I have worked in museum education at small historic sites since 2013. If you can think of an “other duty as assigned,” I’ve probably done it–climbing up ladders to vacuum World War I airplanes at the College Park Aviation Museum, riding into a car show that I organized hanging off the side of a 1914 Studebaker, and chasing sheep with Girl Scouts in the name of history at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. But in January of 2017, my museum career took a turn for the digital, when I worked with a colleague and friend to organize a massive museum social media campaign standing up to the concept of “alternative facts.”
After seeing a post about the historical incarceration of Japanese-Americans in an internment camp at Death Valley National Park during the first few weeks of the Trump administration, I got the idea of encouraging museums to share mission-related content relevant to the current moment. After developing a toolkit and strategy, we mobilized over 350 institutions worldwide to participate in our campaign, which we called #DayofFacts. Thousands of visitors engaged with our campaign, and we helped leverage institutional voices into important conversations with visitors, showing that cultural institutions could engage in politics without being partisan. Although I had worked my entire career in education up to that point, I had never worked on a project that had such a wide-reaching visitor impact. After seeing how many visitors were interacting with our content, and how powerful the emotional reaction was, I was convinced: the collective power of institutional social media voices could be a powerful tool for good in the world.
How did I get to 1909?
Like many museum professionals, I found myself forced into making a career pivot in 2020 when my full-time education position was eliminated. I knew Lori through the #musesocial world, and it was serendipitous that she reached out to our community about 1909 the very week I was laid off. My B.A. is in creative writing from the University of Maryland (go Terps!) and after writing my way through the first half of the pandemic, I was looking for something that could combine my love for museums, my passion for audience engagement, and my writing chops.
At a time like 2020 when our biggest audience is people staying safe at home, it’s exciting for me to move to an organization that works on optimizing the digital experience. At 1909, I’ll be working on email copy, brand messaging, content production and audience engagement.
My Nerd Interests
I am 100% a word nerd. Outside of writing for work, I am a poet that’s been published in several online platforms and literary magazines such as Feels Blind and the Ekphrastic Review. During the pandemic, I rekindled my love for playwriting, and I’ve had one-act plays produced virtually across the country now. I recently finished my first full-length play. I serve on the board of directors for a local community theater, where I work backstage. My husband and I live in northern New Jersey with our two charming (and slightly mischievous!) tuxedo cats. We enjoy visiting museums and historic sites on weekends (especially ones with fun hands-on interactives, like the Museum of the American Revolution where you can sit in a replica of Washington’s chair from the Constitutional Convention) and, until that’s safe and possible, enjoying cultural experiences digitally and at home.
Communication is about telling stories. I’ve spent my entire career communicating to audiences–from toddlers in my preK programs, to audiences viewing my plays. I look forward to working with you and your brand on communicating your message, whatever that may be.