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Join Paula Santos, a podcast addict and lover of everything arts and culture, in conversation with other museum and cultural workers, educators, artists, activists, and leaders about how we work with our communities and the public at large. She is particularly interested in how the work we do is informed by larger questions of race and inequity in society.
 
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show series
 
What is the responsibility of museums in the wake of the Capitol Insurrection? Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, a DC-based cultural equity strategist, joins us to talk about how critical museums are in the struggle to dismantle white supremacy. We originally spoke with Kayleigh about her practice in late 2020 and planned to release that conversation on J…
 
In community organizing work, there are no shortcuts or gimmicks, only relationships built on trust and continued investment. The Lawndale Pop-Up Spot is a community-led museum located in a shipping container at the Spaulding Memorial Garden, a community garden in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Chelsea Ridley and Jonathan Kelley, the museum…
 
In this mini-episode, Paula talks with Gwendolyn Fernandez, a recovering museum educator and fellow Museum Workers Speak organizer, about embracing collaboration and breaking up with your career. Gwen will be joining the Cultura Conscious team to produce a series of new episodes featuring inspiring museum and culture workers. Look for fresh convers…
 
Loss has been a constant over the past few weeks. Writer, educator and theatermaker Diane Exavier joins me to talk about personal and collective grief during a pandemic. We talk about how coping in our current moment requires some of the resiliency we’ve built through other experiences of loss, and yet those well-trodden maps still fall short of he…
 
Mayra Cecilia Palafox shares with me why connecting with people and meeting their needs is so important to her. We discuss why humility is a useful practice for the present moment. When dealing with the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, what strengths do we have as cultural workers that prepare us to weather challenges as they present themselves…
 
Jackie Peterson, a Seattle-based exhibit developer and independent curator, is passionate about the ways exhibits can tell important stories in ways that are compelling to the public. Jackie grounds her practice on the trust she develops with communities whose stories she’s working to tell. Her research and development process adds another layer to…
 
Cristina Garza, Director of Social Impact at Mission EDC, shares the journey that led her to leave her small town in Texas for New York City, to her various roles in museums, and then back to her hometown area working in local government. She reflects with candor on all the reasons it was important and necessary for her to move on from museums, inc…
 
Docents play a vital role in museums across the country. As museum education departments change and evolve, tensions have surfaced on what the role of docents should be as teaching in museums becomes more specialized. Stephanie Samera, Lead for Gallery Learning at the Columbus Museum of Art, joins me to discuss all things docent. She shares how bui…
 
What does success in the arts look like? Anabel Roque Rodriguez has been asking women in arts and culture this question for over a year. Anabel shares findings and reflections from her project so far. We touch on the power of solidarity and community in achieving success, especially for women, and how making choices that center well-being can illum…
 
Live episode recording from Museum Educator of Southern California's 2018 Annual Institute at the Skirball Cultural Center. My guest was Elena Muslar, Assistant Director, Entertainment and Fine Arts Professions at Loyola Marymount University. Elena was so wonderful and insightful! Our discussion veered in many directions, including breaking down th…
 
PJ Gubatina Policarpio gets real with me on the nitty gritty of what it takes financially and emotionally to pursue a career in museums if you come from a low-income background. He discusses why building community is integral to his work, how diversifying his skill set was a financial strategy, and why he considers himself primarily a museum educat…
 
On this month’s episode, Stephanie Cunningham shares her efforts to create alignment in her work after ten years of experience in the field. As a speaker, consultant, and educator, Stephanie has been a leading voice on race and equity in museums. After so many conversations, workshops and conferences discussing race and equity in museums, how far a…
 
What is necessary for museums to radically imagine what is possible, not only what has been done? Adjoa Jones de Almeida, Director of Education at the Brooklyn Museum, shares how she decided to "step up" during a moment of transition for the museum. After beginning her career at the Brooklyn Museum in an entry level position, she hadn’t planned for…
 
This month’s episode of Cultura Conscious is all about transitions and finding your purpose. Paulina Lopez, adult educator and teaching artist at the Art Institute of Chicago, joins me to discuss the events of 2017 and how they affected our personal, political and professional lives. Paulina shares her insights on what keeps her motivated and focus…
 
Dr. Jody Dublin joins me this month to discuss how individuals and institutions can better understand and support first generation college students. We discuss the ways in which policy and institutional decisions are driven by the theory of college choice, even though not every student falls neatly within outlined categories when deciding to pursue…
 
My guest this week thinks of her work as building the community of the future. Vanessa Sanchez is the Director of Yollocalli Arts Reach, the youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art, as well as a practicing artist, music festival planner extraordinaire, and activist. She opens up about her apprehension at describing herself as a leade…
 
My guest this week does it all! Museum educator, academic researcher and museum boss lady. Veronica Alvarez, Director of School and Educator Programs at LACMA, discusses how her career has been shaped by her experiences as an immigrant, as a student and as a museum educator. We discuss how she keeps up with her teaching practice even as administrat…
 
What can museums learn from the work of community organizers? Oliver Merino discusses his work with the Latino community at Levine Museum of the New South, a history museum in Charlotte, NC. He shares with me what he thinks is the importance of history museums in contextualizing current events, how he approaches leading and organizing through liste…
 
On this episode of Cultura Conscious, Alyssa Machida discusses her motivation and inspiration for The Dreamspace Project, workbook and toolkit for educators who are ready to move beyond demanding social justice and are ready to take critical action. We talk about the ways institutions communicate to the public beyond the art on the walls, the need …
 
On this episode, Marimar Gutierrez speaks to me about her experience as a DACA student and museum worker. We discuss the ways museums can be welcoming to young people like her, what the atmosphere has been like in the museum galleries since the 2016 election, how we can’t deny ourselves the feeling of fear, and what steps she has taken to ensure he…
 
Keonna Hendrick joins me for my first ever episode! Our frank, informal conversation was recorded during the American Alliance of Museums 2017 annual conference. We talk about white supremacy, what to do about racism and inclusion at a personal and professional level, what a vision of inclusion looks like for museum professionals, #museumsrespondto…
 
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