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Professional Programming

If you are looking to connect with other museum professionals and have access to leaders in the industry, Cultural Connections programs are for you! The Board develops and hosts five programs annually.  Each program is varied in format and subject matter, and each is designed to bring you in contact with the rich talent and resources of our local museum community. Programs are held at museums and cultural spaces throughout the Bay Area.

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All Cultural Connections programs are open to the public. Admission is free for members, and $15 for non-members unless indicated otherwise.

Upcoming Programs

    • Tuesday, January 25, 2022
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Virtual via Zoom
    • 66

    The pandemic has changed the faces and landscape of museums. Hear stories from 4 museum frontline workers, and share your own, as we embrace the power of storytelling to process the impacts on the field and build empathy for frontline museum work.

    Panelist Information:

    Andrea Parker (aka Drea) is the Visitor Services Manager for the Presidio Trust. Andrea joined the Trust in 2007 and has held a variety of positions over the years – each involving public-facing activities.  Andrea attended City College of San Francisco, and while not a native of San Francisco, she grew up in the “city” by the Bay. As the Visitor Services Manager, she co-manages the Presidio Visitor Center with her colleagues from the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. She also manages the Special Events staff that oversees all the outdoor events at the Presidio. She is currently busily preparing for the opening of the new Presidio Tunnel Tops, a 14-acre parkland due to open in the spring of 2022. The Tunnel Tops will include a variety of attractions – such as trails, gardens, picnic areas, a campfire and a much-anticipated two-acre outdoor adventure area for youth and families called the “Outpost.”

    Casey Dexter-Lee has lived and worked at Angel Island State Park for 21 years. She began her career with California State Parks as a seasonal employee, running Angel Island’s overnight field trip for students living a day in the life of Union soldiers during the US Civil War and leading tours at the U.S. Immigration Station. Casey became a permanent employee, having the opportunity to help pilot the PORTS distance learning program at the park and becoming a lead to volunteers and interpretive staff. Casey was promoted to her current role as the lead interpreter for the island in 2017. Most recently, Casey was part of the team that developed the park’s Interpretation Master Plan, the guiding document for education in the park and was California State Park’s lead on the exhibit design team for the Angel Island Immigration Museum.

    Liana Salikhova is the Community Engagement and Education Program Manager at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. She works directly with the community to bring museum programs to multicultural and multigenerational audiences, both on and off site. Liana joined SJMQT as the Visitor Services and Tour Coordinator in the fall of 2019, shortly after moving to the U.S. Her eagerness to learn about, connect with, and support local communities in meaningful ways has helped her build partnerships with several community organizations in San Jose and create engaging outreach programs in the midst of the pandemic. Programs now include Crafternoons, monthly art-making events in the new community garden adjacent to the museum; First Friday Art Walks; and maker activities at Mexican Heritage Plaza events. She is excited to be relaunching free Community Days in the spring. Liana continues to work closely with the Visitor Services team and manage tours.

    Los Tenorio is the Public Program Presenter at the California Academy of SciencesHe started taking part in informal education in high school when he was part of the “Science In Action” program at the California Academy of Sciences.  Once he started college, he kept his ties with the Cal Academy and would be part of the summer camps team every summer until his last year of college.  Once he graduated, he worked as a Gallery Interpreter at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco and afterwards became part of the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center Staff as a Naturalist Aide.  He then moved to Southern California in which he became staff at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium as well as volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific.  He then moved onto the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits to be part of the Gallery Interpreter team.   After being in California for all his life he moved to Florida and became an instructor for Florida State’s University Office of STEM Teaching Activities in the Biology Dept.  There, Los taught marine biology themed programs to elementary and middle school students.  He returned to California and became part of the Exploratorium public facing team and is currently with the Public Program staff at the California Academy of Sciences.


    Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the museum field, we are offering this program free of charge to everyone, and asking participants to pay what they can. Cultural Connections is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit run by an all-volunteer board, and the funds earned through membership and program admission directly support professional development programs and resources for our colleagues throughout the Bay Area. Thank you for supporting Cultural Connections!

Past Programs

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 Museum Trivia Night
Tuesday, June 08, 2021 Beyond Galas and Grants: An End to Nonprofit Hunger Games
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Decolonizing Museums: Current Initiatives in California Museums and Cultural Centers
Thursday, February 18, 2021 Beyond #Blackout Tuesday: Continuing DEAI Work
Thursday, January 28, 2021 Digital Engagement: Collections, Education and Programs in the Time of COVID
Wednesday, December 09, 2020 Fair Pay in a Time of Crisis: Fighting for Wage Equity and Transparency in Museums
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 Museum Trivia Night
Wednesday, September 09, 2020 Dismantling Systemic Racism in Cultural Institutions: A Conversation
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 More than One Main Character: Listening to and Sharing Community Voices
Saturday, June 13, 2020 Linking History to Community: How Historic House Museums Can Remain Relevant in the 21st Century
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Cultural Connections Virtual Meet-Up
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Bam! Now Do We Have Your Attention? How to Use Storytelling to Achieve High Impact, Immersive and Interactive Experiences
Thursday, January 30, 2020 Diversifying the Digital Experience
Wednesday, December 04, 2019 Try This at Home: Institutional Change Case-studies and Workshop
Thursday, September 26, 2019 Taking Action Together: Exploring the MASS Action Toolkit
Thursday, June 13, 2019 Creating Dynamic Exhibitions Now: An Evening with Leaders & Makers
Thursday, April 11, 2019 Reaching Out, Reaching In: Using Community Partnerships for Exhibitions and Programs
Thursday, March 07, 2019 Post CAM 2019 Conference Meetup
Saturday, December 08, 2018 Disaster Preparedness and Response: Caring for Your Museum and Community
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Radical Self-care
Thursday, June 21, 2018 Building on Solid Ground: Community Engagement
Thursday, April 19, 2018 Build It In, Don’t Bolt It On: Beyond the ADA and How Museums Can Lead in the Design for Disability
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Developing Museum Leadership: Getting from Here to There
Thursday, December 14, 2017 Designing for Outrage: Inviting Disruption into Exhibitions
Thursday, November 02, 2017 Tours: Purposes and Privileges
Thursday, June 15, 2017 Do-It-Yourself Evaluation: Confessions of failure, foibles and follies & Ways to deal with them
Tuesday, May 02, 2017 Walking the Talk: Museums Lead the Way on the Path of Social Justice
Thursday, March 16, 2017 Exhibition Development: Thinking Outside the Box
Thursday, January 12, 2017 Cafe Connections: Lessons Learned on New Approaches
Thursday, December 15, 2016 Connections: Year-End Get Together
Saturday, September 10, 2016 Design Thinking Workshop with Dana Mitroff Silvers
Monday, June 13, 2016 The Future of Digital Preservation and Access
Monday, February 22, 2016 Voices from the Community
Thursday, December 03, 2015 Event Full! Do-It-Yourself Evaluation
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Planning for Financial Sustainability
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 Inspiring Science and Math Learning
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Meetup at the Jeremiah O'Brien
Tuesday, February 03, 2015 Distance Learning and Museums
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Distance Learning and Museums
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Activism, Relevancy, and Community Engagement
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Maker Spaces
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 A Case Study: the Exploratorium's Global Studios
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Leadership in the 21st Century
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Education Partners
Saturday, January 11, 2014 Board Meeting
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Above and Below

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