Indianapolis Museum of Art to host major European conference

Scott Stulen and Nina Simon of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. IMA images

Scott Stulen and Nina Simon of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. IMA images

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Museum of Art will host the MuseumNext conference on Sept. 25-26 to discuss the future of museums and demonstrate best practices within the field. It marks the first time the conference is held in North America.

Since its 2009 launch, MuseumNext has been held in a different European city each year, with the most recent conference in Geneva attracting more than 600 museum innovators and change makers from around the world. The conference acts as a platform to pose the question “What’s next for museums?” and encourages collaboration around the world through action, rather than theory.

The inaugural North America conference is themed “Building Inclusive Museums,” with a focus on how museums can make themselves more accessible, ensuring that equality and diversity is paramount.

“I am both delighted and honored that the IMA was selected as the host for MuseumNext’s first conference in North America,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. “Here at the IMA, we strive to be change makers in the museum industry, offering out-of-the-box experiences for our guests that allow them to connect with art and the natural world in a different and surprising way. MuseumNext offers a platform for museum leaders to come together to share ideas, learn from one another and brainstorm new ways to connect with our audiences. I’m thrilled to have two of our own innovators—Scott Stulen and Silvia Filippini Fantoni— representing the IMA as speakers at this event.”

Programming for MuseumNext Indianapolis will kick off Sept. 25 and includes a full day of presentations at the IMA, Museum Camp, visits to local museums and an evening reception at Cerulean Restaurant. The conference will continue on Saturday at the IMA campus on Sept. 26 with discussions in The Toby and an outdoor social event on the lawn of the historic Lilly House.

MuseumNext speakers include:

– Nina Simon, executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, has been described as a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine. In addition to working as an independent consultant and exhibition designer for over 100 museums and cultural centers around the world, Nina is also the author of The Participatory Museum and the popular Museum 2.0 blog.

– Shelley Bernstein, vice director of digital engagement & technology at the Brooklyn Museum, works to further the museum’s community-oriented mission and administers the Museum’s web initiatives. Shelley is a proud member of the Brooklyn Museum Posse, co-created 1stfans: socially networked museum membership and organized Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition.

– Colleen Dilenschneider, chief market engagement officer for IMPACTS Research, has been widely regarded as a leader of the next generation of nonprofit executive management. Colleen is an authority on the evolution and deployment of innovative engagement practices with a unique expertise in digital marketing and millennial audiences.

– Scott Stulen, curator of audience experiences and performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, leads ARTx, a new initiative to create experimental and interactive programs throughout the IMA’s 152-acre campus. Scott has launched over 100 new programs, platforms and series to attract and engage diverse audiences to the IMA and has a reputation for creating surprising, accessible and community-based programming, such as first Internet Cat Video Festival.

– Silvia Filippini Fantoni, director of interpretation, media and evaluation at the Indianapolis Museum of Art contributes to the advancement and implementation of a more visitor-centered exhibition development model, informed by extensive audience research and evaluation. Prior to her role at the IMA, Silvia worked in and for various museums in the US and Europe including the British Museum, the Centre Pompidou and the J.P. Getty Museum. She also teaches museum-related seminars at Sorbonne University in Paris.

– Monica O. Montgomery, director of the Lewis Latimer Historic House Museum, is a cultural entrepreneur who curates media, museums and memory to enhance creative inspiration. Monica believes museums should be in service to society and she speaks and consults with institutions along the eastern seaboard to share this mission. Monica is the founding director of the Museum of Impact (MOI), the world’s first mobile Social Justice Museum.

– Matthew Solari, creative director at BRC Imagination Arts, a leading experience design and production agency, collaborates with clients to turn cultural institutions and brands into destinations. Matthew works closely with clients and cross-disciplinary teams to create experiences that matter and that audiences love.

– Masum Momaya, curator at the Smithsonian Institution, has 20 years of experience working for women’s rights, gender, race, class equality and social justice. Masum’s 100-plus articles, podcasts and exhibitions have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and her work has been featured by NPR, The Associated Press, BBC News and Reuters.

For a complete list of speakers and registration information, visit .