Inside SEMC Winter-Spring 2023

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The Newsletter of the Southeastern Museums Conference winter–spring 2023 |
Executive Director’s Notes Zinnia Willits 7 Save the Date for Table Talk 2023! 8 President’s Address Matt Davis 11 Membership Corner Carla Phillips 15 A Look Back at the Journey to JIMI 2023 Zinnia Willits 19 JIMI 2023 Relections Heather Nowak 25  JIMI 2023 Relections Robin Reed 27  JIMI 2023 Relections Key Fletcher 31 The 2023 JIMI Cohort  33 The 2023 JIMI Experience: Cohort Questions  36 A Special Thanks: Endowment and Membership Contributions 49 19 ON THE FRONT COVER The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts reopens. See page 85.
Lunch al fresco at the Jekyll Island Management Institute, January 2023.
An Internship with SEMC Claudia Hawkins 73 Spelman College Museum of Fine Art:  Art By and About Women of the African Diaspora Kaniah Pearson 77 Follow Yourself Polly Brasher 81 Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Reopens 85 Seventy-Five Years of Free Inspiration  at the Georgia Museum of Art 87 Pamela Junior, Anne Brennan, and Bill Eiland Announce Retirements 90 Save the Date for SEMC 2023: November 13–15, Louisville, Kentucky 91 Important Dates 94 SEMC Job Forum 94 Get Social 94 Membership Form 95 ON THE BACK COVER The Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, Kentucky. 87
The Georgia Museum of Art celebrates seventy-five years. Pictured is founder Alfred Heber Holbrook in the 1950s.


Alabama North Carolina

Arkansas South Carolina

Florida Tennessee

Georgia Virginia

Kentucky West Virginia

Louisiana U.S. Virgin Islands

Mississippi Puerto Rico


Zinnia Willits

Executive Director

Carla Phillips

Manager of Communications

and Member Services

Heather Nowak

Program Administrator contact semc SEMC | P.O. Box 550746 Atlanta, GA 30355-3246

T: 404.814.2048 or 404.814.2047

F: 404.814.2031



Inside SEMC is published three times a year by SEMC. Annual subscription is included in membership dues.

Design: Nathan Moehlmann, Goosepen Studio & Press

The deadline for the Summer 2023 newsletter is July 31, 2023.

To submit information for the newsletter, please contact Zinnia Willits ( or Carla Phillips (cphillips@

semc officers

Matthew S. Davis  President

Director of Historic Museums,  Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

Dr. Calinda Lee  Vice President

Principal, Sources Cultural Resources  Management, LLC, Atlanta, GA

Deitrah J. Taylor  Secretary

Public Historian,  Milledgeville, GA

Scott Alvey  Treasurer

Director, Kentucky Historical Society,  Frankfort, KY

Heather Marie Wells  Past President

Digital Media Project Manager, Crystal Bridges  Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

semc directors

Glenna Barlow

Curator of Education,  Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC

Alexander Benitez

Director of Museums and Tourism,  City of Portsmouth,  Portsmouth, VA

Tafeni English

Director, Alabama State Office,  Southern Poverty Law Center/Civil  Rights Memorial, Montgomery, AL

Katie Ericson

Director of Education,  Michael C. Carlos Museum,  Atlanta, GA

Nancy Fields

Director and Curator, The Museum of  the Southeast American Indian,  Pembroke, NC

Brigette Janea Jones

Director of Equitable Partnerships,  Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery,  Nashville, TN

Pamela D. C. Junior

Director, Two Mississippi Museums,  Mississippi Department of  Archives & History, Jackson, MS

Rosalind Martin

Director of Education,  Knoxville Museum of Art,  Knoxville, TN

Michelle Schulte

Chief Curator, LSU Museum of Art,  Baton Rouge, LA

Michael Scott

Project Manager,  Solid Light,  Louisville, KY

Ahmad Ward

Executive Director, Historic Mitchelville  Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island, SC

Lance Wheeler

Director of Exhibitions, National Center  for Civil and Human Rights,  Atlanta, GA


semc executive director’s notes

Dear SEMC:

The SEMC Program Committee and Council gathered in Louisville in early March to design the 2023 Annual Meeting program and attend to the “business” of SEMC including the first steps in the strategic planning process, which the Council will begin in earnest later this year. We had a terrific turnout for both meetings and it felt so good to be together for the work, and learn more about Louisville’s rich history, culture, and local scene. It was wonderful to see so many colleagues in person and engage in productive, animated discussions about the session proposals and SEMC’s future. The time and thoughtful consideration all individuals put into this work resulted in efficient meetings and a balanced slate of sessions for SEMC2023 that we look forward to sharing with the membership very soon! Special thanks to Heather Nowak and Timia Thompson for organizing our time and creating an environment for discussion that was inclusive and provided opportunities for all voices to be heard. I returned from mid-year planning fully committed to the work ahead and energized by

the guidance of SEMC’s leadership as we move this organization into its next phase. In the coming year, SEMC will continue monthly virtual programs and partnerships with other professional organizations including an ongoing collaboration with the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries geared toward student populations and emerging museum professionals. Now that we have successfully relaunched the Jekyll Island Management Institute, SEMC will next turn its attention toward opening applications for the Handumy Jean Tahan Internship Fund and the 2024 Leadership Institute. We are also focused on SEMC2023 in Louisville, Kentucky, which will provide opportunities for attendees to engage in direct dialogue, networking, and professional development with their southeast museum peers.

As we move away from the pandemic, the coming years will bring new challenges to SEMC. Through purposeful strategic planning and member engagement, SEMC will navigate the challenges and remain nimble and ready to  meet the moment and assist the southeast

Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.

museum community in finding opportunities for positive change and forward movement .

It is essential for museums to continue to adapt to the current realities and think ahead to building a fundamentally different future. As recent years have taught us, change can come quickly and powerfully. SEMC will be a resource as members continue to evolve, build a different, more equitable future for the field, and recognize this unique period in our shared history as a time that calls us to bring our best.

SEMC has gained considerable experience in planning for and navigating the adjustments needed to manage events, professional networking, learning and engagement during times of disruption. We are looking forward

to a productive, strategic, engaged year. SEMC staff and leadership will work hard to support museums and museum professionals in the southeast in building a more equitable future through creative collaborations that connect organizations to diverse communities and spark positive change.


Save the Date for Table Talk 2023!

Mark your calendars for the Table Talk session at SEMC2023. This year Table Talk will take place on Sunday, November 12, from 8:00 to 9:30 pm at the E&S Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. Transportation to and from the event will be available.

First introduced at SEMC2022, “Table Talk” invites museum practitioners to engage in dialogue around provocative topics regarding the industry as a means of challenging the status quo and broadening people’s perspectives about the field as a whole. These critical conversations aim to push individuals beyond the limits of business as usual, and into more intentional and innovative thought processes to reimagine museums. Plan to join the 2023 session for real conversation about the real work that needs to happen in this field.

Mark your calendars for SEMC2023, November 13–15, 2023

Louisville, Kentucky

SEMC2023 Registration will open in late Spring!


semc president’s address

Greetings, SEMC Members!

I hope this message finds you well and getting ready for a spring full of field trips, exhibitions, and special programming at your respective museums. Your SEMC Leadership Council and Committees have been hard at work over the last few weeks on a variety of topics. On March 2–3, the Program Committee and Council met at our annual midyear meeting to review session proposals, set the conference schedule, review financials, discuss conference logistics, and develop plans to further your regional organization.

I think you will agree that SEMC 2023 in Louisville is shaping up to be a fantastic conference. The local host committee, program committee, and local community partners have crafted an outstanding schedule of events, sessions, and programs that will speak to a wide variety of issues facing the field today. I hope you will make plans to join us in Kentucky in November!

In closing, I am always impressed by the wide variety of excellent work, thoughtful exhibitions, and programming being produced by professionals across the region. We are doing great and important work across the southeast and are moving the needle in many areas of our field. Thank you for all of your hard work and I continue to be grateful for your trust in electing me to the presidency of the conference.

Have a great spring and take care!


12 LIGHTING DESIGN FOR MUSEUMS National Museum of American History Entertainment Nation Exhibit Design: Reich & Petch

Black Panther Costume worn by

Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery

March 24, 2023 – March 24, 2024

by the NMAAHC Corporate Leadership Council
Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery March 24, 2023 – March 24, 2024 Generously supported
Coming Soon
Chadwick Boseman
Coming Soon
Black Panther Costume worn by Chadwick Boseman On
View Now
Collection of the Smithsonian
Museum of African
History and Culture, Gift of Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company, © Marvel
Susan B. Anthony Museum & House


Professional Development For ALL!

Professional Development: “The opportunity to learn and apply new knowledge and skills that can help you in your job and further your career. Professional development is all about building your skill set and knowledge base for your field and includes activities that contribute to career development and progression.”

SEMC offers a variety of opportunities for professional development including FREE monthly virtual programs, in-person leadership programs, and, of course, the annual meeting. Professional development is often the catalyst for how museums and cultural institutions can move forward, offering staff opportunities to learn about cutting-edge processes and see how new ideas can be implemented into operations and programs. However, professional development is often the first area to be cut when institutional budgets are forced to get “lean.”

All organizations aspire to have happy staff to ensure they are not part of a growing number of individuals searching for new jobs with better benefits and opportunities for growth. Organizations that openly demonstrate care and concern about employee growth (not just for upper management and managers) are better at retaining staff. Does your organization offer nonexempt staff who meet, greet, instruct, and guide, the opportunity to go to a regional or local meeting once a year? Can you provide staff time and opportunities to

take an online course to help them do their job better and learn the latest trends in their department/field?

Here are some tips for developing or updating your program: 1. Have a clear and equitable employee program that says, we value you and want to invest in your growth and potential. 2. Make the process to seek training easy. 3. Have budgets that are transparent and equitable for all departments.

Professional development doesn’t have to break the bank; there are many free and inexpensive programs available. Search the web, talk with colleagues at other organizations, and mention it to your supervisor to uncover the options.

Successful people continue to learn and develop their skills by taking advantage of professional development opportunities over the entirety of their careers.

Please reach out to the SEMC staff if you need additional information on our suite of programs and resources. We have offerings for various budgets designed to help you and your team continue to grow and develop professionally.

17 Media Master Planning Design & Production 413.247.6447

A Look Back at the Journey to JIMI 2023

It has taken me a bit to gather my thoughts enough to write about the 2023 Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI) offered by the Southeastern Museums Conference. As a new Director of SEMC and a long-time museum professional who (oddly) was NOT an alum of the Jekyll Island Management Institute — I always wanted to attend this professional training program, but the timing was never right — I really had no idea what to expect from the administrative side.

First, a brief history for those unfamiliar with JIMI. The Jekyll Island Management Institute began in the early 1980s as a workshop called Jumpstart! In 2000, after several successful programs, Martha Battle Jackson, then-chairman of the SEMC Professional Development Committee, expanded Jumpstart! to form the Jekyll Island Management Institute. Working closely with Peter S. LaPaglia, the first JIMI Coordinator, this museum management program was located on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The program eventually expanded to eight days and included sessions on strategic planning,

leadership, fundraising, disaster preparedness, public relations, exhibitions, collections, interpretation, volunteer management, management styles, and ethics. The Institute evolved to provide a total immersion environment for museum professionals to learn about museum administration and operations. After the untimely death of Peter LaPaglia in 2008, through an outpouring of generous donations, SEMC established the Peter S. LaPaglia JIMI Scholarship Fund to honor his contributions to the museum and public history fields and support future attendees of the Jekyll Island Management Institute. This fund held by the Southeastern Museums Conference continues today as a designated restricted account within the SEMC Endowment Fund.

Over the years, JIMI became a nationally recognized program boasting over 300 graduates from across the southeast and beyond that represent museum professionals from various types and sizes of museums. In its first 20 years, 30 different faculty from across the country shared their expertise with museum professionals from 31 states and the District of Columbia, helping them gain confidence to assume directorships, conduct capital campaigns, build new facilities or expand current ones, improve collections management practices, create

JIMI lunch.

new educational programs, write disaster preparedness and response manuals, obtain AAM accreditation, and take leadership roles in national, regional, and state museum associations.

As the Jekyll Island Management Institute entered its 20th year (2020), both Martha Battle Jackson and John Lancaster announced their retirements as long-time JIMI administrator and facilitator. Martha and John’s many years of dedication, commitment, and passion

contributed to JIMI’s success as an affordable, reputable, sought-after professional development program. In that same year (2020), the Southeastern Museums Conference underwent its own leadership transition with the passing of the torch from one Executive Director to another. While the initial plan was to appoint a new Administrator for the Jekyll Island Management Institute, the COVID-19 global pandemic necessitated a postponement of the JIMI program for the foreseeable future.

Full cohort reception at the Jekyll Island Club.

After a challenging 2020, the SEMC Council decided to continue to pause the Jekyll Island Management Institute and conduct a formal program evaluation in preparation for a 2023 relaunch.

Fast forward to late spring 2022, when the JIMI wheels began to turn once again. In collaboration with Council leadership, SEMC staff advertised an open call for 2023 JIMI instructors. Using a transparent rubric system, a JIMI Instructor Selection Committee narrowed the

large pool of applicants to seventeen instructors and a facilitator who would guide the 2023 cohort through the program.

Incorporating feedback from the 2021 JIMI Evaluation, the program curriculum was updated to incorporate concepts of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion as well as current technologies into each session.

SEMC staff rebuilt the program webpage, updated the daily schedule, and re-established relationships with partners on Jekyll Island. In early fall 2022, the call for applications for the 2023 Jekyll Island Management Institute was announced. Using an updated selection rubric, the 2023 JIMI Selection Committee narrowed a large pool of applicants to a diverse cohort of 18 individuals interested in filling knowledge gaps related to museum management.

SEMC was able to provide four tuition scholarships from the Peter S. LaPaglia Fund to support 2023 Jekyll Island Management Institute attendees and was grateful for additional generous support from the Jekyll Island Authority, National Museum of African American History and Culture-Office of Strategic Partnerships, Smithsonian Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past, and individual donors.

Several state museum associations, including the Arkansas Museum Association, Mississippi Museum Association, and the North Carolina Museums Council, offered scholarships to attendees from those states to assist with tuition and travel fees.

A renewed partnership with leaders at the Jekyll Island Authority provided donated space at Villa Ospo (on the Island) for JIMI2023 sessions. Ms. Heather Nowak joined the SEMC staff in August 2022 and assumed the role of co-administrator (with Ms. Zinnia Willits) for the 2023 JIMI program.

JIMI2023 ran January 17–24, 2023, and utilized the PheedLoop platform for sharing Institute materials and schedules. The program began promptly at 8:30 am on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 with an opening session that covered introductions and ground rules for the week where the cohort could contribute topics they wished to discuss further and collectively decide how to engage with each other. Mr. Robin Reed, JIMI Facilitator, provided an introductory overview of the state of the


museum field and reviewed how the week would work in terms of daily sessions, breaks, and reflection. That first afternoon was spent touring the Island and getting oriented to the Jekyll Island Historic District. Jekyll Island Authority staff provided this tour which culminated with a guided experience at the Wanderer Memory Trail. This was a full day of getting to know one another, the program, and the Island.

Sessions (four per day) ran 8:30am–5:00pm with two thirty-minute breaks and provided lunch; the group ate together outside each day. Three “lunch and learn” opportunities were also offered (historic preservation, outdoor interpretation and the Mosaic Museum) over the course of the 8-day program. The cohort was given opportunities throughout the day to move around, stretch, and complete small group work. Most evenings, dinner was on one’s own although many gathered for group dinners (using the hotel shuttle, carpooling,

etc.) at restaurants both on and off the Island; others preferred quiet time and check-ins with work/family. Saturday, January 21 was a free day! The cohort spent the day in small groups touring various parts of Jekyll and surrounding areas. A group dinner was offered (by SEMC) on Saturday evening at the Hampton Inn, the 2023 program host hotel.

After 8 full days of sessions (a total of twenty-four sessions/topics) SEMC organized a reception and final dinner for the cohort, several guests, and sponsors at the Riverview Terrace of the Jekyll Island Club. The evening concluded with a presentation of JIMI lapel pins, special recognition awards, a group photo, and many emotional goodbyes.

This eight-day experience (ten days for me as an administrator) was a wonderful and unique adventure with museum professionals from across the region

Wanderer Memory Trail tour.

representing different types and sizes of institutions, career stages, and disciplines within a museum. The cohort of dynamic, caring individuals truly represents the future of the field. The instructors brought their experience, expertise, and enthusiasm and developed interactive sessions to deliver best practices in a way that was relatable and open to questions and healthy

debate. A gorgeous island setting and amazing partners and supporters both on Jekyll Island and beyond rounded out the experience. I am so thankful to all those involved with JIMI2023 for believing in SEMC and trusting the staff, program leaders, and the process. I have great respect and appreciation for all involved with JIMI, past, present, and future. Now I know.

Zinnia Willits and Robin Reed.

JIMI 2023 Reflections

instructors to settle hotel reservations, compiled the daily lunch menu selections for instructors and cohort, planned and organized the dinner events, and sent a multitude of emails to relay details to all participants and gather information. It was extremely important that even the smallest of details were planned and accounted for and would be an integral part of a successful relaunch.

Once on Jekyll Island, my role transitioned from planning to implementation. Zinnia Willits and I arrived two days before the Institute began to organize all the program materials and spaces we would use for the next 10 days. During this prep time, we made many trips off the island to gather supplies, an exercise we would repeat sometimes twice per day over the course of the JIMI program! Once the program started, SEMC staff helped the cohort and instructors settle into the schedule and ensured they had everything needed to feel informed in a comfortable learning environment.

Iheard about the Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI) in the early 2000s. I had been involved with SEMC for a couple of years by that point and JIMI kept coming up. I never applied, but knew based on what the alumni told me, it was special. And wow, do I understand now! My role in JIMI 2023 was primarily administrative and organizational. I worked with the

As I reflect on the time I spent working on JIMI and on the Island with the instructors and cohort, I find it difficult to articulate what exactly makes JIMI so special. I believe it starts with the beautiful and inspiring landscape of Jekyll Island. A unique learning experience with knowledgeable and thoughtful instructors and a remarkable cohort ties the program together. I loved watching the curriculum become reality; the reality became a lasting memory. I understand now just how important and special JIMI is and this class, the JIMI class of 2023, may always be the most special to me.

Heather Nowak arrives at JIMI. Live oaks in the Jekyll Island historic district.

JIMI 2023 Reflections

On January 17 of this year, 18 brave museum professionals entered an eight-day immersive experience as individual cohorts and came out as a group of friends. We call that experience the Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI). The affiliates represented different museum disciplines and were from various stages in their museum career. The Institute, created by Martha Battle Jackson, aided later by John Lancaster and friends, envisioned a place where middle management and new directors could learn, share, and discuss the complexities of the museum world.

After a hiatus of three years, starting after the conclusion of JIMI’s 20th year caused by Covid 19, SEMC brought this juggernaut program back online. The onsite JIMI leadership team included SEMC Executive Director Zinnia Willits, Program Administrator Heather Nowak, and me as the discussion facilitator. The reward for this challenging and daunting work was the enthusiasm of our cohorts and instructors.

Jekyll Island was the perfect backdrop for our associates to learn from different professionals, all leaders in their fields. The rough but tranquil landscape of the island created an atmosphere to enrich one’s mind, soul, and spirit. The participants were eager to learn, discuss, and debate the challenges of our museum world. The energy of the individuals in the group inspired each other, the staff, and the instructors. We were capturing lightning in a bottle.

It makes me hopeful for the future of our industry.

Robin Reed at JIMI, 2023. Group hug of the 2023 JIMI class.
The JIMI class of 2023.

JIMI 2023 Reflections

Quantia “Key” Fletcher , 2023 JIMI Alumna and Director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

Stop the presses! I’ve always wanted to say that, and it feels amazing to finally get it out. It doesn’t quite have the same feeling coming from a museum director versus inside a newsroom, but it fits as I’m changing direction, reexamining copy, and shifting my narrative after my experience at Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI).

I’ve never fit in. I often wonder how I got into this interesting world of museums, preservation, and culture. In

the beginning, I had no intentions of staying and yet almost twenty years later, here I am. Fitting in isn’t so much about where you belong, it’s more about spaces created for you. Growing up, I never saw space for me in the museum world. I didn’t know anyone in this industry or what a museum professional was. Through fate and blessings, I landed a job as a guide at the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. I fell in love with storytelling and understanding the history of southern culture. It became my passion to create space for the Black

As a young museum director, JIMI seemed like a great idea. The well-rounded course designed to give me

narrative. above : Key and friends at JIMI, 2023. opposite: Shawn Halifax, Executive Director, Woodlawn and Pope-Leighey House Historic Sites, Alexandria, VA, teaches interpretation at JIMI, 2023.

insight into a multitude of museums, perspectives, and angles piqued my interest. The relaunching with an emphasis on incorporating diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion into all subjects sealed the deal. I was hopeful that I would do more than learn best practices and new skills, I was looking forward to experiencing a cultural shift.

I had no idea what to expect from JIMI. Was it going to be like a museum conference, a college course, symposium, or a late-night study session? The days were long and fulfilling. I would sit in class during the day and get to know my cohorts and hear about their experiences in the evenings. Of course, I can’t forget the awe-inspiring tours of the island. Our instructors provided the information and content, but my cohort provided the meat for our po-boy sandwich. I’m a New Orleans girl, so there you go! The presenters were some of the brightest in the field, but the questions that my passionate and dedicated team members grappled with challenged me.

As a museum director, I had the unique opportunity to listen to the instructors and those doing the work in a multitude of areas. My peers spoke of fear and change. Many of them grappled with questioning authority but not always having the final word in these conflicts. We examined our practices in a post covid and George Floyd world. Innovation and creativity flowed from each table, and the ingenuity of the solutions I heard made challenges seem doable. My little pen and notebook couldn’t keep up!

Often daily life and lack of resources force museum professionals into a mindset of “good enough.” In my cohort I saw fresh vision. In many of our teachers I knew that “good enough” wasn’t great, and they were willing to be challenged and to admit their mistakes for the sake of our development. In the constant give and take, with mutual respect and understanding of our differences and values, magic happened. We discovered that the sum of us all together was greater than the outside forces telling us what our museums should

be. We understood the assignment. We hold the key to guide our institutions to the next level, no matter how scary and uncharted the future may feel.

After JIMI, I knew that I wanted to implement big changes at my museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and I had a small window of opportunity. We are working toward an entirely redesigned permanent gallery after a $3.5 million renovation campaign. I now know that I don’t want to just transform the space, I want to transform my culture. I’m always challenging my team to dream big, try new things and fail if we must. This was the petri dish moment.

I implemented six months of no new programming. No new rentals or space use, no adult or k-12 programs, no partnerships, no exhibit openings … nothing. Instead, we are doing the inner work. Creating new systems that will allow us to be more impactful and meaningful in how we serve our audiences. We’re reevaluating what success and stewardship looks like, and how onboarding experiences shape museum culture. We are redefining our museum post covid intentionally. When Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts its grand reopening in the fall of 2023, it will be amazing. With more innovation and technology, expanded stories and new layout, I have no doubt people will love it. What I will be most proud of is the foundation that it’s built on. My team is better equipped, I’m more prepared and we are ready to continue our spirit of Black excellence.

My experience at JIMI reminded me to keep challenging what I know to be true against new information and calibrating when needed. My vision is that Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will be the conduit that transforms the historic W. 9th street corridor of Little Rock into more than just a fading memory of Black economic brilliance, but to a main destination spot for people visiting Arkansas. I have a world-class museum in one of the best cities in the country. The intensive and deliberate relationship-building and experiences that I gained at JIMI helped me bring the future of my team and our museum more clearly into view.


The 2023 JIMI Cohort

Adrienne Nirde Ashley Hollinshead Heather Nowak Alexandra Piper Chris Cook Joshua Watson Amy Nelson Elizabeth Spear Julie Waters

The 2023 JIMI Cohort

Key Fletcher Olivia Helmer Lisa Fields Robin Reed Melissa Tran Scotty Almany

The 2023 JIMI Cohort

Taylor Davis Sierra Polisar Will Story Natalie Smith Zinnia Willits Stephani Roohani


1) What is your favorite JIMI memory?

2) What is the most important thing you learned?

Key Fletcher , Director, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

1. In the constant give and take, with mutual respect and understanding of our differences and values, magic happened. We discovered that the sum of us all together was greater than the outside forces telling us what our museums should be.

2. My experience at JIMI reminded me to keep challenging what I know to be true against new information and calibrating when needed.

Will Story , Museum Manager, Jekyll Island Authority

1. The really very nice dinner at the Jekyll Island Club. It was a lovely and a great way to end an incredible program.

2. That I have a professional network to reach out to. The cohort, you and Zinnia, Robin, all of the instructors… the getting to know everyone.. developing relationships… that to me was the most valuable part of it all. Not to say that the instruction wasn’t valuable too… it certainly was.

Chris Cook , Education Curator, Louisiana State Museum

1. The discussions: Webinars and conferences are great sources of information, but it is often difficult to process what you have learned with your peers in the audience as everyone is hurrying back to work or the next session.

At JIMI we had the time, space, support, and safety to really dig into topics and trade notes on not just how things were going at our own organizations, but what we hoped might change in our field in the future. Everyone was interested in what each other had to say, to a teacher and to a student. Being able to digest lessons and try to reconcile difficulties in a timely manner with such an interested and interesting cohort made me so much more excited about my museum career… I am proud to have been part of such a great cohort!

2. I don’t think I can isolate a single lesson I took home, except that I came back feeling empowered. In my first week back I started trying to find ways to be a bridge between different departments so that we could all work together on some common issues. I also recently became project manager for a major grant application to fund an exhibit change, and will be using lessons from the interpretation, education, design, and communication sessions to help bring together a vision for that space.

1. I can’t pick just one! Fitting nine of us in a large Adirondack chair outside the Jekyll Island club? Intense lunchtime discussions about which US President was hottest? Korean food and finding out Every Friday is Potato Day? Shark tooth hunting at the beach; stargazing at night?

2. I learned that the next generation of museum leaders

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is a highly motivated, highly empathetic group of people and it gives me hope for the future. A lot of our time in JIMI was spent dissecting the issues we face as early and mid-career professionals and trying to get to the root of some of these pervasive problems in our field. It was encouraging to know we’re thinking critically about these things that can sometimes feel like “part of the job” in museums that maybe don’t need to be!

understand myself better and to see my own potential. It felt like being seen for the first time and it felt like thriving. It was truly profound.

Melissa Tran , Assistant Director of Distance Learning, The National WWII Museum

JIMI was such a great experience. It was important for me to learn more about best practices and current trends in the field. Particularly helpful for me was the session on accessibility, and thinking about how our small museum can incorporate this into our visitor services plan. The beautiful location was a bonus!

1. It’s hard to narrow down a “favorite” memory from JIMI, because there were so many special moments. One night a big storm was on the precipice of rolling in and a handful of us walked down to the beach to take it all in. You could feel the energy of the storm through the darkness, and every once in a while a strike of lightning would illuminate the sky. I felt really lucky in that moment to know I have a whole cohort of people — of friends — that would always be behind me, working quietly but illuminating the field with each move they make.

2. In museums, we are all facing challenges, change can be slow but is inevitable, and this work is important and meaningful. The value of having a strong network to lean on and support each other is essential for this kind of work to be sustainable!

1. How could I possibly choose one?! Beyond the day in and day out with the cohort, I still smile thinking about the final dinner where we all looked around the room and realized the impact of the program: a network of people, a support system, and most importantly, new friends. We had just spent so much time with each other, and it was beautiful to recognize each person’s growth and achievements. At the end we did a big group huddle!

2. The most important thing I learned is how many brilliant, hardworking, compassionate people are trying to change this profession and the future of museums for the better.

Meadow Gardens

1. Favorite memory—having a full access tour of Hollybourne Cottage and watching the removal of 100 year old Tiffany stained glass windows from Faith Chapel with Taylor Davis, JIA Historic Preservationist. Taylor’s passion for preservation is evident and contagious!

2. Regardless of institution size, we truly all face the same challenges. We have to be advocates for ourselves and what’s best for our institutions. Changes won’t happen overnight, but we still have to chip away at the things that need to change.

1. My favorite JIMI memory was star gazing with my new friends on the beach at night. The stars were so bright, the sky so dark, the weather perfect and the company sweet.

2. Attending JIMI helped me see myself as a leader. The experience gave clarity and focus to my career goals, and it gave me the confidence to aim for something bigger than I ever expected for myself. JIMI helped me

1. Amazing camaraderie and bonding with my deeply passionate, talented, and hilarious cohort.

2. I learned that I already have a lot of the skills to be a leader in the museum field, but if or when I decide to take that leap, I will feel much more confident thanks to the knowledge and resources I gained at JIMI, including a strong and supportive peer network.

Amy Nelson , Marketing & Development, American Saddlebred Museum Alexandra Piper , Program Producer, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Sierra Polisar , Registrar and Collections Manager, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University

1. My favorite JIMI memory was a trip I took with other participants to Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. I had never seen anything like it before, and was blown away by the spectacular scenery.

2. I attended an evening discussion regarding the topic of salary negotiations, but I felt like the informal conversation turned into something much more. It invited us to consider our worth and how our work was valued, and to think about what we wanted for the future. The conversation really opened my mind to think about my own path and career goals more critically than I perhaps have in the past. I don’t have all the answers yet, but I feel like even asking myself questions about what I want for the future has had a positive impact on the way I approach my work.

1. This question is a bit tough just because there are so many good memories. It is hard to top the feeling of accomplishment I had at the graduation dinner or even the initial excitement of being accepted and knowing I was going to be there. The one moment that stands out the most to me though is one that I can’t even pinpoint but sometime, maybe on the third or fourth day, I had an epiphany of what made JIMI so unique and special. I think it was because the cohort had really started melding and I saw why we were all there together. The experience of being part of my own special cohort will always be a proud and significant memory.

2. Going into JIMI I was hoping to find a benchmark for myself and where my knowledge and skillset were


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at in the museum field, to hopefully gain a little bit of confidence in myself, and to find some direction of how to progress and grow as a museum professional. I can say without a doubt that all of these elements were accomplished. What I did not know was how much I would learn from the other members of the cohort. I was one of the oldest of our group and I picked up so much from the younger members about the community and where the field is headed. I learned from everyone but feel like I got an entirely new set of perspectives from hearing the experiences of and getting to know those in their twenties and thirties that will prove to be invaluable.

1. Post-session, evening chats where we could deep dive into that day’s discussions and just get to know each other are my favorite memories of JIMI. I loved every bit of my time at JIMI, but my cohort was definitely my favorite part.

2. I learned a lot about myself. Turns out, I am very confident in my skills and ability in the museum field. I also saw how important it is to be open to learning new ideas and meeting new people - one of the most dangerous things is to become stagnant and unresponsive.

1. I so appreciated the overall setting and setup of JIMI. First of all, Jekyll Island is stunning and unlike anywhere I have gotten the chance to visit. But additionally, just having the time and space to sit and learn amongst other professionals for that length of time was a real pleasure. Particularly in the business of our field, there is seldom time to sit and learn and have real conversations about it. It was refreshing to sit and absorb and think deeply in community.

2. I think this was a real opportunity for me to appreciate our field and the types of professionals that are attracted to it. We spend a lot of time talking about the hardships of our era and the challenges that this creates


for our institutions, but I also felt incredibly grateful to get to know more incredible people that are taking on this work. There are challenges – but there is a next generation of leadership who are ready to take them on and create equity in institutions and work to truly serve the communities that they are a part of. For me personally, it was also an opportunity to take in and reflect where I currently am in the field. I have always been interested in leadership positions, but have faced a number of challenges in navigating our field. I have sometimes lacked the confidence to seek more for myself and my career. This was a time for me to reinforce that I am skilled, knowledgeable, and capable of taking on more. And also that I have a new community of support in the field as upcoming transitions take place.

of beaches, an unexpected 2-mile walk to get to Sharktooth beach, and the many different introverted and extroverted personalities I got to know.

2. The curriculum covered during JIMI explained everything there is to know about managing a museum. However, the most important thing I learned wasn’t in class. The most important thing I learned was how to open up to strangers and make friends. I am a very introverted person, so I tend to shy away from making connections with people I don’t know. But when you are on an island with no one you know you have to learn to communicate.

1. My favorite memory is visiting all the different sites around Jekyll Island; from the 4 very different types

1. There were so many but I think the “intimate” discussions in the evenings in the hotel lobby were great. We were able to get some great real-world information and ask any types of questions and others were able to share as well. It was very informal and fun.

2. Personally, I learned to come out of my shell a little

Joshua Watson , IS Director, Mississippi Department of Archives & History Lisa Fields , Senior Business Manager, Michael C. Carlos Museum
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more. I want to learn from others as much as they can learn from me so I am working on being more vocal. I have also learned that I want to know more about museum management and take that next step professionally.

1. It’s difficult to pick a single favorite memory from JIMI! It was a week filled with many inspiring conversations, encouragement from peers to tackle big issues, and challenges to grow both personally and professionally. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a week with an incredible group of museum professionals! I will be reflecting on all these memories for years to come.

2. As an emerging museum professional, JIMI encouraged me to consider my future career in museums and challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone. Now not only do I have a clearer understanding of my career

goals, but I feel as though I have the tools, confidence, and encouragement from peers to pursue those goals.

1. There were so many great things about JIMI, but my favorite thing was the ability to be able to talk and interact with other museum professionals without worrying that we are boring all the other non-museum folks in the room. The wealth of knowledge of the speakers and other members of the cohort made this event incredible. In addition, the organization and care giving that was done for the cohort was so much appreciated! We left everyday well-fed and informed.

2. A refreshing realization that I came away with was that all museums face similar issues in all aspects of operation. Sometimes, I can get bogged down trying to re-invent solutions to seemingly unique problems that we are facing here on Jekyll, but all of the discussion sessions proved that we are all facing the same issues for the most part, just with different details.

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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

David Butler

Elise LeCompte

Rosalind Martin

Nathan Moehlmann

William Paul, Jr.

Graig Shaak

Heather Marie Wells


Members of the Past Presidents Circle contribute $150 annually for at least two years to the endowment fund:

George Bassi

Sharon Bennett

David Butler

Charles “Tom” Butler

Tamra Sindler Carboni

Micheal A. Hudson

Darcie MacMahon

Douglas Noble

Robert Rathburn

Graig D. Shaak

Robert Sullivan

Zinnia Willits

Kristen Miller Zohn


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

Alderson Fellows

(minimum $1,000)

T. Patrick Brennan

Michael Brothers

W. James Burns

Matthew Davis

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

Susan Perry

Robin Seage Person

Robin Reed

Allison Reid

Steve Rucker

Michael Scott Warren

Heather Marie Wells

Kristen Miller Zohn

SEMC contributors at the 2022 annual meeting.

Other SEMC Contributions


Heather Nowak

Michael (Scott) Warren

Heather Marie Wells


Scott Alvey

Patrick Daily

Matthew Davis

William Eiland

Nick Gray

Hutchinson Design Group

R. Andrew Maass

Katy Menne

Lauren Pacheco

Marianne Richter

Michelle Schulte

Michael Scott

Heather Marie Wells

Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

Institute of Museum and Library Services


Rebecca Bush

Joy Tahan Ruddell

Joshua Whitfield


Carolyn Reams


Robin Reed

51 S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G A N D I M P L E M E N T A T I O N D E S I G N E D W I T H Y O U R O R G A N I Z A T I O N I N M I N D
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Michael (Scott) Warren

Heather Marie Wells

Association of African American Museums


Angie Albright

Claire Gwaltney

Lauren Virgo

Michael Warren

Heather Marie Wells


Mary Miller

Heather Nowak National Museum of African American History and Culture-Office of Strategic Partnerships

Smithsonian Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past

Jekyll Island Authority

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 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, email, or call 404.814.2047. For your convenience, the last page of this newsletter is a membership application.


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Dianna Bradley, Tallahassee, Florida

Jon Broadbooks, Cooperstown, New York

Sean Burke, Knoxville, Tennessee

Jacob Coburn, Cullowhee, North Carolina

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Anita Funston, Asheville, North Carolina

Evangeline Giaconia, Gainesville, Florida

Claudia Hawkins, Milledgeville, Georgia

Zoe Hume, Tallahassee, Florida

Melody Hunter-Pillion, Cary, North Carolina

Ivy Johnson, Gainesville, Georgia

Megan Keener, Merritt Island, Florida

Indira Lessington, Charleston, SC

Benjamin Malik, Acworth, Georgia


Madison McCormick, Elmira, West Virginia

Julia Mileski, Williamsburg, Virginia

Rachel Mohr, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Samantha Oleschuk, New Hill, North Carolina

Kaniah Pearson, Atlanta, Georgia

Sarah Robles, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Corinne Roth, Milwaukee, WI

Jasmine Sears, Atlanta, Georgia

Apoorva Shah, Miramar, Florida

Thomas Strebeck, Columbia, SC

Megan Tewell, Johnson City, Tennessee

Eileen Tomczuk, New Orleans, Louisiana

Alyssa Watrous, Rome, Georgia

Ashley Williams, Tallahassee, FL


Krishna Adams, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Jess Alden, Atlanta, Georgia

Emilie Alfino, Sanibel, Florida

Nancy Allred, Cary, North Carolina

Jasmine Alvarado, Conyers, GA

Lauren Aristizabal, Bradenton, Florida

Becca Barnes, Cartersville, Georgia

Kathleen Barnett, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Amber Barnhardt, Athens, Georgia

Austin Bell, Marco Island, Florida

Eboni Belton, Columbia, South Carolina

Rex Bennett, Cookeville, Tennessee

Victoria Berry, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Erin Blackledge, Brandon, Mississippi

Steven Blashfield, Richmond, Virginia

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Marcie Breffle, Atlanta GA

Amanda Briede, LOUISVILLE, Kentucky

Margaret Brown, Durham, North Carolina

Jenny Burney, St. Louis, Missouri

Rebecca Bush, Columbus, Georgia

Jayd Buteaux, New Iberia, Louisiana

Samantha Bynum, Paris, Arkansas

Madeline Calise, Melbourne, Florida

Colleen Callahan, Richmond, Virginia

Sharon Campbell, Travelers Rest, South Carolina

Danny Carroll, Newport News, Virginia

Staci Catron, Atlanta, Georgia

Maggie Claytor, Charleston, South Carolina

Brittany Cohill, Jacksonville, Florida

Leah Craig, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Matthew Davis, Gray, Georgia

Debra DeBolt, Pensacola, Florida

Dean DeBolt, Pensacola, Florida

Patty Dees, Cartersville, Georgia

Bartholomew Delcamp, Winter Haven, Florida

Kathryn Dixson, Atlanta, Georgia

James Draper, Merritt Island, Florida

Didi Dunphy, Athens, Georgia

Christian Edwards, Pittsboro, North Carolina

William Eiland, Athens, Georgia

Trudi Ellerman, Atlanta, Georgia

Siera Erazo, Charlotte, NC

Scott Erbes, Louisville, Kentucky

Lindsay Fairbrother-Henige, Waxhaw, North Carolina

Tyler Fasnacht, Buford, Georgia

J.R. Fennell, Lexington, South Carolina

Jay Ferguson, Louisville, Kentucky

John Fields, Birmingham, Alabama

Marvin Fonseca, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Meghan Forest, Asheville, North Carolina

V. Taylor Foster, Louisville, Kentucky

Robin Gabriel, Georgetown, South Carolina

Brian Garrett, New York, NY

Brian Garrett, Atlanta Georgia

Rachel Gaudry, New Orleans, Louisiana

Glen Gentele, Orlando, Florida

Meghan Gerig, Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia

Hannah Gibbs, Lenoir, North Carolina

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Mandy Gibson, Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hermina Glass-Hill, Midway, Georgia

David Goist, Asheville, North Carolina

Bess Goldy, Louisville, Kentucky

Claudio Gomez, Knoxville, Tennessee

Cindy Green, Franklin, Tennessee

Kristi Grieve, Cartersville, Georgia

Carolyn Grosch, Asheville, North Carolina

Floyd Hall, College Park, Georgia

Dawn Hammatt, Abilene, Kansas

Natalie Hefter, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Bethany Hawkins, Nashville, Tennessee

LaQuinton Holliday, Meridian, Mississippi

Kelsey Horn, Golden, Mississippi

Michele Houck, Huntersville, North Carolina

Marion Hudson, Dallas, Georgia

Kathleen Hutton, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Marian Inabinett, High Point, North Carolina

Lynette Ivey, Kennesaw, Georgia

Emily Jones, Cleveland, Mississippi

Patricia Kahn, Sarasota, Florida

Diane Karlson, Little Rock, Arkansas

Ryan Kasley, St. Petersburg, Florida

Rachel Katz, Atlanta, Georgia

Martha Katz-Hyman, Newport News, Virginia

William Katzman, Livingston, Louisiana

Marianne Kelsey, Greensboro, North Carolina

Kecia Kelso, Montgomery, Alabama

Valarie Kinkade, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Glenn Klaus, Alexandria, Virginia

Adam Knight, Fort Myers, Florida

Lauren Kraut, Gainesville, Virginia

Anne Lampe, Baltimore, Maryland

Karol Lawson, Lynchburg, Virginia

William Lazenby, Chantilly, Virginia

Elise LeCompte, Gainesville, Florida

Carla Ledgerwood, Atlanta, Georgia

Calinda Lee, Atlanta, Georgia

Anne Lewellen, Jacksonville, Florida

Cindy Lincoln, Raleigh, North Carolina

Lydia Lingerfelt, Cartersville, Georgia

Felise Llano, Tampa, Florida

Ellen Lofaro, Knoxville, Tennessee

Catherine Long, Cumming, Georgia

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Rebekah Lopez-Farrer, Bentonville, Arkansas

Deborah Mack, Alexandria, Virginia

Darcie MacMahon, Gainesville, Florida

Ty Malugani, Birmingham, Alabama

Hannah Marley, McClellanville, South Carolina

Sylvia Marshall, Salisbury, North Carolina

Rosalind Martin, Knoxville, Tennessee

Sarah Maske, Ellerbe, North Carolina

Kali Mason, Dallas, Texas

Tori Mason, Nashville, Tennessee

Mary Massie, Forest, Virginia

Maggie McAdams, Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Barbara McClendon, Jackson, Mississippi

Marion McGee, Washington, DC

Kimberly McKinnis, Norfolk, Virginia

Hilda McSween, Fort Pierce, Florida

Amberly Meli, Tallahassee, Florida

Katy Menne, Leland, North Carolina

Cindee Millard, Waco, Texas

Tricia Miller, Athens, Georgia

Kristin Miller-Zohn, Columbus, Georgia

Kate Moore, Marietta, Georgia

Nicole Moore, Canton, Georgia

Stephanie Moore, Asheville, North Carolina

Kandace Muller, Luray, Virginia

Chris Munster, Greensboro, North Carolina

Brian Murphy, Florence, Alabama

La Ruchala Murphy, Columbia, South Carolina

Mary Anna Murphy, St. Petersburg, Florida

Michael Nagy, Atlanta, Georgia

Raka Nandi, Memphis, Tennessee

Kathy Neff, Greensboro, North Carolina

Amy Nelson, Lexington, Kentucky

Ginny Newell, Columbia, South Carolina

Kimberly Novak, Alpharetta, Georgia

Heather Nowak, Fultondale, Alabama

Tara O’Boyle, South Salem, NY

Jessica O’Connor, Birmingham, Alabama

Lisa Ortega-Pol, San Juan Puerto Rico

Heather Otis, Marco Island, Florida

Lauren Pacheo, Greensboro, North Carolina

Yunice Patrick, Mableton, Georgia

Hannah Pennell, Pensacola, Florida

Susan Perry, Atlanta, Georgia

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Robin Person, Natchez, Mississippi

Deborah Randolph, Raleigh, North Carolina

Mary Ann Redding, Boone, North Carolina

A.J. Rhodes, Arden, North Carolina

Tisha Rhodes, Montgomery, Alabama

Carolyn Rice, Clarkesville, Georgia

Stephani Roohani, Evans, Georgia

Ashley Rust, Beech Island, South Carolina

Mike Santrock, Hapeville, Georgia

Samantha Sauer, Jacksonville, Florida

Tory Schendel-Vyvoda, Evansville, Indiana

Tony Schnadelbach, Jackson, Mississippi

Michael Scott, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Marsha Semmel, Arlington, Virginia

Catherine Shteynberg, Knoxville, Tennessee

Alan Shuptrine, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

Christy Sinksen, Athens, Georgia

John Slemp, Tucker, Georgia

Annabelle Smith, Little Rock, Arkansas

Laura Smith, Huntsville, Alabama

Linda Smith, Columbia, South Carolina

Sarah Soleim, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Richard Spilman, Helena, Arkansas

Karen Sutton, Charlotte, North Carolina

Dorothy Svgdik, Cordova, Tennessee

Alice Taylor-Colbert, Greenwood, South Carolina

Kimberly Terbush, Greensboro, North Carolina

Sarah Tignor, Spartanburg, South Carolina

David Towry, Huntsville, Alabama

Deborah Van Horn, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Maria Vann, Raleigh, North Carolina

Holly Wait, Columbus, Georgia

Heather Waldroup, Boone, North Carolina

Celia Walker, Nashville, Tennessee

John Wetenhall, Washington, District of Columbia

Liberty Wharton, Daytona Beach, Florida

Harvee White, Canton, Georgia

Jason Wiese, New Orleans, Louisiana

Crystal Wimer, Morgantown, West Virginia

Jennifer Wisniewski, Maumelle, Arkansas

John Woods, South Windsor, Connecticut


Felicia Abrams, Williamsburg, Virginia

George Bassi, Laurel Mississippi

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Margaret Benjamin, Greensboro, North Carolina

Jamie Credle, Savannah, Georgia

Patrick Daily, Hickory, North Carolina

Jennifer Foster, Lexington, Kentucky

La Ruchala Murphy, Columbia, South Carolina

LeRoy Pettyjohn, Memphis, Tennessee

James Quint, Hammondsport, New York

Robin Reed, Fort Monroe, Virginia

Michelle Schulte, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sgt. Gary Spencer, Raleigh, North Carolina

Auntaneshia Staveloz, Silver Spring, Maryland

John White Jr., Marietta, Georgia

Joshua Whitfield, Warner Robins, Georgia


Felton Eaddy, Fork, South Carolina

Lee Gabrielle, W Palm Beach, Florida

Sue Hiott, Central, South Carolina

Joyce Ice, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Martha Jackson, Raleigh, North Carolina

Mary Kay Klein, St. Petersburg, Florida

Vicky Kruckeberg, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Annelies Mondi, Athens, Georgia

Douglas Noble, Gainesville, Florida

Carl Nold, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

William Paul, Jr., Athens Georgia

Georgia Pribanic, Jacksonville, Florida

Amy Pruitt, China Grove, North Carolina

Graig Shaak, Gainesville, Florida

James Shepp, Winter Park, Florida

Ida Tomlin, Meridian, Mississippi


(Category 1: $50 )

21c Museum Hotel Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

Altama Museum, Vidalia, Georgia

Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida

Arkansas National Guard Museum, North Little Rock, Arkansas

Art Center Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida

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C. Williams Rush Museum of African-American Arts & Culture, Kingstree, South Carolina

Caldwell Heritage Museum, Lenoir, North Carolina

Calico Rock Community Foundation, Calico Rock, Arkansas

Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina

Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany, Indiana

Carter-Coile Country Doctors Museum, Winterville, Georgia

Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson University’s Bob Campbell Geology Museum, Clemson, South Carolina

Creative Liberties Artist Studios & Galleries, Sarasota, Florida

Daura Gallery - University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia

Drayton Hall, Charleston, South Carolina

Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, Florida

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia

Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Hammondsport, New York

Florida CraftArt, St. Petersburg, Florida

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Friends of Cassidy Park Museums, Bogalusa, Louisiana

Funk Heritage Center of Reinhardt University, Waleska, Georgia

Gaston County Museum of Art & History, Dallas, North Carolina

Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina

Historic Augusta, Inc., Augusta, Georgia

Historic Cane Hill, Inc., Cane Hill, Arkansas

Historic Dumfries Virginia & The Weems-Botts Museum, Dumfries, Virginia

HistoryMiami, Miami, Florida

International Arts Center, Troy, Alabama

International Towing & Recovery Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee

KMAC Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum, Inc, Corbin, Kentucky

Lam Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Liberty County Historical Society, Hinesville, Georgia

Louisiana State University Textile & Costume Museum, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida

Maier Museum of Art, Randolph College, Lynchburg, Virginia

Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, Jacksonville, Florida

Marine Corps Museum Parris Island, Parris Island, South Carolina

Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum, Inc., Meridian, Mississippi

Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

Museum of Durham History, Durham, North Carolina

Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, Massachusetts

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA), Atlanta, Georgia

Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi, Mississippi

Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Brookneal, Virginia

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Roots 101

SC Confederate Relic Room & Museum, Columbia, South Carolina

Spotsylvania County Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Swannanoa Valley Museum, Black Mountain, North Carolina

The Museum, Greenwood, South Carolina

The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida

The Ewing Gallery of Art + Architecture, Knoxville, Tennessee

The Guntersville Museum, Guntersville, Alabama

The Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee

The Ralph Foster Museum, Point Lookout, Missouri

Union County Heritage Museum, New Albany, Mississippi

Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke, Virginia

Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia

Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Salisbury, North Carolina

Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, Kentucky

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A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, Fort Pierce, Florida

Adsmore Museum, Princeton, Kentucky

Aiken County Historical Museum, Aiken, South Carolina


Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Tuscumbia, Alabama

Anderson County Museum, Anderson, South Carolina

Andrew Low House Museum, Savannah, Georgia

Appalachian State University Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, North Carolina

Arkansas Air and Military Museum, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Arlington Historic House, Birmingham, Alabama

Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM), Memphis, Tennessee

Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Georgia

Beaches Museum, Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, Georgia

Calhoun County Museum, St. Matthews, South Carolina

Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Decatur, Alabama

Charlotte Museum of History, Charlotte, North Carolina

Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home, Rome, Georgia

Computer Museum of America, Roswell, Georgia

Dade Heritage Trust, Miami, Florida

East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville, Tennessee

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, Fort Smith, Arkansas

Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginaia

Hilliard Art Museum University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana

Historic Clayborn Temple, Memphis, Tennessee

Historic Natchez Foundation, Natchez, Mississippi

Historic Paris Bourbon County Hopewell Museum, Paris, Kentucky

Historic Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Historical Society of Western Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia

Horry County Museum, Conway, South Carolina

International Museum of the Horse, Lexington, Kentucky

Iredell Museums, Statesville, North Carolina

Kentucky Department of Parks, Frankfort, Kentucky

Loudoun Museum, Leesburg, Virginia

Marietta Museum of History, Marietta, Georgia

Matheson History Museum, Gainesville, Florida

Memorial Hall Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, 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 Mississippi Delta, Greenwood, Mississippi

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia

Myriad Training and Consulting, Gainesville, Florida

Northeast Georgia History Center, Gainesville, Georgia

Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, Opelousas, Louisiana

Pinellas County Historical Society/Heritage Village, Largo, Florida

President James K. Polk State Historic Site/NC Dept of Natural & Cultural Resources, Pineville, North Carolina

River Discovery Center, Paducah, Kentucky

Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, Atlanta, Georgia

Salem Museum & Historical Society, Salem, Virginia

Savannah River Site Museum, Aiken, South Carolina

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, Atlanta, Georgia

South Carolina Military Museum, Columbia, South Carolina

South Union Shaker Village, Auburn, Kentucky

Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, Alabama

Spalding County Our Legacy Museum, Griffin, Georgia

Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, Indiana

Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, Tampa, Florida

The Mitford Museum, Hudson, North Carolina

Thomas County Historical Society, Thomasville, Georgia

Thronateeska Heritage Foundation, Inc., Albany, Georgia

Tryon Palace, New Bern, North Carolina

University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, Virginia

(Category 3: $250 )

Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia

Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

City of Raleigh - Historic Resources & Museum Program, Raleigh, North Carolina

DeKalb History Center, Decatur, Georgia


Expand and diversify your collection

Proud partners of SEMC members:

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts – Birmingham Museum of Art

Georgia Museum of Art – High Museum of Art – New Orleans Museum of Art

Department of Historic Museums, Georgia College, Milledgeville, Georgia

Earl Scruggs Center, Shelby, North Carolina

Edisto Island Open Land Trust, Edisto Island, South Carolina

Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, Quincy, Florida

Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, North Carolina

Historic Oakland Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia

International African American Museum, Charleston, South Carolina

Knox Heritage & Historic Westwood, Knoxville, Tennessee

Liberty Hall Historic Site, Frankfort, Kentucky

Magnolia Mound Plantation, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, Marietta, Georgia

Middleton Place Foundation, Charleston, South Carolina

Museum Center at 5ive Points, Cleveland, Tennessee

Old State House Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas

Sumter County Museum, Sumter, South Carolina

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site (National Park Service), Tuskegee Institute, Alabama

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

West Baton Rouge Museum, Port Allen, Louisiana

Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas

Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, Alabama

(Category 4: $350 )

Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium, Birmingham, Alabama

Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, Louisiana

Anniston Museum of Natural History, Anniston, Alabama

Augusta Museum of History, Augusta, Georgia

Biblical History Center, LaGrange, Georgia

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, Georgia

Children’s Hands on Museum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Cook Museum of Natural Science, Decatur, Alabama

David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, Florida

Folk Pottery Museums of NE GA, Sautee Nacoochee

Cultural Center, Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia


FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, Florida

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, South Carolina

Hermann-Grima & Gallier Historic Houses, New Orleans, Louisiana

Hidden River Cave & the American Cave Museum, Horse Cave, Kentucky

High Point Museum, High Point, North Carolina

Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

History Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi

Leepa-Rattner Museum, Tarpon Springs, Florida

Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Farmville, Virginia

Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, Jackson, Mississippi

Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce , Puerto Rico

Museum of Art – DeLand, DeLand, Florida

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, North Miami, Florida

Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, New Orleans, Louisiana

Office of Historic Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia

Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando, Florida

Rogers Historical Museum, Rogers, Arkansas

Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Springdale, Arkansas

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers, Florida

The Charleston Museum, Charleston, South Carolina

Torggler Fine Arts Center, Newport News, Virginia

Tubman Museum, Macon, Georgia

Upcountry History Museum – Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina

Virginia Beach History Museums, Virginia Beach, Virginia

West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, Charleston, West Virginia

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Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama

Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, North Carolina

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, North Carolina

Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery, Nashville, Tennessee

Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Tennessee

Catawba Science Center, Hickory, North Carolina

Coastal Georgia Historical Society, St. Simons Island, Georgia

Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

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Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, Clarksville, Tennessee

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Florence County Museum, Florence, South Carolina

Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas

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Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia

Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, Jupiter, Florida

Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee

Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, Knoxville TN

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, Meridian, Mississippi

Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS

Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama

MOCA Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida

Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia

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Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida

MoSH (Museum of Science and History) - Pink Palace, Memphis, Tennessee

Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, Virginia

Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Beach, Florida

Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, North Carolina

National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Pooler, Georgia

National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Louisville, Kentucky

National Sporting Library & Museum, Middleburg, Virginia

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, North Carolina

Oak Alley Foundation, Vacherie, Louisiana

Orlando Museum of Art, Inc, Orlando, Florida

Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida

Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, Florida

South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, South Carolina

Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa, Florida

Tampa Museum of Art, Inc., Tampa, Florida

Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia

Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville, Georgia

The Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee

The Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

The Wolfsonian – FIU, Miami Beach, Florida

University of Alabama Museums, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, Florida

William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta, Georgia

(Category 6: $550 )

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, Arkansas

Arkansas State Parks, Little Rock, Arkansas

Art Bridges, Bentonville, Arkansas

Artis--Naples, The Baker Museum, Naples, Florida


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Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Georgia

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama

Booth Western Art Museum, Carterville, Georgia

Cheekwood, Nashville, Tennessee

Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida

Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia

Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana

Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort, Kentucky

Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, Georgia

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee

New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana

NC Division of State Historic Sites and Properties, Kinston, North Carolina

New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina

Schiele Museum, Gastonia, North Carolina

Scott Family Amazeum, Bentonville, Arkansas

Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

Texas Historical Commission, Austin, Texas

The Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., Thomson, Georgia


Gregg Museum of Art & Design, Raleigh, North Carolina

Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa, Florida

Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia

Weatherspoon Art Museum UNCG, Greensboro, North Carolina

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

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Business Associate ($350)

Arts InCommunity (division of InCommunity), Atlanta, Georgia

Backlog, St. Louis, Missouri

Banks Creative, Charleston, South Carolina

Crystalizations Systems Inc, Holbrook, New York

CSR-Consulting, Solutions, Results, Atlanta, Georgia

DaVinci Development Collaborative, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia

Helms Briscoe, Alpharetta, Georgia

Hutchinson Design Group, Alexandria, Virginia

William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Syracuse, New York

Willis Towers Watson - Fine Art, Jewelry & Specie, Potomac, Maryland

ZOMA, Matthews, North Carolina

Corporate Friend ($1,200)

10-31, Inc., Columbia, New Jersey

1220 Exhibits, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee

Alexander Haas, Atlanta, Georgia

Association of African American Museums (AAAM), Washington, District of Columbia

Available Light, Raleigh, North Carolina

Atelier 4, Charlotte, North Carolina

Bonsai Fine Arts Inc, Glen Burnie, Maryland

Boston Productions, Inc., Norwood, Massachusetts

Brunk Auctions, Asheville, North Carolina

CatalogIt, Oakland, California

Charityproud, North Charleston, South Carolina

Christie’s, New York, New York

Cinebar Productions, Inc., Newport News, Virginia

Collector Systems, LLC., New York, New York

Conserv, Birmingham, Alabama

Cultural Heritage Partners PLLC, Richmond, Virginia

Displays Fine Art Services, Arlington, Texas

dmdg2, Savannah, GA

Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland

E&S Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky

ERCO Lighting, Inc., Edison, New Jersey

Exhibit Concepts, Inc., Vandalia, Ohio

Explus, Inc., Sterling, Virginia

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An Internship with SEMC

As a student who is getting closer and closer to graduating, I have had some doubt and confusion surrounding exactly where I want to go in the museum field and what area I wanted to pursue. I have completed museum studies classes in different areas including exhibition design and curatorial studies, but administration has always been an aspect of museum studies that stood out to me. In the fall of 2022, I had the pleasure of meeting Zinnia Willits as she spoke to our class about her duties as Executive Director of SEMC. This meeting presented me with the amazing opportunity to act as an administrative intern for SEMC this past January and February. While interning for SEMC, I had the chance to work with Program Administrator, Heather Nowak as well as Zinnia, and gained so much insight on how SEMC works behind-the-scenes. I also learned a lot about the workload of an administrative position. The projects I was involved with taught me about working collaboratively with others and helped develop the organizational skills I am acquiring through my work with the different museums on the campus of Georgia College and State University, where I am currently a junior. I was also given the opportunity to connect with professionals in the museum industry and further my knowledge about SEMC and its programs, including the Jekyll Island Management Institute, as I helped coordinate the many details of the 2023 on-site experience.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with a supportive team that continues to give me advice and guidance even beyond my internship. I am excited to build on my experience with SEMC and cannot wait to assist the SEMC staff in-person at the annual conference in November!

Claudia Hawkins.

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Spelman College Museum of Fine Art: Art By and About Women of the African Diaspora

Kaniah Pearson , Spelman College Student; SEMC Intern, Fall 2022 and Winter 2023

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is the only museum in the nation dedicated to art by and about women of the African diaspora. The museum is located on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia on the first floor of the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center. The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art captures the essence of black life and artistry, and engages everyone from a Picasso enthusiast to a mathematician, underscoring that art is for everyone, and can be enjoyed by all.

Established in 1996, the museum houses a series of collections that range from sculptures to prints from the African Diaspora. Notable artists on display include Theaster Gates, Deborah Roberts, and Lava Thomas. The Museum has been recognized for groundbreaking and scholarly exhibitions which amplify art by Black women artists with a current emphasis on acquiring works by emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Recent acquisitions to the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art are a painting by Calida Rawles, a Spelman College alumna, two works by Augusta Savage, and a photograph of Spelman Alumna Stacey Abrams by Sheila Pree Bright.

Currently on display is, Black American Portraits, a traveling exhibition co-curated by Spelman College Museum of Fine Art’s Executive Director Liz Andrews and Tate’s Britton Family Curator-at-Large Christine Y. Kim (both formerly of LACMA). The exhibition reframes portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters, and spaces, placing Black women portrait artists center stage.

Exhibition: Black American Portraits

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Dates: February 8 – June 30, 2023

Kaniah Pearson at the 2022 annual meeting.
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Follow Yourself

The world in which we live and work is forever changing, and we must change too; yet change is scary for some. “Just do it” and “take the leap” are hardly helpful words. If you know you need a change, then take inventory. What exactly needs to change? Do you need a new project, a different position within your institution, a new challenge, a new city, a new position in a new place, or just a new attitude? I was a successful department director for a large museum. I had a great team, we offered award-winning programs, and my peers were supportive and helpful when needed. No one thought I would ever leave.

So why did I leave?

I was still taking on new challenges, but the new ones were parallel to the old ones. There was no upward motion anymore. I had been at the top of my department for 10 years. The only position above mine was the CEO. When that was open, I didn’t apply. That was too big a leap for me. I didn’t want to suddenly, and without

any training, be the CEO of a large entity. I did like the idea of being in charge, just not of anything that major.

The search began. I was looking for a top-level position in a smaller setting. Even though I was only looking in one location, it soon appeared. I updated my resume and wrote a cover letter, highlighting my knowledge and skills pertinent to that opening. As I hit send on the email, I knew the job was mine. This may sound arrogant, but I was simply confident. I had the skills they needed as well as experience and inside knowledge about the topic. I began preparing. Accepting the position would mean big changes in my life — a new job, obviously, but also a new town, a new home, and a distance from my friends. I had great peace about the entire endeavor. It was the right move. I was interviewed by phone and then by the hiring committee. We negotiated, and I accepted. I’ll be super honest and admit that they couldn’t meet my salary request. Instead, the hiring committee matched all my perks.

I was on a new adventure toward a whole new life.

How does one up and leave a good job for a new adventure? My answer is, with much inward viewing — or following yourself. Questions such as — Who are you?

German Transportation officials enjoy a tour of River Discovery Center with Executive Director, Polly Brasher.

Who do you want to be? What is truly important? What do you want next? — will guide the way. I had to take a good look at myself: Who was I — a hard-working, faithful female. Who did I want to be — a leader making the buck-stops-here decisions. Where was I — too far from my family. Where did I want to be — in one particular small city, which is why my location search was incredibly limited. What did I want next out of life — less stress and fun with family. What was truly important — my faith; I didn’t want that compromised.

Has it all been lovely and rosy? No, it definitely has not. The market was totally wrong for house shopping; my mother became very ill, dying only four months after I moved; and I had COVID-19 twice in four months, creating heart complications. Adversity does not equal failure. Adversity will happen anywhere. I am determined

to keep smiling and growing. I told my friends recently that I still trust God, appreciate them, and love my new town. My old friends are wonderful people; my new friends are, too.

I will admit that being single does simplify following yourself; but even couples need to look inward and determine their true desires, goals, and dreams — individually and together. In this age of social media where we follow others and have followers, take time to follow yourself once in a while. Check in with yourself and see how you are doing. What needs to change? How can you make that change happen?

I wish you the very best life you can dream. I have mine — new challenges, a great team with big ideas, plus time with family and friends.

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Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Reopens

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA), the oldest and largest cultural institution of its kind in the state, reopened on April 22, 2023, following a historic renovation that has dramatically transformed the museum’s main building and grounds in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park.

Designed by world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang, the project includes an innovative 133,000-square-foot redesign integrating sustainable building features with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. With flexible programming spaces, indoor/outdoor areas to socialize, and the pathways between the expanded galleries, art school, theater, and modern restaurant unified by a central light-filled atrium, AMFA is a 21st century museum with a mission to inspire and build community.

The reopened AMFA features a fresh look at the permanent collection — with rare paintings by Rivera and Elaine de Kooning — an exhibition of Chakaia Booker’s prints, and animated video Tears of Chiwen by Sun Xun, as well as site-specific commissions by Anne Lindberg and Natasha Bowdoin. Comprised of new acquisitions and loans by artists such as LaToya Hobbs, Oliver Lee Jackson, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Ryan RedCorn, and Elias Sime, the banner inaugural exhibition, Together, is a celebration of art that explores our connectedness to each other and the natural world.

Image by Timothy Hursley. View Onto Courtyard Entrance and 1937 Façade. Construction photography taken in 2022.

SeventyFive Years of Free Inspiration at the Georgia Museum of Art

Throughout 2023, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The museum opened to the public on November 8, 1948, following a gift from Alfred Heber Holbrook, a retired lawyer from New York. At the time, it was the largest gift of art to a southern university ever, initially numbering 100 American paintings by artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer. Holbrook said, in a news story from 1945, “I see the museum of the future as an instrument for serving Georgia and the entire region.”

Holbrook said that he selected UGA after extensive investigation “because he had found more evidence

Georgia Museum of Art founder Alfred Heber Holbrook loading paintings into a car on the University of Georgia north campus, 1950s. The painting he is holding is one of 100 that he gifted to the university, Sunday Morning, ca. 1938 –43, by Ben Shahn.

of genuine art culture in Athens than any university he had visited in the South.” It was a happy chance that Holger Cahill, national director of the Federal Art Project, introduced him to Lamar Dodd, the then-new director of UGA’s art department. Dodd was a great booster of UGA and of Georgia, and Holbrook was sold, moving into a house on Fortson Road and enrolling in art classes, where he was known for his enthusiasm and his pink smock. UGA’s students adopted him as one of their own and even dedicated the 1947 volume of the Pandora yearbook to him.

The museum has received many other notable gifts of art over the years, including ones from Larry and Brenda Thompson of works by African American artists (plus the funds to endow a curatorial position focusing on those artists), John and Sara Shlesinger of contemporary art, C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry and William Parker. When the museum opened, it occupied two galleries in the basement of what was then the old university library and is now the Administration Building. Over the past 75 years, the museum’s collection has grown to more than 17,000 objects. It now occupies a large contemporary building with 21 galleries plus a sculpture garden on UGA’s East Campus. But its commitment to free inspiration and openness to the public hasn’t changed. Holbrook insisted on it from the beginning and often toured paintings around the state in a car provided by the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

In 1982, the Georgia General Assembly designated the museum the official art museum of the state of Georgia, an appropriate choice given its presence at UGA and the way its mission mirrors that of its parent organization (teaching, research and service). On January 31, 2023, Reps. Spencer Frye, Houston Gaines, Marcus

Wiedower, Trey Rhodes, Demetrius Douglas and Lisa Campbell sponsored House Resolution 85, recognizing and commending the museum for its 75 years of providing free art education.

The museum began its year of 75th anniversary celebrations with Elegant Salute, its biennial fundraiser, on February 4, which raised more than $435,000. A birthday party/open house/Family Day is planned for Sunday, November 5, in conjunction with UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts Festival. In March, the museum will launch a “March Madness” contest that will allow visitors to vote daily through Instagram Stories to select their favorite work from the collection, moving into in-person voting once the people determine an Elite Eight. The winner will be announced at the annual Friends Appreciation Month kick-off event, on August 26.

Later in 2023, the museum will finish reinstalling the last of its permanent collection galleries, a process that began in 2020, and an audio tour will launch, featuring a wide variety of voices on works that mean something to them. An interactive visitor response wall is now in place at the entrance to the museum’s permanent collection wing, asking people to share their favorite memories from its history and their visions for the future. The UGA Special Collections Library will host an exhibition on the museum’s history in its atrium from May through August.

Visit for more information on 75th anniversary events or to learn more about the museum’s history. Visit to make your gift in honor of its 75 years of groundbreaking exhibitions, scholarship in the visual arts, serving as a teaching resource for our campus and community, and providing a place of enjoyment and inspiration for all visitors.


Pamela Junior, Anne Brennan,

Pamela Junior has announced her retirement and will be resigning as director of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Mississippi History Museum.

Junior was appointed director over the two museums in 2019, two years after being named head of the Civil Rights Museum. Her appointment to the top position capped a long career that included time as a park ranger with the National Park Service and as manager of the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. Highlights of Junior’s career include participating in the retirement of the 1894 Mississippi State Flag at a ceremony in 2020 and leading the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis through the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. In 2018, she helped establish two highly attended programs at the Civil Rights Museum, including a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of programming and the MLK Night of Culture.

“Pamela is a woman who knows that she did not travel her road alone, but on the shoulders of those who came before her,” said civil rights leader Merlie Evers. “Pamela is imbued with the fortitude, wisdom and faith of her grandmother, mother, mentors and civil rights veterans. Her leadership reflects her commitment to Mississippi and the honest telling of our history.”

Anne Brennan, long-time Executive Director at the Cameron Art Museum (CAM) in Wilmington, North Carolina retired on March 31, 2023. Deputy Director Heather Wilson will take on the role on an interim basis.

Ms. Brennan began as curator and registrar of collections at CAM in 1990, when it was still known as the St. John’s Museum of Art. She later hosted her first solo exhibition, was named assistant director in 2010 and named executive director in 2011.

“These precious years in service to the community through Cameron Art Museum have been my greatest honor and joy. With all my heart, I thank you. And now, with the brilliant leadership and dedication of CAM’s Board of Trustees, and the passion and professionalism of CAM’s staff, this next passage in the life of CAM will flourish as an even more extraordinary engagement with people, and engagement with dialogue. With your continuing support, let’s keep learning together from art, gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves in relation to one another,” Brennan said.

Heather Wilson joined CAM staff in 2006 and was promoted to deputy director in 2019.


and Bill Eiland Announce Retirements

Dr. William Underwood Eiland, who has served as director of the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia since 1992, retired effective March 31, 2023. Under Eiland’s leadership, the Georgia Museum of Art has seen its collections, stature and reach grow dramatically. Since he became director, the museum has won more than 250 awards for its publications, programming, staff and exhibitions and become recognized as one of the leading university art museums in the country. Over that same period, its collection has grown exponentially, to total more than 17,000 objects.

A native of Sprott, Alabama, Eiland has a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia and has written, edited and contributed to more than 60 publications. He oversaw the museum’s 1996 move across campus to a much larger contemporary building as well as a $20 million privately supported expansion and renovation of the museum in 2011 that added permanent collection galleries, a sculpture garden devoted to work by women artists and storage space. In recent years, major gifts have increased substantially the museum’s collections in African American and African diasporic art, contemporary art and photography.

Eiland has elevated the museum’s national and international reputation through service on the board of the American Alliance of Museums, as a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, trustee of the International Council of Museums, and as chair of the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Advisory Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. He also served as vice chair of the board of the American Association of Museums and vice chair of its Accreditation Commission.

His honors include the rarely given American Alliance of Museums Distinguished Service Award; induction into Sigma Pi Kappa, an international fraternity of historic preservationists; the James Short Award for distinguished service in the museum profession from the Southeastern Museums Conference; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries; and a Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities.

Throughout his tenure, he has ably balanced the museum’s dual mission as an academic institution that pursues and publishes scholarship and as the official state museum of art with a strong sense of public service. A national search will be conducted to find the museum’s next director.


Save the Date for SEMC 2023!

November 13-15, 2023, Louisville, Kentucky

Mark your calendars for the 2023 SEMC Annual Meeting which will be held at the newly renovated Galt House Hotel, Louisville’s only waterfront hotel and the largest meeting and convention hotel in the Southeast with 130,000 square feet of meeting and event space to meet SEMC’s needs.

About the Galt House Hotel

In the early 1800s, the original Galt House was a residence owned by Dr. W.C. Galt on Louisville’s waterfront. In 1835, a 60-room hotel was opened as the Galt House Hotel across the street from the residence. Over half a century later, in 1972, Galt House Hotel was reestablished as part of Louisville’s Riverfront Urban Renewal Project and continued to expand with the creation of the East Tower in 1984. The hotel was renovated between 2019 and 2022 and is located in the heart of downtown, just minutes from many Louisville attractions, including the KFC Yum! Center, Fourth Street Live!, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Actors Theatre, the Muhammad Ali Center, and Whiskey and Museum Rows — some of which are connected to the Galt House Hotel by pedway. In addition to professional sessions and workshops, luncheons and the 2023 Expo Hall, your stay at the Galt House will be accompanied by views of the Ohio River, and four bars and restaurants including Walker’s Exchange, a Kentucky Brasserie; Swizzle Dinner & Drinks, a social experience with swirling rooms, perched 25 floors above Louisville; and two original founding members of the

Explore Louisville’s History

Named for King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his assistance during the Revolutionary War, Louisville was founded by George Rogers Clark in 1778. While its initial growth was slow, the advent of the steamboat in the early 1800s sparked booming industrial development, and by 1830 Louisville had secured its place as the largest city in Kentucky. During the Civil War, Louisville was an important Union base of operations and a major military supply center. Owing to its strategic location at the Falls of the Ohio River, Louisville was a major commercial center. River transportation was supplemented by the construction of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, which was chartered in 1850 and operated more than 1,800 miles of line in the state by 1920. Joseph E. Seagram and Sons opened the world’s largest distillery in Louisville following the repeal of prohibition. Thanks to companies such as Dupont, the city became the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber during World War II.

Louisville was also a city of firsts. In the reform-minded progressive era of the 1880s, the city was the first in the nation to introduce the secret ballot, significantly reducing vote fraud. It was the first city in Kentucky to adopt zoning and planning measures to control and shape urban growth. Home to the first bridge designed

Urban Bourbon Trail, Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar and Down One Bourbon Bar. 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky.

exclusively for motor vehicles to cross the Ohio River, Louisville was also the birthplace of Mary Millicent Miller, the first woman in the United States to receive a steamboat master’s license. The city has been home to men and women who changed the face of American history including President Zachary Taylor and two U.S. Supreme Court Justices. John James Audubon was a local shopkeeper in the early years of his career, drawing birds in his spare time. Second Lt. F. Scott Fitzgerald, stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I, was a frequent presence at the bar in the famous Seelbach Hotel, immortalized in the novel The Great Gatsby and Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, was born in Louisville and won six Golden Glove tournaments in Kentucky.

Louisville would not be the creative, innovative, passionate city that it is without its Black community. For so many things that make Louisville unique- from Bourbon to horse racing, to food traditions, and even the Greatest himself, Muhammad Ali- countless people of color have contributed their gifts to build the city’s vibrant culture. Louisville welcomes you to discover Bourbon City’s Black Heritage.

Getting to Louisville

Within a day’s drive of over half the U.S. population and served by all major airline carriers, Louisville is an affordable destination and only a quick trip away!

Flying: Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF)

Just 10 minutes from downtown, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a low-fare airport that draws travelers from across the beautiful state of Kentucky and Southern Indiana region. The airport offers nonstop service to more than 30 destinations, including 19 of the region’s top 20 domestic markets. With just one stop, travelers from across the region can reach more than 460 destinations in the U.S. and worldwide. The airport accommodated more than 4.2 million passengers in 2019.

Arrive early — stay late — experience a unique part of the SEMC region in 2023. More details and registration information coming soon!



The deadline for the Winter/Spring edition of Inside SEMC is July 31, 2023. To submit information for the newsletter, please contact Zinnia Willits ( or Carla Phillips (


Inside SEMC Summer 2023 submissions deadline

2023 Annual Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky

National American Alliance of Museums 2023 Annual Meeting

Association of Academic Museums and Galleries

2023 Annual Meeting

Association of African American Museums

2023 Annual Meeting

American Association of State and Local History

2023 Annual Meeting

State Kentucky Museum and Heritage Alliance Annual Meeting

July 31, 2023

November 13–15, 2023

May 19–22, 2023, Denver, CO

June 12-15, Lawrence, Kansas

July 26-28, 2023, Nashville, Tennessee

September 6-9, 2023 Boise, Idaho

June 4-6, 2023 Hopkinsville, Kentucky South Carolina Federation of Museums Annual Meeting

September 20-22, 2023, Lexington, South Carolina

job forum get social

SEMC Job Forum offers employers and job seekers the ability to search and post jobs on SEMC’s website. SEMC Job Postings are now self-serve and free for members. For non-members, there is a flat fee of $20 each job description, regardless of the word count. SEMC Member Institutions may now post jobs for free on the SEMC jobs page at Please Note: ALL SEMC job board postings must include the following in accordance with administrative best practices: job title; location; description of the position and organization; and numerical salary or salary range.

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