian National University, Australia

This paper will share the success of research-led teaching and GLAM sector collaborations developed as part of a Digital Humanities teaching program at the Australian National University. This project offered a shared solution to two distinct problems. For teaching in DH we found students, while fascinated by the GLAM and DH crossover space, struggled to evaluate the challenges and affordances of digital resources developed for collection-based research and engagement when studied in the abstract. For our GLAM partners, project deadlines, organisational structures, and, most importantly, budgets constrained innovative work with digitised collections.

Paper Session: Engagement through Media

Chair: Corey Timpson

CHAR: An Online Collection and Database of Augmented Reality apps in Museums and Cultural Heritage Sites
Liron Efrat, University of Toronto, Canada

This paper presents CHAR: a collection that groups over 100 cultural heritage AR apps and related materials, including apps for museums, art projects, activism, and AR apps for archeological and heritage sites. In this collection, I identify twelve categories of AR application in cultural heritage settings, and I use them to classify the projects. In CHAR, entries documenting AR projects can be browsed individually and in groups based on their AR category. These AR categories are indicative of twelve ways to (re)construct the user experience of cultural heritage content and sites, and they contribute to the field by providing an overarching, medium-specific framework for both the analysis and production of AR apps in cultural settings.

Visualizing Collaboration: Video Production and Decolonial Curation between the Museum and the University
Aynur Kadir, University of Waterloo, Canada, Kate Hennessy, Simon Fraser University, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Canada, Sharon Fortney, Museum of Vancouver, Canada, Viviane Gosselin, Museum of Vancouver, Canada, Beth Carter, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Canada, Kwiaahwah Jones, Museum of Vancouver, Canada

In this paper, we came together as educators and curators to discuss our collaborations with artists and students over the last five years, and the role of collaborative video production processes as a part of decolonial curatorial work and pedagogy across our institutions. The dialogic form of our paper situates our collaborations in relation to institutional discourse of indigenization and reconciliation, raising the question of whether or not institutions like universities, museums, and galleries can claim to advance reconciliation while continuing to function as colonial institutions, and how applied collaborations between our institutions might contribute to the understanding of these dynamics in meaningful ways.

Using Augmented Reality (AR) to Create Immersive and Accessible Museums for People with Vision-Impairments
Nihanth Cherukuru, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA

Augmented Reality (AR) technology has been predominantly used to develop applications that visually augment physical spaces. However, the enabling technologies of AR such as image detection and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping could be used to augment spaces using other sensory modalities such as audio and haptics. This presentation focuses on an application which utilizes this approach to serve low-vision and blind visitors, by allowing them to autonomously and safely explore exhibitions and galleries. The motivation for the project, overview of the underlying technology, implementation details of a prototype followed by limitations and challenges of this approach will be presented.

Inspirational Graffiti Wall: Inspiration is Everywhere by Lyrics & Lattes Podcast

Please leave your Graffiti here throughout the Conference!

Please join hosts Jason R.L Wallace and  Trevor DeSaussure, from Lyrics and Lattes Podcast as they sip the newest brew while extracting life lessons, wisdom, and self-development tips from your favorite hip-hop songs. During this event - Jason and Trevor will pull quotes from the graffiti wall and pair them up with hip-hop lyrics to share motivational and funny tidbits from artists. Padlet Wall will be up before the conference for the MW community to submit the inspirations and submit your favorite artists/songs.

We will also encourage members to submit their favorite artists/songs in advance and extract inspiration from them. We believe that inspiration is all around us and to stop looking for motivation and recognize that is always in front of you.  Submit your favorite artists/songs on the Graffiti Wall.

Chair: James Sims Jr.

Inspiration is Everywhere by Lyrics & Lattes Podcast
Jason R.L Wallace, Lyrics & Lattes Podcast, USA, Trevor DeSaussure, Lyrics and Lattes Podcast, USA, Joshua Bryant, Lyrics and Lattes Podcast, USA

If you’re a music buff that enjoys inspirational and self-development tips, Lyrics & Lattes podcast Live session is perfect for you. Join hosts Jason and Trevor as they sip the newest brew and read through the conference's Infamous Graffiti Wall, pairing them with similar hip-hop lyrics. Hosts will also be taking song suggestions live, extracting lyrics and using them to inspire you! Yes, we will take ANY hip-hop song you give us, and make it motivational! Inspiration is Everywhere!

Pandemic - From collecting to engagement: Exploring COVID-19 and Diversity in Cultural Heritage organizations

Chair: Rich Cherry

Pandemic - From collecting to engagement: Exploring COVID-19 and Diversity in Cultural Heritage organizations
Rich Cherry, Museum Operations, USA, Tyree Boyd-Pates, Autry Museum of the American West, USA, Elena Gonzales, Author, Exhibitions for Social Justice, USA

This plenary panel will continue a critical discussion focused on the response of cultural heritage organizations to the twin pandemic: COVID-19 and systemic racism. Guest panelists Tyree Boyd-Pates, Omar Eaton-Martinez, and Elena Gonzales will explore these issues from the perspectives of collections and exhibitions, educational and public programs, audience engagement and organizational innovation.   

Professional Forum: Building Online Maker Communities During Crisis

Building Online Maker Communities During Crisis
Adrienne Lalli Hills, Oklahoma Contemporary, USA, Stephanie Keating Miller, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, USA, Maddie Armitage, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA

Join the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Oklahoma Contemporary in a discussion about creating community through art-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will discuss both in-person and virtual studios and workshops as spaces for museums to build bridges to and with the public. Participants will hear case studies from the presenters and be invited to share their own experiences as well as contribute to a Google Doc that will serve as a database, allowing interested museum professionals to continue collaborating and learning from and with one another into the future.

Professional Forum: How COVID-19 Accelerated Digital Engagement and Sustainable Digital Transformation

How COVID-19 Accelerated Digital Engagement and Sustainable Digital Transformation
Brendan Ciecko, Cuseum, USA, Kara Fikse, Holly Shen, Hilary-Morgan Watt, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, USA, Emily Haight, New-York Historical Society, USA, Liz Neely, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, USA

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced museums to close their doors, many turned their attention to new digital content projects, virtual programs, and online events to help keep audiences engaged. Beyond the period of lockdown, however, COVID-19 has accelerated organization-wide digital transformation in museums, which has the potential to change the cultural landscape as we know it. Indeed, many organizations have captured the momentum brought on by the pandemic to create actionable change. COVID-19 has ushered in a new era of multi-channel digital engagement, virtual events, digital revenue generation, and fresh attention to innovation and digital tools. This is likely to have an enduring impact on the cultural field.

Professional Forum: Technology and Museums during a Pandemic: Friend or Foe?

Technology and Museums during a Pandemic: Friend or Foe?
Felicia Ingram, North Carolina Museum of Art, USA, Kevin Kane, Emily Kotecki, Museum Learning Consultant and Podcaster, USA, Molly Trask-Price

This forum will cover the urgent revisions the North Carolina Museum of Art made to our exhibition and interpretation strategies as a result of COVID-19. This includes what shifts we made, how our approaches met resistance, and how we might design and execute digital implementations with confidence moving forward. Stories from the audience will be encouraged as this session will focus largely on perspective sharing and amiable disagreement. Together we hope to uncover most practical and equitable paths forward for museum technology in 2021. Group discussion will be led by Interpretation Specialists, an Exhibit Designer, and a Technologist from the NC Museum of Art.

Lightning Talk 3 - Pandemic and Digital Transformation

Chair: Rob Lancefield

2020: No Social Distancing in Museum
Paige Dansinger, Better World Museum, USA

Better World Museum and the Horizon Art Museum became platforms for dispelling isolation and powerlessness in the face of Covid, Climate, Colonialism, and Corruption. With no social distancing in Virtual Reality, the two museums were centers of community, connection, empowerment, skill-building, value, and social action. Our programs became a model for museums and VR communities throughout the metaverse. This Lightening Presentation shared transformative ways that social VR helped create more resilient people, groups, and communities in the most challenging times that contributed to a measurable sense of wellbeing for participants.

Virtual Tours 2020 / 2021, Solo or Social?
Robin White Owen, MediaCombo, Inc., USA

2020 was the year when suddenly every museum wanted to have a virtual tour, just like a decade ago when every museum wanted to have a mobile app. 2021 could be the year for virtual tours that are actually social, and fun! In this talk I’ll compare last year’s typical virtual museum tours, which were inexpensive to produce and informative but not inviting, with what’s possible to accomplish on virtual platforms that are designed to be social, so that lots of people can visit museum exhibitions together, as they do in real life. We’ll look at social VR platforms like Engage and AltspaceVR, as well as custom virtual museums like VOMA and the Museum of Other Realities, as well as the latest offering in this space, Curatours.

Accessibility and inclusion: A case for valuing duplication over exclusivity
Audra Buck-Coleman, design researcher, USA, Cheryl Fogle-Hatch, independent professional, USA

In this lightning talk we advocate for increased exhibition duplication to achieve greater accessibility and inclusion. Using Redefine/ABLE: Challenging Inaccessibility, a recent exhibition as a case study, we will address why duplication is important, show ways of achieving it, and acknowledge micro and macro barriers to inclusion. Redefine/ABLE began as an exhibition that would be realized in two different physical locations and an online presence. It became an online-only social media exhibition due to the COVID-19 restrictions. We will share insights about valuing duplication in the exhibition’s original physical installation locations, its implemented online installation spaces, and its related programming.

Hidden Stories - New Voices
Mark Osterman, Lowe Art Museum - University of Miami, USA

Presenter will discuss Hidden Stories - New Voices digital interactive development. Hidden Stories - New Voices digital interactive is designed to surface unseen narratives while simultaneously empowering their chroniclers. Thus, the community has been invited to reflect upon and respond to twelve works from the Lowe’s Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque art.

Your Museum Should Talk Like a Human on the Internet
Hannah Ostroff, Smithsonian, USA

If your museum was a person, what would they talk like? You don’t want to sound stuffy, but you’re also not Wendy’s. This presentation will cover how the Smithsonian developed a voice for its central social media accounts—a voice that celebrates scientific achievements, marks historic anniversaries, and makes jokes about art—and then employed it for both joyful and difficult topics during 2020. Learn how this institution mapped out its digital persona, and how to apply its tactics to museum communications.

Being There When You Can't Be There: Virtual Couriering and Site Visits in a Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World
Adrien Mooney, National Museum of the American Indian, USA, Annie Farrar, Jenna Shaw

The Covid-19 pandemic upended many aspects of managing museum collections, especially those that were to go on loan or return from other institutions. Many loans require a courier to be present, but with Covid-related travel restrictions, Smithsonian registration staff have turned to virtual couriering and site visits as an interim measure. Because of the rapid and unexpected nature of needing to adapt new practices, there have been many challenges but there have also been successes. This paper will share lessons learned during several virtual couriering experiences, suggested best practices moving forward, and explore how virtual technologies may provide more opportunities for oversight in specific instances in the post-pandemic world.

Multilingual Museum Engagement in the COVID Era
Will Lach, Eriksen Translations Inc., USA

In a country where more than one in five Americans speaks another language at home, multilingual access underscores cultural institutions’ mission-driven role in society. In the COVID era, this mission takes on greater importance.

For museums themselves, the severe cutbacks, closings, and drastically reduced visitation has of course driven online many institutions’ efforts at engagement.

• How are museums developing new online outreach programming that is multilingual?
• How are they retrofitting in-house multilingual programming—e.g. museum tours--to make them online-, remote-friendly?
• What are some inspiring examples of multilingual programming? ICA Boston created a series of beautifully designed, dual-language online art education

Paper Session: Pandemic Design

Chair: Allegra Burnette

From Nada to Gaga: Rapid Transformation in the time of Covid-19. Two case studies.
Steven Hyland, The Newark Museum of Art, USA, Silvia Filippini Fantoni, The Newark Museum of Art, USA, Liz Neely, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, USA

This paper discusses how the pandemic and associated financial crisis along with reckonings with racial injustice in the U.S. demanded a rapid transformation of our institutions, introducing new ways of working, changing the type of experiences we offer, having difficult conversations, and accelerating the adoption of technology.

Understanding that there are huge challenges impacting our field with layoffs, open letters, unsustainable business models, and regressions to previous ways of working – how can we use what we’ve learned to respond to these ongoing crises within museums?

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe and The Newark Museum of Art (NJ) provide two case studies.

Paper Session: Pandemic Work

Chair: Jill Roberts

Towards a new concept for online museums: storytelling, behavior, and content
Karolina Ziulkoski, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, USA, Olivia Reid, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, USA

What principles apply when a museum exists online only? This paper addresses the experiences and lessons learned while developing the YIVO Bruce and Francesca Cernia Slovin Online Museum, an institution designed from the ground up to exist primarily digitally.

The central issue that guided the development of the project was understanding what defines a digital museum. When a museum exists only online, is it necessary to follow the same established rules of physical exhibitions?

This led to thinking the concept of an online museum anew. Three main points stood out when addressing the questions posed above, which, despite being developed as part of a specific project, are lessons that can be applied to online exhibitions in general.

Museum digital projects during COVID-19: from lockdown connections to digital transformation?
Chiara Zuanni, University of Graz, Austria

This paper will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on museum digital practices. It draws on a project that aimed to map museum digital initiatives, with the contribution and support of museum professionals. The initial datasets has been analysed through a series of lenses, with a first focus on understanding the type of engagement sought and achieved by different types of digital projects. The project has then begun to observe the broader impact of these digital experiences on museum longer term discussion on digital strategies, internal organisation, and training needs. The paper will present the dataset, the results of the engagement analysis, and the initial results of this broader reflection on museum digital transformation.

VCUarts Virtual Anderson: Promoting Greater Accessibility, Student Engagement, and Preserving the Archive in the Gallery during COVID-19 and Beyond
Tracy Hamilton, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

In the spring of 2020, in direct response to the immediate needs created by COVID-19, Virginia Commonwealth University's art gallery, The Anderson, collaborated on the construction of a fully navigable 3D model of the original gallery space. Produced in well-documented, open-source, and freely available software, the Virtual Anderson leverages graphics and game development software to create rich new art viewing, curatorial, and pedagogical experiences that extend far beyond simply substituting a virtual exhibition space for a physical location, while allowing inclusive access to the larger public in ways it has not been able to in the past.

Professional Forum: Building a Data-Driven Culture inMuseums: Opportunities & Challenges

Building a Data-Driven Culture in Museums: Opportunities & Challenges
Robin Thottungal, National Gallery of Arts , USA, Eric Bruce, Nick Sharp, Diana Greenwald

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data,” said Sherlock Holmes. The words of literature’s most famous detective ring true nearly 100 years later. Today most organizations aspired to be data driven, wants to make decisions and take action based on data with the promise of getting better results. It's easy to talk about being a data driven organization. Actually doing it is really challenging. It's never a linear path. In this panel you will hear from data leaders in the museum industry on their data driven transformation process.

Web Crit

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Chair: Katie Moffat

- Bruce Wyman, USD Design | MACH Consulting, USA, Aaron Cope, SFO Museum, USA, Shanita Brackett, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, USA
How-to Session: Building a Cohesive Visitor First Team During COVID

Building a Cohesive Visitor First Team During COVID
Herman Marigny, National Museum of African American History & Culture, USA

The reopening of the museum amidst the challenges posed by COVID19 and national social justice protests created a sense of anxiety among the staff who engage with the public daily. Establishing a team culture that placed frontline staff safety and sanity at the forefront of decision making and created opportunities for collective learning around issues of race, equity, inclusion was critical to ensure the museum had a successful reopening.

GLAMi Award - Winners and Special Jury Awards

We’ll announce the winners of the 2021 GLAMi awards and continue our conversations between GLAMi jury chairs and project representatives. 

- Susan Chun, Susan Chun, Publishing, Consulting, and Research, USA, Heather Hart, The Huntington, USA
Paper Session: Digital and Sound

Chair: Hilary McVicker

Curating Sound in a Platform World - Insights from the #SonicFriday project
Stefania ZardiniLacedelli, University of Leicester, UK

How can a museum curate sound in a platform world? The paper presents some key insights from the #SonicFriday project launched by the National Science and Media Museum to experiment with new online practices to engage with the Sound Technologies collection during the Covid-19 emergency. With more than 300 digital memories collected, the project raised new challenging questions around the role of sound in stimulating powerful connections with museum objects and the value of people's memories in enriching the collection. This paper will show how sound curation has profound implications not only for changes in practice, but also on the way museums conceive their collections, the relationship with audiences and, ultimately, the museum itself.

When Digital Becomes the Object: Developing Computing Histories in Museums
Ross Parry, University of Leicester, UK, Petrina Foti, Loughborough University, UK, Simone Natale, University of Turin, Italy

Digital technology is not just the means by which museums today communicate with their audiences, manage their collections, and coordinate their professional practice - it is also a subject they collect, and a story they tell. Drawing on the findings of major international research collaboration, this presentation looks at the role museums play in the creation of modern digital history – as a "live heritage". This presentation offers a study of when media studies, digital heritage, computer history and museology meet – and it challenges us to think critically about what "digital" is, not as a delivery tool, but as a cultural object in the museum.

Digital Avatars as storytellers to produce natural and humanized museum visits with Extended Reality
Ana Martí Testón, Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Spain

This article analyzes the role of Digital Avatars in the museum context. It takes an exploratory approach to analyzing different interfaces to achieve natural and humanized behavior in a museum visit with digital content. The main objective is to facilitate intuitive interaction with avatar guides only by registering the natural behavior of visitors when they move around the room looking at items or interacting with digital holograms.

Paper Session: Experience matters

Chair: Georgios Papaioannou

Slow designing inclusive museum experiences.
Jenna Hall, Monash University, Australia, Vince Dziekan, Monash University, Australia

Museums today are faced with increasingly complex challenges to provide inclusive experiences for the diverse audiences they serve. This practice-based research explores the relationship between personal wellbeing, social inclusion and design in museums by proposing "slow design" as a fluid and flexible guiding principle capable of traversing the spaces between narrative, curation, craft knowledge, creative technology and broad stakeholder engagement. The paper demonstrates slow design's potential to embed inclusive principles into real-world exhibition experiences through action research that addresses accessibility issues encountered by blind and low vision visitors.

Technologies designed and built that underpin ACMI’s new experiences
Simon Loffler, ACMI, Australia, Seb Chan, ACMI, Australia

In this paper, we'll give you a tour of the technology at ACMI, Australia's museum of screen culture including our Internet-of-Things fleet and management tools, and XOS, the eXperience Operating System, which provides content and configuration to the devices.

Iteration, Adaptation, & Motivation: Outcomes of the Mapping Historic Skies Crowdsourcing Effort at the Adler Planetarium
Jessica BrodeFrank, University of London, USA

The Adler Collections and Zooniverse teams look forward to presenting their findings: how the project has helped the Adler sort through collections pieces to establish a front-facing constellation database, how volunteers have engaged with the project, the expansion of audiences between the gallery interactive and online, volunteer motivations and project design, and the future projects inspired by the MHS talkboards. In the session we will discuss the successes and challenges of creating a collections based collaborative crowdsourcing project, how to incorporate results from crowdsourcing projects into front-facing usable products, as well as specific lessons learned from MHS. 

Paper Session: Software and Data

Chair: Nikhil Trivedi

Building LinkedOpenData Web applications from the outside in—lessons learned from building the Getty's Research Collections Viewer
Adam Brin, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA, Gregg Garcia, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA, Ben O'Steen, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA, Charles Webb, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA, Pam Lam, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA, Selina Chang-Yi Zawacki, J. Paul Getty Trust, USA, USA

Getty recently launched the Research Collection Viewer (RCV), a new interface for using the Getty's archival collections using linked open data and the data model. We outline some of the challenges and the potential of linked open data for this application as well as the necessary architecture. We selected a microservice architecture for RCV and built the core application APIs using the model. This choice impacted the design of our backend infrastructure which extracted and transformed data from ArchivesSpace, Rosetta, and Arches. The frontend was similarly impacted by both the architecture and the state of modern web development. RCV highlights some of the issues and possibilities of what can be developed.

Getting Your Data to Your Users: A Nerdy Deep Dive into APIs, ETLs, and Aggregated Databases
Nina Callaway, Art Processors, USA, David Newbury, Getty, USA, Rik Vanmechelen, The Museum of Modern Art, USA, Shyam Oberoi, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Canada

What does it really take to provide access to a museum’s data? The Getty, the Dallas Museum of Art, and MoMA shared similar challenges: They all wanted to integrate collection and archive data into multiple visitor-facing platforms, planning for both current use cases and future iterations. But they took different approaches: APIs, ETLs, middleware aggregators, or a combination of all three.
Key members of each project will discuss how these applications have been implemented to reduce museum staff efforts, support creative projects, and increase content capacity. They’ll analyze why they made the choices they did, talk about the pros and cons of each and plans for the future.

Video Crit

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Chair: Miranda Kerr

- Jonathan Munar, Art21, USA, Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, Independent, USA, Agnes Stauber, LACMA, USA

Video Crit Art Break Live
Suzy Wolffe, Veronica Betancourt, Baltimore Museum of Art, USA

Art Break Live was launched in May 2020 to connect elementary-age children who were learning virtually with interactive, engaging consideration of art in a format that would also be interesting to any adults in the room. The show aired a prerecorded segment followed by a live demonstration of the artmaking technique or activity and a question and answer session, facilitated by a BMA educator. Art Break Live was also connected to other resources made for children and families, with the goal of supporting kids who were out of the physical classroom and their grown-ups/ad hoc teachers in mutually enjoyable learning. In short, we wanted to provide an Art Break for folks missing art and human connection throughout the lockdowns of 2020

The ROMKids Show: the Royal Ontario Museum's Initiative in Distance Learning for Families & Classrooms
Sarah Chu, Royal Ontario Museum, Canada

It's the ROMKids Show! Join Kiron Mukherjee, ROMKids Camp Director, every week for stories of science, art, and history. We talk with special ROM experts about everything from dinosaurs to mummies, citizen science to water equity, and often get crafty (and sometimes messy!) with art projects and science experiments. It's half an hour that's fun for toddlers, perfect for kids, and beloved by the adults isolated with them!

You can tune into the ROMKids Show every Tuesday at 2pm EST on Instagram Live on the @ROMToronto account. Missed it live? Find all the episodes on the ROMKids Show webpage and on YouTube.

"Storming the House Floor" Social Media Video from the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative, Because of Her Story
Sara Cohen, American Women's History Initiative, Smithsonian, USA, Hannah Ostroff, Smithsonian, USA

One of a series of short, social media optimized videos to share lesser-known stories of women's suffrage. This was our most successful video of the series to date.

Description for this video:

When Hawai’i became an American territory, women were stripped of their right to vote. Suffragist Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett fought back, organizing with other women to regain their political power.
Learn more women’s history with the Smithsonian:​

Drawing on the Smithsonian’s unique and vast resources, Because of Her Story creates, disseminates, and amplifies the historical record of the accomplishments of American women.

How-to Session: a Workflow for Creating 3D models from LiDAR scan data with Textures from Photographic Images

You Can Get There From Here - Creating 3D models with Photorealistic textures from E57 LiDAR scans
Fred Leighton, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA

Demonstration of workflow for developing 3D models with photorealistic textures for use in interactive projects. A development pipeline will be demonstrated showing how to create models with textures, starting from E57 files that include LiDAR scan and associated image data, and ending with an optimized 3D model asset for use in software authoring tools. The session will begin with an explanation of data sources and software, then a demonstration of a step-by-step process using data from a cultural heritage site as an example. Techniques for importing, optimizing, and exporting 3D models and textures built from E57 LiDAR and photographic image data will be shown, with the end result being a digital asset ready for use in digital projects.

How-to Session: The photogrammetric process, trials, and success of Charlie Parker’s Alto Saxophone

Photogrammetry of Complex, Metallic, And Mirror Like Objects – The Process, Trials, and Success of Charlie Parker’s Alto Saxophone
Joseph Campbell, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian, USA, Jamie Cope, Smithsonian Institution, USA

In collaboration with the Smithsonian Digitization Program Office (DPO), The National Museum of African American History and Culture's (NMAAHC) Digitization Team would like to present the process, trials, and successes that resulted in the published 3D representation of Charlie Parker's Alto Saxophone.

The How-to session will provide insight into the workflow and processes for NMAAHC and DPO's approach to such a complicated object. Including the digital imaging capture process, post-production, and the necessary 3D processing steps to produce the 3D model. And then a detailed look into the 3D editing, automated 3D derivative pipeline, and successful online publication using the Smithsonian's Voyager online viewer.

How-to Session: Timed Ticketing 101 - Optimizing Your Visitor Experience for the New Normal

Timed Ticketing 101: Optimizing Your Visitor Experience for the New Normal
Alec Windle, Odyssey Tourism Consulting, USA

As museums, attractions, and cultural institutions begin to open their doors again, new restrictions weigh heavily on organizations with a long history of welcoming public crowds nearly every day of the year. They are now faced with the task of formulating their operations to limit the number of individuals into their facility, and configure their experience to allow visitors to maintain social distancing standards. To scale their operation, institutions have been forced to think about implementing a timed departure structure. Using my commercial distribution experience for a number of high volume reservation and free sale based attractions, I have developed a how-to program including fundamentals to help your team strategize and implement.

Professional Forum: Tar AR: Bringing the past to life in place-based augmented reality science learning

Tar AR: Bringing the past to life in place-based augmented reality science learning
Matt Davis, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USA

Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to connect visitors to places, times, or types of content that are otherwise inaccessible. This proposal reports on a design-based research project conducted at La Brea Tar Pits, an active paleontological dig site located in the heart of Los Angeles. The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California engaged in a research to practice partnership to enhance place-based science learning through the design and iterative testing of potential AR exhibits. We present results from studies comparing AR to traditional exhibits and lessons learned about developing scientifically accurate AR assets and experiences.

MW Wellness & Resilience Room - Join Paige Dansinger to quick-draw “The Scream.”

MW Wellness and Resilience Room - Join Paige Dansinger to quick-draw “The Scream.”
Paige Dansinger, Better World Museum, USA


Lightning Talk 4 - Innovation and AR/VR

Chair: Heidi Quicksilver

What does immersive mean?
Kate Haley Goldman, HG&Co, USA, John Russick, Chicago History Museum, USA

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can enhance visitor experience and foster specific outcomes for informal learning institutions, particularly in creating emotional resonance and deepening sense of place. This capability can add complexity and nuance to both place-based and non-place based locations, allowing people to be transported in time, feel they are elsewhere, experience a different perspective. This lighting talk will explore under what circumstances AR or VR is most effective, based on experiences at the Chicago History Museum and elsewhere.

Auckland Museum's Love-Hate Relationship with VR
Guy Annan, Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand

This talk hopes to be an unbiased recommendation on how (and how not) to execute VR experiences in a cultural institute.

How to Make Immersive Technologies More Equitable: Confronting the Medium’s Colonial Legacies and Role as an Empathy Machine
Anna Gedal, The New School, USA

Today, immersive technologies—like virtual reality—are celebrated as empathy machines, capable of fostering cross-cultural understanding. My project interrogates this assumption. I analyze two early 20th-century case studies of immersive rides. Through them, visitors embodied the ultimate imperial fantasy: discovering a new frontier. And the impact was profound, garnering mass public support for American segregation and imperialism.

This project centers on the pressing need to reconnect immersive tech to its historical context to better understand both its possibilities and limits. I offer the beginnings of a shared language to highlight the medium’s fraught legacies and a path toward a more equitable cultural production process.

Podcasting as a Platform
Emily Kotecki, Museum Learning Consultant and Podcaster, USA

Podcasts are a powerful storytelling tool.  It's a unique platform to share the stories within a museum through conversation. When a listener tunes into a podcast, it can feel like they're part of that conversation, sparking new ideas, questions, or ideas. 

This lightning talk will share the benefits of podcasting as a storytelling platform as well as how to start one for yourself or your institution, including nuts and bolts such as hardware, interviewing tips, and more.

Art Forest: The Surprise and Delight of a "Game" made with Museum APIs
Jeff Steward, Harvard Art Museums, USA

In 2019 the Dept. of Digital Infrastructure and Emerging Technology at Harvard Art Museums (HAM) started building the Art Forest: a simple, semi-immersive interactive experience for a late night event at the museum. The intention was to introduce visitors to collections as data by showing them a creative, exploratory reimagining of our art objects. We used the HAM application programming interfaces (APIs) to grow an algorithmically generated forest based on visitors interaction with our data. Since 2019, the project morphed in to a browser-based "game" that is part classic text adventure, part point-and-click adventure, and part walking simulator. During this lightning talk I'll discuss the origin, technology, and future of the project.

La Cristallina Polyphonic Virtual Museum: an international and transdisciplinary Interpretive WebXR museum project complementing a real community museum situated in an unreachable Colombian war zone.
Suzanne Beer, INREV, Paris 8, France

La Cristallina Polyphonic Virtual Web Museum is an international and transdisciplinary (non-profit) Interpretive VR museum project complementing a real community museum situated in an unreachable Colombian war zone.
Polyphony is a democratic museographical principle, managing to include the multiple actors of this war zone into participating in the shared project of an archeological museum. Sharing their culture has led to the technological challenge of making a webXR project allowing their intangible heritage to be widely spread to high-end systems and low-end mobiles, thus enabling worldwide internauts to experience their polyphonic message along subaltern museology in non-linear storytelling narratives.

Professional Forum - New Experience in Museums: Are you a pioneer, sitting on the fence or not considering?

New Experience in Museums: Are you a pioneer, sitting on the fence or not considering?
Corinne Estrada, Communicating the arts, Australia, Bruce Peterson, Grande Experiences, Australia, Giancarlo Giurini, J. Paul Getty Museum, USA

Regarding innovation,10% of museums are early adopters, 60% mainstream who will wait and see the response from the early adopters and 30% laggards.  Where do you stand? 

In the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, the Van Gogh Alive experience in Sydney was the number one cultural hit in Australia attracting 290,000 visitors in just 3 months at a stand-alone venue.  It was a multi-sensory storytelling experience utlising HD projected visuals, music and scent as integral elements. Grande Experiences (founded in 2006), the creator & producer of these digital, multisensory experiences started developing and touring this new way of engaging in art & culture over 10 years ago. The owner and President, Bruce Peterson is a pioneer and true innovator who

Professional Forum: Future Present: Mediation in a Time of Urgency

Chair: Caroline White

Future Present: Mediation in a Time of Urgency
Caroline White, Science Gallery Detroit, USA, Allyssa Harris, Science Gallery Detroit , USA

When it is no longer safe to facilitate in-person learning experiences, how do you retain your education staff? In this virtual panel discussion, Science Gallery Detroit mediators will reflect on the experience of using telepresence robots to remotely engage with visitors in the gallery space throughout the pandemic. Participants will learn about the challenges and opportunities of using robots as a tool for creating social connection between remote and in-person audiences, how technologies can be leveraged to maintain staff roles during challenging times, and discover ways that creating a shared, participatory practice around digital storytelling and content production can lead to enhanced online engagement.

Professional Forum: High School Programs: Bridging the Museum Diversity Gap

Chair: Alison Heney, PhD

High School Programs: Bridging the Museum Diversity Gap
Alison Heney, PhD, MuseWeb, USA, Sarah Frost, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, Marta Stewart, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, USA, Tiffaney Gardea, Millikan High School, USA

The goal of this session is to highlight the ways in which high school programs and mentorship projects are addressing critical museum issues concerning diversity and inclusion, and to explore the ways museums can help support them. Each panelist in this session represents a site of accomplishment, diversity, and a commitment to changing museum culture in the spirit of inclusivity. This, combined with the issues that their participants are interested in addressing such as mental health, racism, and representing indigenous communities, is an important reason why museums truly interested in equity should take a hard look at how they can pave clear career pathways for emerging High School students in both the arts and digital technologies.

Tour: National Art Gallery

Virtual Tour of National Gallery of Art
Nick Sharp, Martin Franzini, National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA, Linda Stone, National Gallery of Art, US

Join us for an introduction to the Gallery, learning about our digitization, exhibitions and conservation work.

Plenary: Streaming Cultural Content: What can museums learn from the performing arts industry

Explore current and emerging digital technology opportunities for the performing arts and performing arts presenters’ role in digital arts and cultural dissemination.

Could cultural heritage organizations take a lesson from another cultural sector that has undergone profound structural change via digital technologies over the past year? Could they take advantage of trends in consumer digital technology and strategies, tactics and mechanisms of digital creation, dissemination of and interaction with content and digital innovation in performing arts initiatives and create new types of business models to increase engagement, grow revenue and expand and diversify audience.

Join a panel featuring Jim O’Neill, Principal Industry Analyst at streaming heavyweight Brightcove along with industry experts Mandy Nace, Director of Digital Marketing at the The Philadelphia Orchestra and Mia Bongiovanni, the Assistant General Manager, Media at The Metropolitan Opera who have helped make the digital transition to discuss the latest trends impacting the performing arts industry and explore the potential application of current and emerging digital technology opportunities and how they might be applied to science, natural history and visual arts heritage organizations and facilitate the sustainable dissemination of cultural content.

This panel will be moderated by art historian and arts executive Maxwell L. Anderson who will bring his experience from 30 years as an art museum director and digital cultural innovator provocateur to bear on the subject and will explore the options to re-think cultural business models.


Chair: Rich Cherry

- Mia Bongiovanni, The Metropolitan Opera, USA, Jim O'Neill, BrightCove, USA, Mandy Nace, The Philadelphia Orchestra, USA, Maxwell Anderson, Souls Grown Deep Foundation, USA
Social Event: MW21 Karaoke Night! - hosted by Koven Smith

Let’s sing the night away at MW Karaoke on April 30 at 8 pm. Hosted by Museum Digitalist, Koven Smith, bring your best singing voice to start the weekend off right. Come sing or support your fellow conference colleagues. Let’s close out MW21 on a high note!

Chair: Katherine Behnke

MW Karaoke Night!
Katherine Behnke, International Women's Air & Space Museum, USA

Let’s sing the night away at MW Karaoke on April 30 at 8 pm. Hosted by Museum Digitalist, Koven Smith, bring your best singing voice to start the weekend off right. Come sing or support your fellow conference colleagues. Let’s close out MW21 on a high note!