What I'm Up To
When I found out Western Museums Association was hosting their annual conference in Phoenix in 2016, I was excited to get involved. Their team of conference planners has an excellent reputation and the conference itself is a 'must' for museum professionals (who, as a reminder, struggle with limited budgets for professional development). I was honored to be involved in two ways: as a liaison for the Greater Phoenix Emerging Professionals chapter, and as a moderator for a session titled We Are The Change: Mentors and Peers.
The panelists and I all had some relationship to mentoring in museums - for my part, I run a peer-to-peer mentor program among volunteers at the Musical Instrument Museum. Learning from the panelists in the months leading up to the conference and our session was eye-opening and fun. Our session represented everything from formal mentorships, to the informal ones created out of happy hours and a common sense of struggle, to alumni networks that keep old classmates in touch as they take new jobs.
As a moderator, I was also responsible for pulling together the various presentation elements from my new museum friends and submitting it via the proper channels. It was an exercise in diplomatic 'managing of my peers.'
Check out what fun we had!
Niki Cuccinotto is the Museum Guide & Curriculum Coordinator at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. She also volunteers at Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation in Scottsdale, as well as the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix. She is active in the Greater Phoenix Emerging Museum Professionals as well as the Museum Association of Arizona. She is also a professional member of the American Alliance of Museums.