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An essential part of both the day-to-day operations and the future of visitor-serving organizations, collaboration between departments or across the city can be the key to successfully engaging visitors by widening outreach, saving funds, engaging new colleagues, or deepening impact. In the wrong hands collaboration can be costly, cumbersome and present challenges. Join colleagues from around North America to collaborate on ideas, best practices, successes, and failures as we discuss the Culture of Collaboration at the 2016 Visitor Experience Conference.

Keynote: Robert J. Stein


Robert Stein is a museum leader, technology expert, and strategist with deep experience in the museum field heading up innovative projects and diverse teams. In April 2016, Rob joined the American Alliance of Museums as the Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer to lead the organization’s programming efforts in service to both national and global audiences. In that role, Stein is responsible for key strategic initiatives including the expansion of the Alliance’s role as a thought leader, content provider, and global catalyst for excellence in the field of museums.


Rob is a sought after author, speaker, and consultant, focusing on the impact museums can have in their community, how technology efforts can change the dynamic of museum innovation, and how metrics and measurement can drive continuous improvement for the practice of museums. 


From 2012-2016, Rob served as the Deputy Director of the Dallas Museum of Art where he led the staff and the DMA’s well known programs of Education, Conservation, Marketing, and Technology. In 2013, Rob led the DMA in making a transition from paid to free general admission and launched an innovative free membership program called DMA Friends, the world’s first incentive-based loyalty program for visitor engagement. As a result, the DMA increased its attendance by 50 percent in just three years and dramatically boosted audience participation among first-time visitors, minorities and millennials. The DMA Friends program has welcomed more than 115,000 members since its inception and won a Gold MUSE Award for Public Outreach from the American Alliance of Museums, as well as the Best Innovative/Experimental and Best Overall awards from the International Museums and the Web conference.


With a background in computer science and engineering, Rob is a long-time leader in the cultural sector regarding the use of technology to enhance the educational and public impact of museums. Prior to his role in Dallas, Rob was the Deputy Director for Research, Technology, and Engagement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In that role he founded a renowned technology program that piloted many of the most innovative technology initiatives in museums including, the TAP and TourML mobile tour system, the OSCItoolkit for online scholarly publishing, the IMA Dashboard, and the technical underpinning of the Steve.Museum social tagging project. Rob also founded the IMA Lab as a consulting arm of the Museum focused on leveraging open-source software for the cultural community.


Stein served two full terms on the board of the Museum Computer Network, is an active member of the International Program Committee of Museums and the Web, and is a Senior Advisor to the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University.


Signature Session: Valeria & Mariana Mogilevich

Mariana Mogilevich is a historian of architecture and urbanism whose research focuses on the design and politics of the public realm. Valeria is a storyteller who creates tools for participation in collaboration with social justice organizations. Together with a number of collaborators, they helped impliment Great Falls Great Food Great Stories, a project that connects the history of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park to contemporary life in Paterson, New Jersey.


Sessions and Panels

  • A Petri Dish for Collaboration: The Met Breuer Opening and a New Service Model  

    • Rick Carroll, Manager of Museum Experience, The Met Breuer

    • Cristina Ambroselli, Assistant Manager of Museum Experience, The Met Breuer

  • How 15 Philly Museums Are Leveraging Mobile Audio Tour Production Projects to Strengthen Connections with Teen Audiences 

    • Erin De Rosa, Grants and Program Specialist, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

    • Tracy Buchanan, Program Coordinator, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

    • Rashanda Freeman, Policy and Community Engagement, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

    • Cliff Stevens, Founder and President, CultureSpots

  • How to Make Your Museum Crossfit: Tips and Tricks for Cross Training for Multiple Roles

    • Caitlin Hughes, Visitor Experience Manager, Dallas Heritage Village

    • Carol Rienstra, Director of Visitor Experience, Bullock Texas State History Museum

  • The 4 C's of Collaboration

    • Christopher McGinnis, Admissions Manager, National Constitution Center

    • Mark Kehres, Museum Programs and Training Manager, National Constitution Center

  • Guest Experience is a Community Project

    • Connie McCaw, President, Guest Experience Management Services

    • Susan Hamley, Executive Director, Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau

    • Carol Cunningham, President, Cunningham Consulting

  • MoMA’s “Lobby Working Group”: Improving the Visitor Experience through Cross-Departmental Experimentation

    • Sonya Shrier, Assistant Director, Visitor Services, MoMA

    • Chiara Bernasconi, Assistant Director, Digital Media, MoMA

  • How to Let Visitors Create Their Own Experience

    • Ran Yan, Deputy Director, LatimerNOW

    • Monica Montgomery, Executive Director, Lewis Latimer Historic House

    • Caroline Drabik, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Historic House Trust of New York City

    • Jessica Houston, Professor and Artist

    • Maya Pindyck, Poet, Artist, and Educator

    • Audrey Dimola, Author and Artist

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