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Webinar: Global Topics for Local Audiences
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Global Topics for Local Audiences

Live Webinar
Thursday, November 14, 2019
2 - 3:15pm ET




This webinar will explore models and methods for navigating global issues at a local scale, bringing regional, national, or historic art into contemporary global conversations, and empowering new voices to help interpret complex stories.

Using case studies from panelists, this webinar seeks to address questions such as: How can museums make collections and exhibitions relevant to widespread, global audiences? How can they illuminate national and international issues and concerns for local audiences? How can staff at all levels engage challenging topics and develop groundwork for successful community engagement?


Meet the Speakers
(listed alphabetically)


Melissa Buron, Director, Art Division Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; Moderator

Melissa E. Buron is director of the art division at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, where she earned a BA with honors in art history. She also holds an MA with distinction in art history from the University of London, Birkbeck College, where she is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate. Her contributions have supported more than twenty special exhibitions on subjects from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. She recently organized Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters (2018), and James Tissot: Fashion & Faith is her latest original project. 


Linda Butler, Director of Marketing, Communications and Visitor Experience, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Linda Butler joined the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) as Director of Marketing, Communications, and Visitor Experience in August 2017. In her years as a leader in the arts, Butler has been recognized for her commitment to engaging and attracting diverse audiences in innovative ways, and for her dexterity in developing impactful content and effective institutional strategy. Prior to her appointment at FAMSF, Butler served as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) and also directed all facets of marketing for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her strategies to engage the community resulted in the award-winning #PlayArtfully campaign, which received the 2015 Gold MUSE Award for outstanding achievement in Digital Communities. 


Silvia Forni, Senior Curator of African Arts and Cultures, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Dr. Silvia Forni has curated several partial gallery reinstallations and exhibitions at the ROM, including Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art; Isaac Julien: Other Destinies; and Art. Honour and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana. Together with Julie Crooks and Dominique Fontaine, Dr. Forni is responsible for Of Africa, a multiplatform project inaugurated in 2013 with the aim to support a sustained and long-term promotion of the cultural and creative diversity of Africa and its diaspora through an engagement with the collections in the museum and in dialogue with contemporary artists and creators. Dr. Forni is also Associate Professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto and sessional lecturer on African Art at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Lance Wheeler, Curator of Interpretation, Two Mississippi Museums

Lance Wheeler currently serves as Curator of Interpretation for the Two Mississippi Museums located in Jackson, Mississippi. Originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, he earned a BA in History with a focus on American slavery at Belmont Abbey College and MA in History with a concentration in Museum Studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  As a public historian, Mr. Wheeler realizes the importance in engaging patrons, not only through facts and dates, but also through personal stories and relativity to current events. Lance believes that museums should be seen has resource centers that allow the community to share their voices and gives individuals the historical connections they need to understand how the past has shaped the present and will shape the future. In his words, “Museums are more than buildings that hold artifacts and the stories of those before us, museums are places that take the visitors on a spiritual journey that bridges the past with the present and beyond.”


Webinar Co-organizer:

Rebecca McNamara, Mellon Collections Curator, Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College



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