Archive for June, 2019

Meet the Digital Imaging SIG

A photographer setting up a shot for a museum object


Even if you’re not familiar with institutional digitization programs, book scanners, rapid imaging or FADGI standards, chances are you’ve seen the result of these ideas and by extension, the work of members of the Digital Imaging SIG. Images are the face of museums in the public sphere, from bus and transit ads, to instagram posts about the newest exhibition.


The Digital Imaging SIG provides a place for museum photographers and imaging professionals to discuss ideas, explore technical problems and discuss the latest color to be removed from the spectrum. We also organize dinners, happy hours and meet-ups for members to meet face to face and provide a forum for more informal discussion.


In May, we held a dinner/social event during the 2+3d conference at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and we are beginning to plan a similar even during the MCN conference in November. A new initiative for 2019 that we are excited about working on is several virtual studio tours, which will take the form of videos partially driven by member questions.


We hope this will help build a more collaborative network amongst small studios, by sharing knowledge and innovation that might otherwise be glossed over, or not mentioned in conference talks. More on this in the coming months! If you aren’t currently a member of the Digital Imaging SIG, following along on our Basecamp for updates and to join in the discussion!


Ben Cort, Collections Photographer, Portland Art Museum and SIG Chair


Christopher Ciccone headshot

Christopher Ciccone, Photographer & Digital Asset Manager, North Carolina Museum of Art and SIG Co-Chair


Get ready for a great program in San Diego!

post it notes

Hey MCNers!

The 2019 annual conference program is complete!

Andrea, Eric and I spent the first weekend of June in a dull meeting room at the Newark airport Hilton to build the program schedule for this year’s conference. The program will be available late June/early July. In the meantime, we wanted to share some behind-the-scenes moments and give you a sense of what to expect.

MCN2019 conf program volunteers

First, our gratitude to the MCN 2019 Program Committee members who thoughtfully reviewed and rated the first batch of 170+ sessions submitted during the April call for proposals.

The overall quality of proposals combined with fewer available session slots in the new conference blueprint, made the process highly competitive. To guide us through the day, we set a few ground rules to keep us on the same page for what we wanted the program to reflect. Nevertheless, we had to make some tough calls. Our deliberations were honest, respectful and always incredibly measured.

We experimented a bit by looking at the MCN experience holistically and distributed sessions carefully considering emotional engagement and brain exhaustion. We believe this approach will make room for enriching and candid moments during our time together in San Diego.

When we publish the program, pay close attention to Tuesday and Friday. You will notice that we intentionally saved some of the most interesting and promising conversations to keep you engaged from Tuesday morning to the last minute of the conference on Friday. Truly, you do not want to miss a thing.

Tonya Nelson

Tonya Nelson

On another note, we’re delighted to announce that Tonya Nelson will deliver the keynote address this year (she will also stay for the whole conference!). A self-defined ‘culture hunter’, Tonya has a long career in the cultural sector and recently joined Arts Council in England as its first Director of Arts Technology and Innovation. Tonya navigates questions across the metrocultural spectrum, seeking to make sense of why culture matters and how to use it to create a better society. Check out some of her writings and interviews.

In the end, we believe we put together a strong, innovative, inspiring program that reflects the key issues currently facing our sector while presenting a range of perspectives from a diversity of voices within our community and beyond. We can’t wait to share it with you and we sincerely hope that you’ll find it as inspiring as it was exciting for us to conceive.

So what’s next?
  • Expect to hear from us about the status of your session(s) by early next week.
  • Registration opens June 28 – as last year, 150 Early Bird tickets will be available, so make sure you grab one while they last!

Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected].

We can’t wait to see you in San Diego!


Your MCN 2019 Conference Program co-chairs
Andrea Montiel de Shuman, Andrea Ledesma, and Eric Longo


Join the MCN board in 2019!


We’re pleased to announce the 2019 call for candidates to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors of MCN. MCN is looking to recruit four (4) board members to replace those whose 3-year term will be ending in November.

Why serve on the MCN board of Directors?

Envisioning a world in which all museums are empowered digitally to achieve their missions, MCN’s mission is to grow the digital capacity of museum professionals by connecting them to ideas, information, opportunities, proven practices, and each other.

For many past and current board members, serving on the board of MCN is a way to give back to an organization and a community that have supported them throughout their careers in museums. It’s also an invaluable opportunity for personal and professional development: join a great team of talented museum professionals who, together with MCN’s Executive Director and staff, shape the strategic direction of the organization and continually find ways to better serve the needs of our community.

What we’re looking for?

Since the new year, the staff and board have been actively engaged in implementing the vision of MCN’s new three-year Strategic Plan (2019-2021) called “Achieving impact through inclusion, innovation, and community building”.

MCN is looking for community members from diverse backgrounds, and with varied skill sets, perspectives and voices to help MCN execute on its strategic vision and contribute their expertise to grow MCN’s capacity and impact. As a newly appointed board member, you will join us in San Diego for your first board meeting on November 4, 2019 to develop a tactical Work Plan that will guide the work of the organization and the Board throughout 2020 in support of the larger 3-year strategic vision.

While all members of the community with an interest in serving MCN are welcome to apply, this year we are particularly interested in candidates who can bring specific expertise, or have a background and experience, in one or more of the following key areas:

  • Sustainable practices, business modeling and development
    As a community organization, MCN’s sole purpose is to serve its members. Over the next three years MCN’s leadership will make strategic changes in order to mitigate risks and increase the organization’s long-term financial and operational sustainability. If you have expertise running programs or organizations that resulted in demonstrated sustainable outcomes, we want to hear from you. Skills or expertise in business development, strategic partnerships, securing sponsorships and fundraising are equally desirable.
  • Grant Writing and Fundraising
    MCN recognizes that it must diversify its revenue streams as well as leverage the organization’s non-profit status to support its expansion in various programmatic areas. We are seeking a board member who has a successful track record in securing grant funding or fundraising for program development, and can help us select funders and communicate our vision to them.
  • Program Development
    We’re seeking a board member who has experience developing organizational programs, such as professional development (that includes mentorship), designing a content strategy, events & conferences or teams that empower community members to act with more autonomy to address their needs. If you’ve designed and led volunteer programs that are anchored within the community, or helped existing programs successfully expand their capacity, we’d like to hear from you.
  • Digital/IT strategy and systems infrastructure
    Over the next two years MCN is committed to transforming our online tools to create a better user experience, and revamping our backend infrastructure to streamline organizational processes. We’re looking for someone who has experience designing or integrating backend infrastructures or architecture, or with a strong background in systems administration.
  • Marketing, Communications and PR
    Clear, effective, and open communication with our members and the broader MCN community is critical to the success of our organization. Over the next few years MCN will develop, implement and expand the range of products we offer with the goal of increasing the value of membership for MCN members. We are seeking a board member with skills and experience in marketing and communication practices to design and implement new messaging and communication practices around these products and help us demonstrate their value to our members.
What’s expected of MCN Board members?

MCN’s board of Directors is both a governance and a working board. This means that in addition to being fiduciary guardians of this 503(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, our board members roll up their sleeves, put on their thinking caps, and dedicate a good portion of their time working on organizational projects. For most, this means taking an active role on one or more of our board committees.

As a working board, MCN Directors are expected to dedicate about 8-12 hours per month working on MCN business, including attending a monthly conference-call board call as well as other committee meetings. Additionally, you will be expected to attend two (2) annual board meetings in person: one the week of MCN’s annual conference (typically in November), and another, generally in the spring, the week of the Museums and the Web conference wherever that location may be. Directors cannot be compensated and MCN is not currently in a position to support its Directors for travel related expenses to attend these two annual in-person board meetings (expenses to attend board retreats are however fully covered).

Once appointed, MCN Directors serve a three-year term. For reference, we invite you to familiarize yourself with MCN’s By-Laws.

The MCN Governance Guidelines outline the expectations and responsibilities of board members:

  • 8-12 hours of MCN-related work per month, depending upon activities
  • Play an active leadership role in delivering on MCN’s overall business in general and on assigned strategic priorities specifically
  • Attend and prepare for each board meeting
  • Be prepared and willing to lead the board and/or a committee
  • Join and participate actively in the activities of at least one committee
  • Follow, participate and contribute to online board discussions in a timely manner
  • Make every reasonable effort to bring financial support to the organization annually from external sources, e.g. identify and introduce sponsor prospects and secure sponsorships
  • Leverage personal relationships with others (including corporations, professional service firms, vendors, foundations, and individuals) to assist the staff of the organization with implementing fundraising strategies, including adding names of potential sources of support to the organization’s mailing list
  • Actively participate in the development of the annual conference
  • Attend the annual conference (board members receive a special discounted registration rate)
  • Actively participate in MCN fundraising efforts
  • Travel at their own cost (MCN is not currently in a position to cover travel expenses for board members) to attend two (2) annual board meetings in person: one the week of MCN’s annual conference (typically in November), and another, generally in the spring, the week of the Museums and the Web conference wherever that location may be Directors cannot be compensated and MCN does not pay Directors for travel or other related expenses (expenses to attend board retreats are however fully covered).
Who we’re looking for?

MCN encourages people from diverse backgrounds, institutions, and experiences to apply. MCN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression and identity, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

In addition, to ensure that a diverse range of institutions are represented on the board, each individual institution may be represented by only one member of the board at any given time. Candidates are encouraged to review the current board members’ list below to check the institution that they are currently affiliated with.

What’s the nomination and appointment process?

To be considered by the 2019 Nominating Committee, please fill out and submit the online application form. If you believe someone you know would be a qualified candidate, please encourage them to apply. Applications are due Sunday June 30, 2019 at 11:59pm PT. We will let you know if we require additional information about your application.

What’s next?

MCN’s 2019 Nominating Committee will review all applications and propose a slate of candidates to the board of Directors for discussion, followed by a vote on the individual appointment of each proposed candidate for Director. We anticipate notifying successful candidates by late August 2019 at the latest (it’s often sooner). The announcement of newly appointed Directors will posted on our website and shared with the MCN community on MCN-L.

If you have any additional questions, please email the Executive Director.

We encourage all qualified candidates to apply or hope that you will refer someone you think would be a qualified candidate.

Thank you for being a part of MCN.

MCN 2019 Nominating Committee
Elizabeth Bollwerk, President
Matt Tarr, VP-President Elect
Lori Byrd-McDevitt, Director
Courtney OCallagan, Director
Eric Longo, Executive Director

Current MCN Board members list with terms
  • Elizabeth Bollwerk (2015 – 2019), Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  • Greg Albers (2016 – 2019), The Getty
  • Lori Byrd McDevitt (2016 – 2019), Children’s Museum Indianapolis
  • Darren Milligan (2016 – 2019), Smithsonian, Center for Learning & Digital Access
  • Deborah Howes (2016 – 2019), Johns Hopkins University
  • Matt Tarr (2016 – 2020), American Museum of Natural History
  • Keir Winesmith (2017 – 2020), Winesmith Digital Studio
  • Samantha Diamond (2017 – 2020), CultureConnect
  • Susan Edwards (2017 – 2020), Hammer Museum
  • Desi Gonzalez (2017 – 2020), City of Austin
  • Mitchell Sava (2017 – 2020), Museum of Life and Science
  • Mara Kurlandsky (2018 – 2021), National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • Courtney OCallaghan (2018 – 2021), Freer Gallery of Art & Sackler Gallery
  • Nathan Adkisson (2018 – 2021), Local Projects
  • Doug Allen (2018 – 2021), The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
  • Kai Frazier (2018 – 2021), Curated x Kai