INSIDE S E MC The Newsletter of the Southeastern Museums Conference
winter–spring 2021 | www.semcdirect.net
ON THE FRONT COVER SEMC 2020–2021 Intern Edith Courtney
19 Executive Director’s Notes Zinnia Willits 7 SEMC President’s Address Heather Marie Wells 11 SEMC Vice President’s Address Matt Davis 13 A Letter from the Membership Department Carla Phillips 17 CHATTANOOGA: A PHOTO ESSAY 19 An SEMC Internship 2.0 Edith Courtney 29 The SEMC Equity and Inclusion Action Team: A Brief History 31
ON THE BACK COVER Chattanooga Marriott and Convention Center
72 Looking Back at the SEMC Emerging Museum Professionals Affinity Group James Quint 33 Collaborations During Covid Lead to Greater Inclusion Katy Menne 37 A Special Thanks: Endowment and Membership Contributions 45 State News 70
Important Dates 74 74 Get Social 74
SEMC Job Forum
Membership Form 75
semc Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana Mississippi
North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Virginia West Virginia U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico
staff Zinnia Willits Executive Director Carla Phillips Manager of Communications and Member Services
semc officers Heather Marie Wells President email@example.com Digital Media Project Manager, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Matthew S. Davis Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Historic Museums, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA
contact semc SEMC | P.O. Box 550746 Atlanta, GA 30355-3246 T: 404.814.2048 or 404.814.2047 F: 404.814.2031 W: www.SEMCdirect.net E: membershipservices@SEMCdirect.net
Deitrah J. Taylor Secretary email@example.com Public Historian, Milledgeville, GA
Robin Reed Treasurer
Inside SEMC is published three times a year by SEMC. Annual subscription is included in membership dues. Design: Nathan Moehlmann, Goosepen Studio & Press
firstname.lastname@example.org Museum Administrator (retired), Fort Monroe, VA
Darcie MacMahon Past President email@example.com Director of Exhibits & Public Programs, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL
The deadline for the Summer 2021 newsletter is July 30 2021. To submit information for the newsletter, please contact the Council Director in your state or Smemberservices@ semcdirect.net.
semc directors Scott Alvey
Director, Kentucky Historical Society,
Head of Programs and Exhibitions,
National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA
Curator of Education,
Assoc. Dir. Office of Strategic Partnerships
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Wash., D.C.
Director, Moundville Archaeological Park,
Director of Education, Knoxville Museum
The University of Alabama,
of Art, Knoxville, TN
Moundville, AL Nancy Fields
Director and Curator, The Museum of
Director of Historic Resources, Jekyll Island
the Southeast American Indian,
Authority, Mosaic/Jekyll Island Museum,
Jekyll Island, GA
Director, Discovery Network
Director of Education and Engagement
Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, AR
International African American Museum, Charleston, SC
Registrar & Asst. Dept. Chair,
Education & Public Relations Manager
Florida Museum of Natural History,
for the Margaret Walker Center and COFO
Education Center, Jackson State University Jackson, MS
semc executive director’s notes Time is passing at a rapid pace. Each day, each week, each month, has been filled with momentous, sometimes difficult and troubling, often truly historic, events. Since the last edition of Inside SEMC was published (December 2020), our nation has witnessed an extremist insurrection on the Capitol aimed at the very heart of Democracy, the inauguration of a new President, the rollout of a mass vaccination program to assist the world in combatting COVID-19, a second round of PPP loans and stimulus aide, a return (even on a limited basis) to some in-person gatherings, a move to hybrid meetings as opposed to all-virtual, and a guilty verdict in the death of the murder of George Floyd that was a positive moment in the battle to end systemic racism in American society, but does not bring the victims back to their families, a recognition that the work toward reform, healing, and reconciliation cannot be a one-time event. Those are just a few of the major news headlines over a short period; that’s a lot to process. We hope you, our members, have found or developed support networks over these past months to lift you up as we forge ahead. In what is shaping up to be another transitional and transformational year for museums, peer-to-peer learning, networking, discussion and connection are so important. While there have been difficult circumstances of isolation over this past year, we also have the Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
shared experience of navigating the events of 2020/2021 together. SEMC is an important community and network of support, one that is needed now more than ever. Your membership in SEMC helps our organization create professional opportunities and programs that bring us together to learn and discuss shared experiences. Now is a time to find joy in your SEMC community! Let’s celebrate region-wide successes through our 2021 Competitions and Award Programs and get excited about continuing our connection and professional growth this fall at the 2021 Annual Meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will offer both virtual and onsite sessions at the Chattanooga Convention Center between October 25–27, 2021. May 2021 marks my one-year anniversary as SEMC Executive Director. The time has passed quickly. There are days when it seems I have been in this role much longer than twelve months and others when I am keenly aware of the ongoing process of transition. At times I have looked backward...at my own career for experience and guidance, at the ways in which SEMC operated before the pandemic for stability and inspiration. However, most of the trajectory for SEMC this past year has been forward. As an organization, we kept moving and doing and connecting and accomplished a lot as a professional group in the last 365 days; look at the 2020 Annual Report to see how far SEMC has 7
come. We did it together as a community of museum professionals and I have never been more thankful or honored to lead SEMC at this moment in time. I will continue to work hard to strengthen the foundation of the Southeastern Museums Conference through a mix of consistency of inclusive and diverse professional offerings, communication via multiple platforms and channels, and courage to embrace change and the “new” (technologies, partnerships, programs) that will guide SEMC on a clear path forward.
are reactionary institutions and glacial in embracing change. In many cases this slow pace of change has protected museums and ensured their longevity, but today with the increasing acceleration of change the status quo is the riskiest place to be.” I couldn’t agree more. SEMC and southeastern museums can be leaders as we redefine our industry, as well as a promise to many as recovery continues, and true catalysts for reimagining our communities. It is my honor to be with all of you on this journey.
In preparation for a recent talk I gave at the Georgia Association of Museums Annual Meeting, I listened to a keynote speech that Kaywin Feldman, Director of the National Gallery of Art, gave in March at a symposium on deaccessioning. While there were many notable aspects of her speech, the following quote has stayed with me. Ms. Feldman stated, that, “Museums
Respectfully, — Zinnia Willits, SEMC Executive Director
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semc president’s address
This time of year always seems magical to me. There is something about the blooming redbuds, dogwoods, and jonquils that makes me feel the world is full of hope and possibilities. It seems even more so this year. It’s starting to feel like healing is happening. It’s small, but it’s there. And it is up to all of us to continue helping it grow into a new, and hopefully better, “normalcy”. I hope many of you can take advantage of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion training with Keonna Hendrick & Dr. Marit Dewhurst. I know so many of us are realizing that the field can do better in these areas and I’m proud that we are trying to take action in making a difference. The evaluation process is continuing with both the Leadership Institution and JIMI, ensuring that these programs continue to offer exceptional training opportunities for our members to grow. I’m also very excited about the plans for the upcoming annual meeting, both virtual and in-person. The program committee has been doing an awesome job selecting topics for both formats. Please join me in extending a sincere thank you to those members as they
are doing double the work managing both formats! A big thank you to our local arrangements committee in Chattanooga as well. More details will be sent out to the membership over the coming months but trust me when I tell you we are going to have an amazing time in Tennessee! I also want to give a big thank you to our sponsors and corporate partner members. You have worked so hard with us on pivoting what you sponsor and helping SEMC reimagine what it means to have an “expo” virtually and safely in-person. Your collaboration means so much to us — so thank you! Finally, I am excited that our competitions and award programs are open. I love these programs so much because it is all about recognizing you and your work! There are such amazing things happening in your institutions every day. I love that we can help acknowledge your work. It gives your colleagues inspiration and more illustrations of best practices helping make the field better. So, do not hide your light under a bushel; be sure to submit your work today! — Heather Marie Wells, SEMC President
Explore the museum online Explore our virtual exhibitions and online collections anytime of day at your own pace. Visit nmaahc.si.edu to tour history through the African American lens and register for online events. Follow us on social media and learn more about our opening status and COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions at nmaahc.si.edu/visit.
semc vice president’s address Greetings, SEMC Members! I hope this letter finds you all safe and well as we all continue to navigate through this unprecedented time. As 2020 turned into 2021, I know that many of us were anxious to turn the page on the previous year. Over these last few months, I have found myself reflecting on all that has occurred, who I have relied on for counsel, and how I have prioritized things in new ways. Through these difficult months, I found myself relying upon the friends and mentors I have made through SEMC. Through phone calls, texts, and Zooms, SEMC has provided us all with a plethora of ways to exchange ideas, participate in discussions, and engage with each other as we worked to understand our new normal. Throughout the fall, the Virtual Program Series provided us with timely professional engagement and development, allowed for open conversations on our anxieties and fears, and provided a space to communicate on many of the issues we have all faced inside and outside of the museum. I am proud to have been a small part of this effort and I want to thank all of the planning and program committee members, our wonderful presenters, shepherds, volunteers, sponsor, staff members, and our Executive Director Zinnia Willits for all
of their work in developing this series. As we look forward, plans are being finalized for our first ever hybrid conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Recently, the Program Committee met to review the session proposals and they have done an amazing job in preparing an excellent program. Thanks to Michele Schulte and Beth Hoover-DeBerry for their work as committee co-chairs and all of the committee members for their efforts in soliciting and selecting our program. Whether you choose to participate virtually or inperson, I look forward to seeing you and learning with you as we all continue to reflect on the rapid changes of this last year at SEMC 2021! As we continue to move forward, I have no doubt that the museum community that will emerge from this period will be better than what existed before. I look forward to continuing our field’s work to fulfill our missions and contribute to the lives of our communities. Please let me know if I can ever be of any service to you and I hope you all continue to stay safe!
Sincerely, — Matt Davis, SEMC Vice President
a letter from the membership department Like, Share, Follow, Tweet! Social media is an essential tool for the museum community and is vital for the success of our field. Everyone has at least one platform they use. It’s how we connect to our audiences, build our brand, and empower our followers and friends as champions of our organizations. Each social media platform has its own unique characteristics and purpose. Facebook is the biggest and most powerful social network in the world with 1.55 billion active monthly users. Twitter is the “in-the-moment” platform, with monthly active users numbering around 255 million. For fast replies, this is the platform, these users tend to be quick and smart in their engagement. Instagram is the most visual platform designed for customers to post, share, comment and engage through digital media. It’s true, a picture is worth a thousand words! LinkedIn is the professional social networking site, focusing on business to business rather than business to consumer. Social media is imbedded in all aspects of how we operate. Here are some of the ways SEMC utilizes social media: • Improved brand awareness — Social media allows us to promote our organization with one click of a button. It increases our visibility to current and potential members and partners. • Cost-effective — Social media is a free resource for marketing our programs and products (hello SEMC face masks!). We can quickly get the word out and build excitement about upcoming programs and resources.
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Chattanooga.
• Member engagement — Through social media, we can have conversations with our members. In addition, we are constantly looking at how to best build an engagement model that allows our members and partners to have a voice. • Improved member satisfaction — We encourage our members and partners to engage with us. This allows for a greater member satisfaction as their questions, feedback and comments are being heard and addressed and community is built. • Education — Social media allows us to share resources with our members through articles and online tools. This helps our members by supporting the work they do and it helps connect them with our museum community. Social media extends our reach to a wide audience in a quick, cost-effective way. It is how we share our story, and the stories of our member museums and partners. With a little creativity and a spot of humor, it becomes more than just broadcasting information, it is establishing a dialogue that helps our members feel connected. Be sure you’re following us! Instagram @semcdirect Facebook @southeasternmuseums Twitter @SEMC2 Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions!
— Carla Phillips, SEMC Membership/ Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga
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An SEMC Internship 2.0 Edith Courtney, Rising Senior, Spelman College
Writing this article for Inside SEMC for a second time now is surreal to me. The past months have flown by so quickly and I haven’t really had time to sit back and truly acknowledge the work and the gratitude that I have towards all that I’ve done within these past few months. At the end of 2020 I set personal learning goals for myself and sought internships that would allow me to really reach these goals. After my first semester with SEMC, I really felt the opportunity for me to be genuinely supported to grow and develop as a person, as well as my skill set working within SEMC with Carla and Zinnia. Together we were able to tailor my responsibilities to my personal learning goals which allowed me the opportunity to meet the learning objectives that I imagined for myself. This semester I had the opportunity to become more hands-on in communicating with the SEMC student community and assisting in the foundation building for a new addition of resources offered with SEMC’s membership. As a student I understand the needs and priorities of the other students in our collected desire to attain success in this field. Over the course of these past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct research, create a foundation, and conceptualize content that is suitable for students looking to enter the museum field. This has been such a rewarding task as I have been able to find out more about the positions offered in the museum world as well as what other students’ interests are and what types of resources and opportunities are being sought after aside from my own. Edith Courtney.
I also had the opportunity to work on a project from start to finish and understand all the building blocks and steps necessary to create resources that can truly be beneficial to student members. Along with creating the student resources page, I also had the opportunity to conduct grant research and create a calendar of the upcoming grants that are available for SEMC to apply to. Sitting and researching these opportunities really allowed me to familiarize myself with the different foundations and companies that are in support of the arts. As I reflect on my time with SEMC I am so grateful for how rewarding this past year has truly been. From my first days working with Carla and Zinnia to now, I think that I have grown so much in knowledge and skill set which will lead to so many open doors for me. I am also grateful to have been able to work so closely with both Zinnia and Carla and for their trust in me to work on these projects. Throughout the course of the internship, they have been nothing but supportive and great mentors to me. With all the opportunities available, I am so happy that this was the internship I pursued and am grateful for the ways in which my time with SEMC has contributed to my growth. I am looking forward to the opportunities that will come from it. Thank you so much Carla, Zinnia, and SEMC for creating opportunities for student growth and development.
— Edith Courtney
The SEMC Equity and Inclusion Action Team A Brief History The Equity and Inclusion Action Team (EIAT) was founded in 2016 by Katy Malone, Dawn Hammatt, Jessica Van Landuyt, Deitrah Taylor, and Marcy Breffle as a result of conversations held at the 2016 Charlotte, North Carolina, SEMC Annual Conference. This conference was unique in that it took place shortly after Keith Lamont Scott was shot to death by a North Carolina police officer and while the bathroom bill was at issue locally. At that conference, Deitrah held conversations with several Black women museum professionals centered on museum work through the lens of racial issues. As a result of those conversations, Deitrah inquired about affinity groups around diversity at SEMC and discovered that SEMC had many affinity groups in the past along various intersections of diversity but that they had dissolved over time. During this annual meeting, Deitrah also attended sessions featuring diverse panelists and social justice issues, one of which was led by Dawn Hammatt and Katy Malone related to LGBTQ+ activism. Deitrah approached Susan Perry, the SEMC Executive Director, about forming an intersectional group of museum professionals to work on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field. Susan Perry put Deitrah and Katy Malone in touch with one another and the group grew to include Marcy Breffle and Jessica Van Landuyt who submitted the first panel and presented in New Orleans at the 2017 annual meeting. Those at this meeting decided that equity for ALL required more than a single discussion. Action should happen throughout the year beyond conference walls. Since then, committed participants Deitrah Taylor at the 2016 SEMC Annual Meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina.
have gathered each year at the annual meeting to lay out objectives and initiatives for the next year. Thereafter, the EIAT maintains communication throughout the year, as volunteer members work toward achieving goals that move toward making our museums more inclusive. Early accomplishments of the group included a survey of museum professionals on diversity and inclusion, and a diversity, equity, and inclusion track easily seen and accessible in the SEMC program as well as responding to current events and providing a support network for museum professionals devoted to social justice. looking forward Now in its fifth year, the EIAT has changed leadership and is continuing to address critical equity, diversity, and inclusion issues within the museum industry. In 2021 the goal of the EIAT is to create a mentoring committee, an emergency advisory committee, a survey committee, and a bylaws committee. These committees will work toward establishing more robust programming and support offerings for the museum community at large. One of the main tasks being addressed is the creation of an emergency response questionnaire that museum professionals will be able to use to think critically about how they will respond to the next attack on justice. This will be part of a toolkit that museums can use to prepare themselves for the next time they will have to decide how they need to respond to a critical social justice issue. The SEMC EIAT is excited to take on these new challenges and is working harder than ever to serve as a resource for museum professionals in the Southeast. 31
Looking Back at the SEMC Emerging Museum Professionals Affinity Group James Quint, Director of Education, Historic Columbia, Columbia, South Carolina
The first SEMC conference I attended was in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2008. Interacting with dozens of fellow colleagues at the sessions and evening events was incredibly memorable. The ideas and experiences of others contributed to my takeaway from that conference as much as the sessions. I kept in touch with several of the folks I met at the conference and as time moved along, I realized we had built a small network of support for each other that continued throughout the year. At next year’s conference in Charleston, West Virginia, many of the new professionals I met were looking for the same interactions as those I interacted with the previous year. The need for stronger support was apparent and I wanted to facilitate as many interactions with current museum leaders as I could to learn and perhaps one day be a leader as well. I began informally advocating for emerging museum professionals (EMPs) among the SEMC leadership arguing that SEMC was the perfect network for this cohort. Many would not be able to attend AAM and SEMC was well positioned to meet the unique needs of EMPs in the Southeast. After joining the Council in 2010 and serving as Co-Chair of the Programs Committee that same year, I was able to serve as a voice for EMPs in the decision-making committees of the conference. James Quint at the 2019 SEMC Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina.
Each year, I submitted session proposals targeting the EMP audience and talked with others who submitted session proposals to offer content specifically geared towards EMPs. Many of these sessions featured both EMPs and seasoned museum staff. Our energetic leader, Susan Perry, and I worked with the Programs Committee leaders to ensure EMP track was an option in the annual conference program. Susan pushed me to formally create the SEMC EMP affinity group to represent this growing cohort. There was still more to be done. In Baton Rouge, Greenville, and Williamsburg, EMPs would come to us who had attended previous conferences at evening events asking about their state leaders and how to make inroads with directors and well-known professionals at the conference. This led to the formation of the EMP happy hours where we could get to know one another before the first evening event of each conference. The purpose of these was to provide a familiar face in the larger crowds of the conference so folks could build their professional network and meet others. We learned about job opportunities, the status of graduate programs in the region, and discussed common issues we faced. When looking back at EMP membership in SEMC, it grew from about 10-15% in 2008 33
James Quint (far left) connects a group of museum professionals at the SEMC2014 Annual Meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee.
and 2009 to nearly one-third of the conference membership in recent years. As the size of this group became larger and more engaged, further opportunities appeared. I stepped down as chair as new leadership took over advocacy for this group. Their creativity and passion led to the creation of the SEMC EMP Facebook group which continues to post articles and job opportunities of interest. Formal by-laws were created and as I continue to watch the next impressive group of emerging leaders take charge, I eagerly look forward to the paths they create for themselves in the coming years. — James Quint
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Collaborations During Covid Lead to Greater Inclusion Katy Menne, Curator of Education, North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport
Community buy-in is integral to success of museums. From programming to exhibits, the surrounding community needs to trust its institution. This is even more important when working toward greater inclusion of diverse audiences. Often, the first piece of advice is to consult the community. Each community knows what its members need better than staff. For us at North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, making this connection is the most important step in our journey to making the museum reflect all communities in the lower cape fear of North Carolina. This goal has been progressively worked on for the last several years through research, talking with professionals, and trial and error. While 2020 will always be the year that “wasn’t,” it is also the year that changed everything.
accessibility programs for an online audience to daydreaming about having sensory backpacks and a sensory room available when we could reopen to the public, there was deliberate planning on how to learn while being comfortable. While in temporary closure, plans were decided on to move these thoughts to actions.
By pushing pause on many of the typical tasks of museum work, the staff was able to focus on what it means to be inclusive and reflect on how we want the museum to be moving forward. We were able to discuss and reflect on how we can serve the community in more meaningful ways. Curator of Education Katy Menne first focused on education related and learning focused inclusion and accessibility. From planning
The museum welcomed four interns from the college’s program in fall 2020. The interns offered detailed insight about the accessibility of the museum exhibit hall and worked on projects to combine comfort and learning in the exhibits, classroom, and outdoors.
Sensory walk, designed by Intern Best, encourages practice of some common movements worked on in therapies while learning outdoors.
a mutually beneficial partnership Upon getting the green light to pursue these projects, Menne reached out to local universities and community colleges for assistance. Cape Fear Community College offers an Occupational Therapy Assistant program that, among its teachings, includes a focus on assessing and adapting activities and environments.
Amber Best, one of the fall interns, notes “The partnership between CFCC and the Southport Maritime museum was a valuable experience in working with other professionals from different backgrounds. The 37
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partnership really helped me appreciate that quality healthcare goes beyond technical skills and helped me comprehend the role of culture and community in quality service delivery.” While self-research, recalling formal exceptional children education classes, and talking with community partners always were occurring, hearing from people who work within the support structures for diverse communities was so important. Another intern, Sara Raisner, reflects, “The staff members of the museum are truly dedicated to this establishment and ensure that the museum was adapted for every member of the community who wished to visit and participate in some of the great activities they have to offer. Being a Certified Autism Center, the museum allows individuals of all abilities to feel welcome and provides a safe and comforting environment for all.” Both of these women have remained in contact and wanted to continue volunteering and offering their insights for our staff to keep this work going.
The partnership with Cape Fear Community College was mutually beneficial. Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Instructor Jenn Workman says, “Our students were provided with a rich internship experience, assisting staff with designing projects that highlight the museum’s status as a Certified Autism Center. Having a resource like this in the community affords the ability for people with all levels of ability to experience a museum visit that engages all of the senses.” These initiatives started in January 2019 with the inception of Sensory Saturday. This offered two hours once a month for those needing dimmer lights, no audio, quiet voices, and something to do beyond looking at exhibits. This free program offered many the opportunity to visit in a judgement-free zone with understanding and patient staff and volunteers. Since then, the museum has worked with group homes, ability-specific camps, local interagency coordinating councils, monthly meet ups, and the certifying agency IBCCES to become the first Certified Autism Center in North Carolina.
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Each sensory backpack has a picture of the contents enclosed, written list, and other learning options for neurodiverse patrons.
But it’s not enough to just have the programs available. Actively promoting programs as welcoming to all abilities has encouraged and led to an increase of neurodiverse populations coming for a visit. Through the interns’ time with the museum, we now have eight sensory backpacks that can be checked out, a sensory walk, and sensory bins for teaching. Soon there will also be a completed sensory room. These items combined with keeping this inclusive mindset for future exhibits will, hopefully, bring even more people into the museum with the comfort of knowing there are items in place to help if patrons get overwhelmed. connecting with incredible people We know it’s hard to get started if you don’t know where to look for help. So we turned to a space we and others Six of the eight unique sensory backpacks geared for all ages.
were already in: social media. We found pages and groups online that were set up to help families, individuals, and professionals learn ways to assist and understand neurodiverse people better. All it took was a quick search to find these resources. Once plugged in, we asked questions, shared ideas, and gave — and received — support. When we found local organizations advertising programs and gatherings (pre-COVID), we would reach out and ask if we could offer some learning opportunities. Due to the museum having a state vehicle and an amazing support group, we are privileged to offer free or low cost programming. It was no stress for the hosting organization, and we were able to work with people of all ages and abilities. Across the board, everyone we reached out to was overjoyed at having someone interested in including them. We are told that neurodiverse communities are often forgotten or pushed aside due to so many not knowing what to do or feeling uncomfortable with helping. After acknowledging this, it became obvious that southeastern North Carolina does not have a lot of options outside of therapies or specific 41
above: Contents of a sensory backback. left: Cape Fear Community College has been integral to the success of these new installations.
organizations within their circle for families and individuals with neurodiverse needs to enjoy. Since we were willing and able to provide these programs, the organizations promoted our facility and offerings extensively. key takeaways when considering connecting with diverse communities
• Educate yourself & ask questions. When you don’t know, ask someone who does. • Remind yourself to calm your fears. New steps are scary, but the reward is so worth it.
— Katy Menne
• Do some searching online. What groups are local to you? • Make the request for more information or to share your information (after all the worst they can do is say no)
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A SPECIAL THANKS SEMC Endowment Contributions Many thanks to our endowment contributors for investing in the future of SEMC! When you are thinking of honoring or remembering someone, please consider a contribution to the SEMC endowment. For more information, contact Executive Director Zinnia Willits at 404.814.2048 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alexander Benitez Matthew Davis Mary LaGue Elise LeCompte Darcie MacMahon R. Maass Nathan Moehlmann Graig Shaak Robert Sullivan Heather Marie Wells
THE PAST PRESIDENTS CIRCLE Members of the Past Presidents Circle contribute $150 annually for at least two years to the endowment fund:
Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the fall.
George Bassi Sharon Bennett David Butler Tom Butler Tamra Sindler Carboni Micheal A. Hudson Douglas Noble Robert Rathburn Graig D. Shaak Robert Sullivan Kristen Miller Zohn
THE WILLIAM T. AND SYLVIA F. ALDERSON ENDOWMENT FELLOWS Thirty members of SEMC have made commitments of distinction as Alderson Fellows. Their investment of at least $1,000 each is a significant leadership gift, reflective of a personal commitment to the professional association that has meant so much to each of them. Platinum Alderson Fellows (minimum $5,000) Sylvia F. Alderson Bob Rathburn Graig D. Shaak Nancy & Robert Sullivan
Medallion Alderson Fellows (minimum $2,500) George Bassi Sharon Bennett David Butler Tamra Sindler Carboni William U. Eiland Martha Battle Jackson Pamela Meister Richard Waterhouse Our Current Alderson Fellows (minimum $1,000) T. Patrick Brennan Michael Brothers W. James Burns Horace Harmon Brian Hicks Pamela Hisey Micheal Hudson Kathleen Hutton Rick Jackson Andrew Ladis John Lancaster Elise LeCompte Allyn Lord Michael Anne Lynn R. Andrew Maass Darcie MacMahon Robin Seage Person Allison Reid Steve Rucker Heather Marie Wells Kristen Miller Zohn
Other SEMC Contributions Angie Albright, Martha Battle Jackson JIMI Fund Scott Alvey, General Operating Nicolle Bowling, General Operating David Butler, General Operating Caroline Carpenter, General Operating India Crawford, General Operating Julie B. Harris, Martha Battle Jackson Jimi Fund Elise LeCompte, Martha Battle Jackson Jimi Fund Elise LeCompte, Leadership Institute Jason Luker, Martha Battle Jackson Jimi Fund Darcie MacMahon, Leadership Institute Rosalind Martin, Leadership Institute Corinne Midgett, Virtual Programming Mary Miller, Virtual Programming Catherine Pears, Leadership Institute Susan Perry, Leadership Institute
Carolyn Reams, La Paglia Fund John Seibold, General Operating Robert Sullivan, General Operating Michael Warren, Annual Meeting Scott Warren, Seasoned Museum Professional Scholarship and Virtual Programming Victoria & James Weise, General Operating L. Carole Wharton, Leadership Institute Donna Whitfield, General Operating Zinnia Willits, Leadership Institute Zinnia Willits, President’s Travel Scholarship John Woods, Annual Meeting Scholarships
SEMC Active Memberships SEMC thanks all our active members, including those who have recently joined (in bold). Without your support and participation, we could not provide region wide services such as our awards, and scholarship programs, as well
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as our outstanding Annual Meetings and nationally acclaimed Jekyll Island Management Institute. If you are an individual member and your museum is not an institutional member, please encourage them to join. For information on memberships and benefits visit visit semcdirect.net, email Smemberservices@semcdirect.net, or call 404.814.2047. For your convenience, the last page of this newsletter is a membership application.
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Beverly Joyce, Columbus, Mississippi Ana Juarez, Riverview, Florida Diane Karlson, Little Rock, Arkansas Rachel Katz, Atlanta, Georgia Martha Katz-Hyman, Newport News, Virginia Audra Kelly, Washington, District of Columbia Tracy Kennan, New Orleans, Louisiana David Kennedy, Fort Smith, Arkansas Jim Kern, Vallejo, California Valarie Kinkade, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Meg Koch, Asheville, North Carolina Jill Koverman, Columbia, South Carolina Lauren Kraut, Gainesville, Virginia Lindsey Lambert, Randleman, North Carolina John Lancaster, Pulaski, Tennessee Maureen Lane, Louisville, Kentucky Karol Lawson, Lynchburg, Virginia William Lazenby, Chantilly, Virginia Elise LeCompte, Gainesville, Florida Carla Ledgerwood, Atlanta, Georgia Leslie Leonard, Trinity, North Carolina
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Kandace Muller, Luray, Virginia Melissa Mullins, Hampton, Virginia Brian Murphy, Florence, Alabama Mary Anna Murphy, St. Petersburg, Florida Michael Nagy, Atlanta, Georgia Raka Nandi, Memphis, Tennessee Amy Nelson, Lexington, Kentucky Ginny Newell, Columbia, South Carolina Heather Nowak, Fultondale, Alabama Ruth O’Loughlin, Lake Village, Arkansas Heather Otis, Marco Island, Florida Robert Parker, Tupelo, Mississippi Sharon Pekrul, Columbia, South Carolina Sharon Penton, Mooresville, North Carolina Susan Perry, Atlanta, Georgia Robin Person, Natchez, Mississippi Sara Phalen, West Chicago, Illinois Tracy Phelps, Acworth, Georgia Ainsley Powell, Raleigh, North Carolina Deborah Randolph, Raleigh, North Carolina Mandy Reavis, Taylorsville, North Carolina
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RETIRED ($25) Mary Ellen Carta, Balrico, Florida Barbara Claiborne, Leesburg, Florida Kim Coryat, Conway, Arkansas Nancy Doll, Greensboro, North Carolina Joyce Ice, Santa Fe, New Mexico Vicky Kruckeberg, Chapel Hill, North Carolina R. Maass, Longboatkey, Florida Yvonne McGregor, St. Augustine, Florida Douglas Noble, Gainesville, Florida Carl Nold, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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Daura Gallery – University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, Florida Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia Florida CraftArt, St. Petersburg, Florida Georgia Writers Museum, Eatonton, Georgia Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina International Towing & Recovery Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve, New Orleans, Louisiana KMAC Museum, Louisville, Kentucky Lunney Museum, Seneca, South Carolina Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, Jacksonville, Florida Marine Corps Museum Parris Island, Parris Island, South Carolina Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum, Inc., Meridian, Mississippi
Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia Museum of the Southeast American Indian, Pembroke, North Carolina Negro Southern League Museum, Birmingham, Alabama Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA), Atlanta, Georgia Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Brookneal, Virginia Portsmouth Museums, Portsmouth, Virginia Reuel B. Pritchett Museum Collection, Bridgewater, Virginia Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne, Florida Savannah River Site Museum, Aiken, South Carolina SE Center for Photography, Greenville, South Carolina Swannanoa Valley Museum, Black Mountain, North Carolina The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida The Museum, Greenwood, South Carolina The Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee Union County Heritage Museum, New Albany, Mississippi
Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Salisbury, North Carolina (Category 2: $150 ) Aiken County Historical Museum, Aiken, South Carolina Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Tuscumbia, Alabama Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Georgia Beaches Museum, Jacksonville Beach, Florida Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, Seneca, South Carolina Blue Ridge Institute & Museum, Ferrum, Virginia Calhoun County Museum, St. Matthews, South Carolina Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, Winter Park, Florida Charlotte Museum of History, Charlotte, North Carolina Cherokee County Historical Society, Canton, Georgia Clinton House Museum, Fayetteville, Arkansas Computer Museum of America, Roswell, Georgia
East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville, Tennessee Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia Hilliard Art Museum University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana Historic Natchez Foundation, Natchez, Mississippi Horry County Museum, Conway, South Carolina International Museum of the Horse, Lexington, Kentucky Kennesaw State University – Museums, Archives, Kennesaw, Georgia LaGrange Art Museum, LaGrange, Georgia Marietta Museum of History, Marietta, Georgia Matheson History Museum, Gainesville, Florida Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage, Ridgeland, South Carolina Mosaic Templars Cultural, Little Rock, Arkansas Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia Paul W. Bryant Museum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Douglas S. Jones.
and engagement with, science and technology among all people. The new board members were recruited by ASTC’s Nominating Committee and were open to a vote of 500 science center and museum members worldwide. Jones, who has served as Florida Museum director since 1997, has previously served as president of the Florida Association of Museums and the Association of Science Museum Directors and board chair of the American Alliance of Museums. Founded in 1973, ASTC is a network of nearly 700 science and technology centers and museums, and allied organizations, engaging more than 110 million people annually in almost 50 countries. For more information, visit www.astc.org/astc-news-announcements/astcwelcomes-new-board-members-from-u-s-canadaand-colombia.
Angie Albright has been named the incoming director of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. She succeeds Allyn Lord, who is retiring on June 11 after serving as the museum’s director for sixteen years. Most recently, Albright served as the Shiloh Museum’s development director. Prior to that, she was the director of the Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville. She is actively involved in the Arkansas Museums Association, the Southeastern Museums Conference, and the American Association for State and Local History. “I’m pleased to welcome Angie as our new museum director. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team and will continue to lead the staff of the Shiloh Museum to serve the residents of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas with excellence,” said Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse
FLORIDA Florida Museum of Natural History Director Douglas S. Jones, Ph.D., has been appointed to the Association of Science and Technology Centers’ Board of Directors. In this role, he will advance the association’s vision of increased understanding of,
LOUISIANA Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses (HGGHH) has been awarded a Discovery grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the project Shifting Landscapes: Labor and Mobility in New Orleans. The panoramic 360° virtual tour of Gallier House will focus on telling the ignored histories of people of African descent who lived on the property, particularly as it relates to their interaction with the built environment and interstitial spaces. The project will analyze locations throughout the home with 70
multiple points of interest, providing historic content and context surrounding the lives of both enslaved people and free people of color. It will also create a digital experience for those that cannot view the space in person and preserve it for future audiences. Shifting Landscapes is under the direction of Dr. Anastacia Scott, Director of Educational Programming at HGGHH, and a collaboration with a team of experts including Dr. Fallon Aidoo, Jean Brainard Boebel Professor of Historic Preservation at the University of New Orleans; Dr. Bryan Carter, Director of the Center for Digital Humanities and Associate Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Arizona; Dr. Clifton Ellis, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Architectural History at Texas Tech University College of Architecture; Dr. Walter Greason, author focusing on innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to understanding slavery, segregation, and globalization since 1750; Dr. Erin Greenwald, Vice President of Public Programs and Editor-in-Chief of 64 Parishes magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities; Dr. Leslie Harris, Professor of History and African American Studies at Northwestern University; Dr. Louis Nelson, Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Professor of Architectural History at the University of Virginia; Dr. Arijit Sen, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; Ms. Brook Tesler, Executive Director of the Vieux Carré Commission Foundation; Dr. Dell Upton, Distinguished Professor of Architectural History at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Mr. Leon Waters, licensed tour guide and manager of Hidden History Tours in New Orleans. Brandon Hull of HullFILM will serve as the project’s digital consultant, having developed comprehensive virtual tour projects for spaces such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, and many others. This award is part the NEH’s most recent commitment of $33 million toward 213 humanities projects nationwide, and other recipients include colleges, universities, museums, and cultural institutions. In the Discovery grant category, 17 grants were awarded nationally for digital projects for the public including “websites, mobile applications, games, and virtual environments that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with humanities ideas.” This project will conclude in March 2022.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the NEH and its grant programs are available at neh.gov. Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, managed by The Woman’s Exchange, aims to preserve and maintain the architecture and decorative arts of the homes that they may act as a microcosm of life during the 19th and 20th centuries to inspire educational experiences and discourse around our collective past and its contribution to the culture of New Orleans.
The Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly Initiative for Underrepresented Artists supports growth of LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection by funding acquisitions of works by Black, Indigenous, and Latinx artists, including those of marginalized sexualities, gender identities, and communities. Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly supported acquisition of major work by MacArthur Fellow Carrie Mae Weems in 2018. In February of 2020, a larger vision came into focus for donor Winifred Reilly: Kevin and I developed this initiative with the museum staff to support structural change at LSU Museum of Art by fostering greater inclusivity. Supporting LSU MOA’s participation in Of/By/For All Change Network, development of a curatorial fellowship focused on African American art, and acquisitions by underrepresented artists are major steps toward lasting change. We hope this gift will encourage others to join us now and in future gifting to support LSU MOA’s commitment to become a place where everyone sees themselves, their culture, and their values represented. Working in conjunction with LSU Museum of Art’s Collecting Plan, which has focused purchasing funds on acquisitions by underrepresented artists since 2017, the Reillys committed an initial 500K to support this initiative to expand the collection in a more representative and inclusive way over two years. During the first year, 71
Mario Moore, During and After the Battle, 2020, oil on linen, LSUMOA 2021.2, Purchased with funds from Winifred and Kevin Reilly.
funding focused on acquiring works by Black artists, including another MacArthur Fellow Whitfield Lovell, Sonya Clark, Radcliffe Bailey, Gordon Parks, Madelyn Sneed-Grays, and Mario Moore. Executive Director Daniel Stetson believes this first wave of acquisitions marks a major step forward: Last year we celebrated fifteen years in the Shaw Center for the Arts—fifteen years off campus with an expanded focus on contemporary art. Fifteen years before that, LSU left behind its title and role as the Anglo-American Museum of Art. These acquisitions signal another moment of transformation that affirms
a foundational commitment to diversity and inclusion for the next fifteen years. The Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly Initiative for Underrepresented Artists also funds research for these ambitious acquisitions and new perspectives on LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection by supporting a newly developed Curatorial Fellowship focusing on African American Art. LSU Museum of Art is in the midst of a national search for a curatorial fellow with the goal to join LSU Museum of Art’s staff in the spring of 2021. An exhibition featuring recent acquisitions, Collection Spotlight: Recent Acquisitions by Black Artists, will be on view March 28 to Septem72
Larson Shindelman, Geolocation: I Know You Are Scared, 2011, archival pigment print, 24 × 20 inches.
ber 26, 2021. For more information about exhibition, click here.
SOUTH CAROLINA The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston presents the exhibition Larson Shindelman: Geolocation January 15 to March 5, 2021. Geolocation presents two series of works by artist duo Larson Shindelman, Geolocation and #Mobilize. They use publicly accessible geographic data from tweets and track down specific locations where Twitter users were when they posted on social media. Once there, the artists make a photograph from the location, connecting the tweet—stored on a remote server and readable around the globe—and the physical world. This body of work explores the connection between text and images, digital and analog, and private versus public. Twitter estimates there are over 500 million tweets daily, creating a new level of digital noise. Clive Thomp-
son uses the term ambient awareness to describe this incessant online contact in the New York Times Magazine article, “Brave New World of Digital Intimacy.” According to Thompson, “It is … very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does—body language, sighs, stray comments—out of the corner of your eye.” Their collaborative work is a means for situating this virtual communication in the physical realm. They imagine themselves as virtual flâneurs, ethnographers of the Internet, exploring cities 140 characters at a time through the lives of others. Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s collaborative practice, Larson Shindelman, was established in 2007. They investigate the data tracks we amass through networked communication. Their work ties the invisible to actual sites, anchoring the ephemeral in photographs and immersive video installations. Find out more about the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and this exhibition at halsey.cofc.edu. 73
IMPORTANT DATES The deadline for the Summer 2021 edition of Inside SEMC is July 30, 2021. To submit information for the newsletter, please contact the Council Director in your state or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEMC SEMC Student Work in Museums Competition deadline June 30, 2021 SEMC Competition Exhibition Competition deadline June 30, 2021 SEMC Publication Competition deadline June 30, 2021 SEMC Technology Competition deadline June 30, 2021 SEMC 2021 Awards Nomination deadline July 16, 2021 Hotel Room Block deadline October 8, 2021 In-person Annual Meeting Registration deadline October 15, 2021 National American Alliance of Museums 2021 Annual Meeting, Virtual May 24, June 7–9, 2021 Association of Academic Museums and Galleries 2021 Annual Meeting, Virtual June 7–11, 2021 Association of African American Museums 2021 Annual Meeting, Virtual August 4–6, 2021 American Association of State and Local History 2021 Annual Meeting September 22-25, 2021, Little Rock, AR October 12–15 (Online Conference)
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The Newsletter of the Southeastern Museums Conference