2019 General Session Panelist - Adam Rozan

General Session Panelist Cover Photo copy.jpg
Moderated by Scott Stulen, Director & President of the Philbrook Museum of Art, WMA's 2019 General Session Panelists will share their approaches to institutional change, digging deep into the ways museums can ENGAGE with their communities, staff, and other museums.
The 2019 panelists include
Maren Dougherty • Seema Rao • Adam Rozan • Phillip Thompson
To introduce you to the moderator and four panelists, we have asked them to answer a few of our questions.
Take a look to see what Adam Rozan has to say:
AdamRozan.jpgAdam Rozan
Director of Programs & Audience Development, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
As a museum leader, he is widely recognized as an audience-engagement innovator, a champion of change, and an advocate for visitors. Adam teaches an audience engagement seminar at the Harvard University Extension School’s Museum Studies program, of which he is an advisory board member. He is a founding member of the International Audience Engagement (IAE) network, based in Melbourne, and lectures on the topic worldwide. Previously, he was director of audience engagement at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. He has also held many roles at museums including the Oakland Museum of California, Harvard Art Museums, Boston Children’s Museum, and Boston’s Museum of Science.
How did you get your start in museums?
At Boston’s Museum of Science. I was part of the team working on the traveling exhibition Quest for the Immortality: Treasures from Ancient Egypt. My role was to greet school children and other guests coming to the museum for this exhibition.
What is your favorite thing about working in the museum field?
I enjoy the opportunities that we have to make meaningful connections with people who visit. I love the stories we get to tell, the objects that we get to share. It’s just amazing work.
What do you think is the most pressing issue that museums are currently facing?
Museums must confront and resolve an ever-growing list of challenges, from internal staff strife to the issues associated with diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion within their offices and across their galleries. It is not enough to pay lip service to mission and values. Those days are done. Now is the time for our organizations to live out their purpose, own their values, and respect both their organizations and the communities that they reside in. This is a big step, but it's the first step in becoming relevant as organizations. 
Regarding community engagement, what do you think is the most important thing to keep front and center?
Community engagement requires a commitment to listening to the communities that you’re trying to partner with and a willingness to work on the relationship. Often is the case that a museum goes into this work with the notion that working with their communities will be quick and easy, and it's not. It’s anything but that. It’s often incredibly rewarding, but it has to be considered as long-term, ongoing and never ending work.
You can follow Adam Rozan on:
Twitter: @adamrozan • Instagram: @adamrozan
<Register to attend WMA 2019 in Boise, ID, October 4-7th.
Member Early Bird Registration Deadline is August 2nd.
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Just want to see if you are a robot.