In Conversation with Alexandra Kowalski and Colby Sellers
Interviewed by Delta Pick Mello (Executive Director/CEO, Sacramento History Alliance) and Vicki Wawerchak (Director of Public Programs, Monterey Bay Aquarium)
Thursday, November 12, 2020 12:00PM – 1:00PM
Recover. Reimagine. Revive. What does ReMuseum mean to you? Join this virtual conversation to delve deeply into the challenges that the museum field is currently facing and how our field can move forward. Come ready to dialogue!
When doors closed to visitors, how did museums pivot and reimagine the audience experience through digital programs in order to stay relevant and connected?
Alexandra Kowalski, Programs Coordinator, Sacramento History Museum
Alexandra fell into the museum world completely by accident, taking on a part-time tour guide position during her off-season as an archaeologist. After following opportunities at different science, art, and history institutions, she has been working at the Sacramento History Museum in various capacities since 2014. She left for a few years to work as the Education Assistant at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California where she focused on school and family programming in the brick-and-mortar, never considering trying a virtual format. Her first day back at the Sacramento History Museum in her new position as the Programs Coordinator was March 16th, the first day the museum had to close to the public and remain closed for 212 days. Since then, she has been attempting a wide variety of virtual programs for all audiences and to varying success. When she is not on one webinar or another, she is working on her Masters in Museum Studies through Johns Hopkins University, spending time with her Great Dane, Vader, and learning how to satisfy her wanderlust in the middle of a pandemic.
Colby Sellers, Director of Ancillary Operations, Shedd Aquarium
Born in Chicago, raised in central and southern Illinois, Colby attended Western Illinois University where he attained a degree in Theatre and History. He began working in museums right out of college, starting at The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) giving tours of their "icon exhibits." After a year, Colby moved into their Education Department where he facilitated information education labs and classes to school groups. Three years were spent in total at MSI. In 2006, he began his career at Shedd Aquarium, initially brought in as an actor to provide narration for the Aquatic Presentations. As time and inevitable restructuring occurred, he was moved into what was Guest Services, now Guest Relations, as a Manager, then, Assistant Director and now Director of the off-shoot department of Ancillary Operations. Ancillary Operations at Shedd constitutes all mission-based, revenue-generating and experience-enhancing programs and activities.
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