Call for Museum Confessions
Postcards.png

The MMST50 committee would like YOU, our amazing alumni, to think about your stories of the risks and rewards of Museum professionals.

What does risk-taking mean to you? What have been your greatest lessons learned, your sweet successes, or your valuable failures? Draw from your experiences and send us your stories from working wherever your career has taken you.

All submissions will remain anonymous - do not include your name or the name of the institution in your submission. Submissions unveiled at a pop-up exhibition at the Faculty of Information, during the Alumni Reunion on May 30th, 2019.

MMSt 50
Launch of the 50 for 50 campaign
Museology Get Together, 1975

Museology Get Together, 1975

50 for 50:  Supporting the Next Generation of Risk Takers

This year the Museum Studies program at UofT is turning 50, and we’re celebrating by taking a look back at the history of the program and the people who have built the Museum community over the years, as well as looking at the achievements and challenges that face us in today’s growing and constantly changing environment. Risk-taking and risk-takers have our special attention as we imagine the next 50 years of museums and Museum Studies.  

We are also looking towards the future, and what the current generation of students can bring to this vibrant community. Our students are creative, resourceful, energetic, and dedicated to enriching the museum community of which they are a part. 

However students today face more challenges than ever before.  Museum Studies students have great summer internship opportunities, but most of these internships are unpaid.  This means that students who choose to complete an internship often do so in lieu of a paid summer job. This adds to the financial challenge that students already face with high education fees and a constantly rising cost of living.  Where there are challenges, there is risk, but where there is risk, there is also opportunity.

Graduation Ceremony Reception, June 2018

For this reason, in celebration of MMSt’s 50th anniversary we are launching the 50 for 50 campaign opportunity. Your contribution of 50 dollars (or more) will support funded internships for MMSt students at UofT.  This is a great opportunity for you to give our students the tools they need to achieve academic success through the best internship experiences possible.

Please take this opportunity to give back to the Museum community by supporting the next generation of risk takers through the 50 for 50 campaign.  Click here to donate today to the Museum Studies Program Annual Fund. Our students appreciate and thank you for your generous support.

MMSt 50
Toronto Alumni Reunion and After Party

Alumni Reunion: May 30, 6 - 8 p.m.

Faculty of Information, Bissell Building

This annual gathering takes place during Uof T’s Alumni Reunion. It provides an opportunity for Faculty of Information and Museum Studies alumni to catch up with classmates and colleagues. This year there will also be a pop-up exhibit created by alumni to honour the Master of Museum Studies program's 50th anniversary.

After Party: May 30, 8 - 11 p.m.

East of Brunswick Pub

Immediately following the Faculty of Information's Annual Alumni Reunion, we are hosting an after party for Museum Studies alumni at East of Brunswick. Come on by to continue catching up your colleagues and previous classmates. Light refreshments will be provided.

Both events are free of charge but registration is required.

MMSt 50
Attend a meet-up in your city in May 2019
Meet-Ups_FINAL.jpg

Not living in Toronto anymore but still want to take part in MMSt50 celebrations and reconnect with the alumni community? We've got you covered. In honour of Museum Week (May 13 to 19), local meet-ups are being organized in cities across Canada and around the globe. You simply need to RSVP by contacting an alumni rep from the event listed bellow to register.


Canada

Calgary:

When: Tuesday, May 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: TBD
Who: Sandra Morton Weizman '82 


Hamilton: 

When: Wednesday, May 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Toast Wine Bar, 10 John St N.
Who: Aurora Cacioppo '18 


Montreal:

When: Thursday, May 16, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Café Parvis, 433 rue Mayor
Who: Emilie Albert-Toth '18 


Victoria:

When: Thursday, May 9, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Sticky Wicket, Strathcona Hotel
Who: Henry Choong ‘09

Edmonton:

When: Monday, May 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Parlour Italian Kitchen
Who: Jennifer Bawden ‘08


Kingston:

When: Wednesday, May 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Red House Downtown, 369 King St E
Who: Madeline Smolarz '16


St. John’s

When: Thursday, May 16, 6 :30 p.m.
Where: Underbelly
Who: Kate Wolforth ‘99


Waterloo:

When: Monday, May 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Bauer Kitchen
Who: Nicole Marcogliese ‘15


Winnipeg:

When: Wednesday, May 8
Where: Forth Café
Who: Andrea Reichert ‘94

Halifax:

When: Tuesday, May 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Stubborn Goat, 1579 Grafton St
Who: Roderick Maclean '97


Ottawa:

When: Wednesday, May 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Prohibition Public House
Who: Cassandra Tilson ‘10


Vancouver:

When: Thursday, May 16, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Shebeen Whiskey House
Who: Mairin Kerr ‘11


Whitehorse:

When: Friday, May 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: TBD
Who: Clare-Estelle Daitch ‘06


International

London, UK:

When: Wednesday, May 15, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Warwick
Who: Marie-Claire Eylott ‘13

New York, USA: 

When: Tuesday, May 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Jack & Fanny’s, 1591 2nd Ave
Who: Daira Szostak '15 

Sydney, Australia

When:TBD
Where: TBD
Who: Yaël Filipovic ‘10

 

Potential meet-ups in London (ON), San Francisco, St. John’s, Vancouver & Whitehorse. Contact us at mmst50@utoronto.ca if you're interested in arranging or being part of a meet-up in one of these cites.

MMSt 50
All the way from San Francisco: An interview with George Jacob, Class of 1996

As part of the MMSt50 celebrations, Musings Blog contributing editor, Elizabeth Cytko, will be interviewing alumni to ask them about their experiences in the program, where there are today and what their thoughts are on “risk-taking” in the museum field .

George Jacob, President & CEO of the Aquarium of the Bay, San Franscisco.  Photo source.

George Jacob, President & CEO of the Aquarium of the Bay, San Franscisco. Photo source.

This month, Cytko interviewed George Jacob, who as the first Commonwealth Scholar, graduated in 1996 from the Master of Museum Studies. His extensive CV includes being trained at the Smithsonian, attending the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, attending the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University as well as the Yale School of Management. He mixes IT innovations with traditional museum approaches with a special focus on the idea of a living museum. He is the author of seven books focused on the future of Museum Design and Practice. He has worked at various institutions including the Philip J. Currie Museum in Northern Alberta, the Mauna Kea Astronomy Education center in Hawaii and is currently at the San Francisco Bay Ecotarium.

Click here to read the full interview.

MMSt 50
Where are they now? An interview with Deborah Robichaud, Class of 1980

As part of the MMSt50 celebrations, Musings Blog contributing editor, Elizabeth Cytko, will be interviewing alumni to ask them about their experiences in the program, where there are today and what their thoughts are on “risk-taking” in the museum field

Photo courtesy of Deborah Robichaud.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Robichaud.

This month, Cytko interviewed Deborah Robichaud, who graduated in 1980 as part of class number 12. Currently retired, Robichaud previously worked as Director of the Musée acadien, Director of Information and Extension Services at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), and Regional Manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage for the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Click here to read the full interview.

MMSt 50
Be bold, advise panelists discussing Risk, Redefinition and Reservation in the Museum

This article by Jordan Fee is cross-posted at Musings

Risk in a professional setting is often perceived as something unwanted – something to avoid at all costs. We want to be calculated in our decisions, and to be sure of their successes. Rather than seeking risk out, many of us choose to cast doubt upon it.

Such is the mythology of risk.

However, on February 7th, the Museum Studies Students Association (MUSSA) took yet another step towards dispelling such myths. As part of the 50th Anniversary of the Museum Studies Program (MMSt50), MUSSA invited four incredible panelists – Jim Shedden (Manager of Publishing at the Art Gallery of Ontario), Shaniqua Liston (Operations Manager at Kingston Penitentiary Tours), Kathleen Brown (Chief Operating Officer of Lord Cultural Resources), and Karen Carter (Founding Executive Director of Myseum of Toronto) - to speak on their respective approaches to risk in professional settings.

Guided by moderator Melissa Smith, the panelists riffed and responded to questions such as: How do you define risk in your own setting? What is the biggest risk that you have taken in your career? and do types of museums tend to take more risks than others?

While we tend to think of risk as something that is intensely consequential, each of the speakers took time to underline - and celebrate - the smaller risks that are taken by a number of institutions on a daily basis. Speaking of the tours provided at the Kingston Penitentiary, Shaniqua Liston noted that risk in her institution generally requires a constant negotiation with her visitors, each of whom bring their own unique perspectives to the institution’s history. Kathleen Brown also shed some light on this endeavour, noting how she, as an entrepreneur, takes risks everyday when consulting with her clients. Adding some humour to this discussion, Jim Shedden noted how in the museum business, many risks are in fact taken for us, rather than by us.”

Except from Jordan Fee’s “Moving Forward with Boldness: Risk, Redefinition and Reservation in the Museum” article in Musings.

Click here to read the full article.

MMSt 50University of Toronto
Expert Panel Discussion: Risk-Taking in Museums
Museum Panel 3.jpg

While risk-taking is a hot topic in the museum field, is it really a path to museum success?

This panel brings together museum professionals from different fields with risk-taking experience in everything from exhibition design to programming. They will discuss how they balance innovation and risk, break away from museum conventions, and shift institutional paradigms. The panelists will highlight the challenges and failures they faced along the way and what they have learned from being audacious in the museum field. Finally, they will share their thoughts on the idea of a “path to success”.

Panelists

Karen Carter is the Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto, which offers an innovative approach to the museum experience and a new way to experience Toronto’s natural spaces, cultures, history, archaeology and architecture. She has over 20 years experience working and volunteering in a variety of cultural and educational settings in Toronto. She is the co-founder and Chair of Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad.

Karen Carter is the Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto, which offers an innovative approach to the museum experience and a new way to experience Toronto’s natural spaces, cultures, history, archaeology and architecture. She has over 20 years experience working and volunteering in a variety of cultural and educational settings in Toronto. She is the co-founder and Chair of Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad.

Jim Shedden is the Manager of Publishing at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he also occasionally curates film-related exhibitions. In the 1990s, Shedden worked at the AGO as a film curator and performing arts programmer, before leaving for a 12 year stint at Bruce Mau Design. Shedden, who directed films on Michael Snow and Stan Brakhage, recently completed a feature documentary, I Drink (co-directed by Peter McAuley). He has written extensively on music, film, video, art, and design. Shedden has been involved in the artist-run scene in Toronto since the late 1980s.

Jim Shedden is the Manager of Publishing at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where he also occasionally curates film-related exhibitions. In the 1990s, Shedden worked at the AGO as a film curator and performing arts programmer, before leaving for a 12 year stint at Bruce Mau Design. Shedden, who directed films on Michael Snow and Stan Brakhage, recently completed a feature documentary, I Drink (co-directed by Peter McAuley). He has written extensively on music, film, video, art, and design. Shedden has been involved in the artist-run scene in Toronto since the late 1980s.

Kathleen Brown, COO of Lord Cultural Resources, has 30-plus years of experience as a respected consultant with proven management skills. Her work leaves clients and others in the field inspired and informed for their organizations’ future. Kathleen’s work has included both staff and consulting positions with cultural attractions, community organizations, government and academia.

Kathleen Brown, COO of Lord Cultural Resources, has 30-plus years of experience as a respected consultant with proven management skills. Her work leaves clients and others in the field inspired and informed for their organizations’ future. Kathleen’s work has included both staff and consulting positions with cultural attractions, community organizations, government and academia.

Shaniqua Liston has been working with Kingston Pen Tours in partnership with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, the City of Kingston and the Correctional Service of Canada since the tours debuted in 2015. As Operations Coordinator, she learned about all the "behind-the-scenes action" needed to maintain the functionality and popularity of the Pen. She also became aware of the limitations, both physical and operational, as she worked to offer customers a genuine and authentic experience.

Shaniqua Liston has been working with Kingston Pen Tours in partnership with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, the City of Kingston and the Correctional Service of Canada since the tours debuted in 2015. As Operations Coordinator, she learned about all the "behind-the-scenes action" needed to maintain the functionality and popularity of the Pen. She also became aware of the limitations, both physical and operational, as she worked to offer customers a genuine and authentic experience.

The panel will be facilitated by MMSt50 Committee Chair Melissa Smith, who is also Co-ordinator of the Gallery Guide, Adult Education Officer, and Access to Art programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The panel will be followed by a networking cocktail with snacks and a cash bar.

This event is free and open to the general public. Please register on Eventbrite as spaces are limited.

Who’s who on the MMSt50 Committee?

Who is behind all the MMSt50 celebration planning? The MMSt50 Committee is composed of engaged MMSt alumni and students, professors and staff members at the Faculty of Information.

 

Front Row: Irina D. Mihalache and Melissa Smith
Back Row: Erica Chi, Jordan-na Belle-Isle, Jor, dan Fee, Khristine Cuthberson, Courtney Murfin, Cara van der Laan, John Summers, Ann Brocklehurst, Cara Krmpotich, Laetitia Dandavino -Tardif
Missing: Lisa Habib and Katherine Hanneman

 

Here are the committee members:

Irina D. Mihalache (outgoing Chair), Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Information

Melissa Smith (incoming Chair), MMSt Alumni, Coordinator, Gallery Guide Program, Adult Education Officer Program and Access to Art Program and the Art Gallery of Ontario

Cara Krmpotich, Associate Professor/Director of Museum Studies at the Faculty of Information

Ann Brocklehurst, Senior Communications Officer at the Faculty of Information.

Lisa Habib, Alumni Development Officer at the Faculty of Information.

Jordan-na Belle-Isle, MMSt Alumni, Curatorial Administrative Assistant, Indigenous & Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

John Summers, MMSt Alumni, Manager, Heritage Services & Curator, Regional Municipality of Halton, Sessional Lecturer at the Faculty of Information.

Cara van der Laan, MMSt Alumni, Artifacts Coordinator at the Ontario Science Center, Sessional Lecturer at the Faculty of Information.

Khristine Cuthberson, MMSt Alumni, Development Coordinator at Crow’s Theatre.

Courtney Murfin, MMSt Alumni, Interpretive Planner at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Katherine Hanneman, MMSt Alumni, Designer, Business Development at Overlap Associates.

Laetitia Dandavino-Tardif, MMSt Student, MUSSA President, Social Media Coordinator and Outreach Assistant of MMSt50.

Erica Chi, MMSt Student, MUSSA Vice-President.

Jordan Fee, MMSt Student, Musings Communication Officer.

 
 
MMSt 50
Musings Writers Workshop: Digital Risk-Taking

Musings is the Master of Museum Studies student blog, started in 2014. For its anniversary, MMSt50 is partnering with Musings to offer professional development workshops to MMSt students.

In November, Musings hosted its first-ever writing workshop focusing on the theme of Risk-Taking and Digital Strategies with Sarah Hill, Senior Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources. The students learned about writing strategies specific to digital platforms and social media in the museum field.

Read more about the program on Musings.