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Published May 20, 2019
A University of Wyoming Art Museum curator recently participated in the Getty Leadership Institute’s (GLI) NextGen 2019 education program for museum leaders.
Katie Christensen, curator of education and statewide engagement, was one of 36 museum leaders who participated in the March program. She joined participants who represented Canada, China, Denmark, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
“I was among peers from some of the best cultural institutions in the world, sharing our uniqueness, celebrating how we’ve managed to overcome many challenges, and learning new strategies to embrace best practices, as well as develop the next practices,” Christensen says. “I was particularly interested in the ways diversity and inclusion were folded into the learning, but also the conversations at all levels.”
Participants were selected based on their detailed analysis of the challenges they face in the immediate future; commitment to the museum field; creativity; broad strategic thinking; and the ability to influence policy and affect change at their institutions.
NextGen 2019 was a blended learning course for midlevel staff members in their first three to five years as managers. The course consisted of one week of online learning, one week of self-study and a one-week intensive classroom experience in residence on the Claremont Graduate University campus in Southern California. During the residency week, participants visited museums and cultural institutions in Los Angeles, where they met with leaders at each location.
Participants engaged in topics related to audience reach and relevance, digital initiatives, diversity/equity/inclusion/access, leadership development, and team and organizational management.
“This program reminded me how relevant Wyoming is and how important our work at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is to the global field of museum and cultural work,” Christensen says.
Christensen, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UW, has worked at the UW Art Museum since June 2015. As the curator of education and statewide engagement, she oversees the entire education team at the UW Art Museum; implements many of the public programs, including the visiting artists program, Here and Now: Arts and Alzheimer program, as well as special events such as the exhibition that supports Albany County School District 1 youth; builds partnerships; and advances statewide outreach efforts.
GLI is the premier learning and thought leadership network for museum leaders. The institute has served over 1,800 museum professionals from the U.S. and over 40 countries. In addition to its executive education programs, GLI produces NextGen Now, a program for emerging professionals in their first 10 years in the field, and NextGen China, a program that serves midlevel executives in the Chinese museum field.
“It’s an honor to be a Getty Fellow and continue to be connected to a cohort of museum professionals from around the globe,” Christensen says.