16 episodes

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.

Cultura Conscious Paula Santos

    • Arts

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.

    Storytelling Through Exhibits with Jackie Peterson

    Storytelling Through Exhibits with Jackie Peterson

    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 the necessity of community engagement in cultural work. In particular, Jackie is invested in telling stories that benefit the black community and add nuance to the public’s understanding of African-American history. Like many of us invested in cultural organizations and museums, this work is deeply personal to her. 
    After spending much of her early career in nonprofit fundraising and working with the NYC Department of Education and teacher certification, Jackie realized that she truly belonged in a creative industry. She landed in the museum field mostly by luck, but ultimately discovered that it combined all of the things about which she was truly passionate: lifelong learning and education, social history and storytelling, and creativity. Jackie holds undergraduate degrees in English and History from Georgetown University (Washington, DC), and has pursued graduate-level coursework in Museum Studies from New York University. 
    Conversations Notes
    Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West, performance by Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco (1992) 
    Northwest African American Museum's Voices of the Manhattan Project 
    Follow Jackie on twitter @jp_exhibitsvcs

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Economic Development at the Border with Cristina Garza

    Economic Development at the Border with Cristina Garza

    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, including the skills she has developed in her new career that were once out of her reach. Through her work at Mission Economic Development Corporation, she is committed to improving the financial mobility of area residents and fostering community and economic development through technology and art. 
    Among the programs she founded are Web of Women, an initiative to teach technical skills to women professionals, and Career Readiness and Empowerment of Women (CREW), a multidisciplinary internship that trains young high-school women to serve as leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship. She is  2017 Next City Vanguard and named by CityLab Latino one of the Top 20 Young Civic Leaders of 2017. Before her career in economic development, Cristina worked in several museums in New York City including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin of Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Museum.
    Twitter @programsEDC and Instagram @cristinajgp
    For questions or feedback contact Paula Santos at culturaconscious@gmail.com. 

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Docents as Educators with Stephanie Samera

    Docents as Educators with Stephanie Samera

    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 building genuine relationships with docents has allowed her program to flourish and how her museum’s unique vision for learning and visitor experience has spurred docents to take ownership over their teaching and professional development. We touch on the role of museum leadership in creating successful docent programs, including the areas where there is room for growth, such as being intentional in diversity and inclusion efforts across the museum.
    In the afterlife post-medical sciences, Stephanie Samera first discovered her passion for museums as a volunteer for the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville and has since worked at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. Stephanie oversees the Docent Program as Lead for Gallery Learning at the Columbus Museum of Art after serving as Manager of Group Services at the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to her extensive work in the visitor experience field, Stephanie completed her M.S.Ed. in Leadership in Museum Education at Bank Street College of Education. 
    Conversations Notes
    Why Creativity? Articulating and Championing a Museum's Social Mission by Cindy Meyers Foley
    Center for Art and Social Engagement Debuts by Jen Lehe 
    The Visitors' Bill of Rights by Judy Rand 
    Nightmare at the Phoenix Art Museum
    Twitter @sv18 or Instagram @stephsame

    • 1 hr
    What Does Success Look Like? with Anabel Roque Rodríguez

    What Does Success Look Like? with Anabel Roque Rodríguez

    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 illuminate professional and personal paths. We are frank about how job loss and institutional authority has affected our careers so far, plus how career healing is important and necessary.
    Anabel Roque Rodríguez is an independent curator, art historian and writer currently based in Switzerland. She has curated exhibitions in Ecuador, Munich, and Edinburgh and works in education formats at art fairs like Art Basel as well as in the institutional museum sector. She believes that museums are not neutral and that they can facilitate empowered discourses. In her current research she is envisioning new approaches to cultural leadership, studying success in the art world and creative work in the gig economy.
    Conversation Notes  
    Anabel’s Homepage & blog
    Latest Newsletter on «Success is more than picture perfect moments»
    Ongoing Interview Series on “What does Success in the Arts look like?”
    Twitter or Instagram @anabelroro
    Follow me! Email me!
    Twitter @ConsciousPod
    Instagram @CulturaConscious 

    • 54 min
    Live from MESC's Annual Institute with Elena Muslar

    Live from MESC's Annual Institute with Elena Muslar

    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 the buzz versus the actual work of social justice work in arts and cultural organizations and how that manifests from our individual selves to the field at large. Her experience in museums and now higher education is so valuable. If you need a pick me up, this is definitely the episode for you!
    Elena’s passions intersect at a crossroads between cultural equity, creative balance, racial justice, and arts entrepreneurship. Elena holds a BA in Theatre from Loyola Marymount University and an MFA in Theatre Management from CalArts.

    • 50 min
    The Cost of Making It with PJ Gubatina Policarpio

    The Cost of Making It with PJ Gubatina Policarpio

    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 educator. Plus he shares his ideas on how we can mentor another generation of brown and black museum workers. 
    Share your own stories using the hashtag #costofmakingit. 
    PJ Gubatina Policarpio is an educator, curator, programmer, writer, and community organizer. His multidisciplinary practice utilizes research, collaboration, programming, pedagogy and public engagement as both art and tool. PJ creates intersections for meaningful connections between communities and art, especially addressing a diverse, multilingual, and multicultural audience. He brings dynamic and wide-ranging experience in museum education, youth development, and arts administration, previously working at The Museum of Modern Art, Queens Museum, and Brooklyn Museum. He has presented in conferences including NYCMER, AAM, NAEA, CCA and Open Engagement and is part of Museum as Site for Social Action (MASS Action). Born in the Philippines, PJ is currently the Youth Programs Manager at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. 
    Select Publications:
    Introduction to Filipino-American Writers. Mabuhay Magazine, June Issue. 2018
    Culture Lab Manifesto Playbook. Published by Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. 2018
    Textiles of the Philippines: A Resource Coloring Book. 2016
    Engaging Multilingual Students: An Educator's Guide. artmuseumteaching.com. 2015

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

hellodarakatrina ,

An invaluable resource for art workers, advocates, and more!

I’ve been a non profit arts worker for over 5 years at varying capacities, and I’m so thankful for this podcast! Navigating the complexities of the arts sector can be intimidating and isolating, especially when you have a social justice/community oriented lens that’s in opposition to many institutions.

This podcast continues to ground me and my practice, and has become an invaluable resource for emerging, mid career, and established arts workers (however you decide to define those terms). Thank you Paula addressing the needs for transparency, connection, and honesty in the field.

liztheflynn ,

I love this podcast!

This podcast is such a great resource and source of inspiration for museum educators. Listening to these conversations gives me motivation and sustenance on my way to and from work!

de_hart ,

Finally, the needed conversations around museums

A great chance to hear about how museums are evolving to be more responsive, relevant, and inclusive!

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