All posts by National Emerging Museum Professionals Network

NEMPN Statement in Response to Storming of the U.S. Capitol Building

(January 6, 2021) – NEMPN shares the incredible stress, anxiety, and sadness of our community as current events unfold in Washington, D.C. today. We are deeply concerned for the safety and well being of all EMPs. We are especially concerned for the members of our EMP community working in the U.S. Capitol who have been stewards for this historic building and landmark, its invaluable collection, and its role in civic life, all of which is being vandalized and disrespected. Our hearts and minds are with them at this moment, and we are here to support in any way that we can.

NEMPN understands that this egregious, shocking, and deeply disturbing affront to democracy is a historical moment. As museum professionals, many of us will be working to collect, preserve, and interpret this moment in our country’s history and those that will follow. We hope that EMPs are prioritizing self-care and self-preservation in this time as we look ahead to an uncertain future. 

EMP chapters have also issued individual statements, linked to below:

D.C. Emerging Museum Professionals


The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network envisions communities in which museum professionals make meaningful connections within and across backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions by providing leadership, responding to changing needs, enriching experiences, growing capabilities, and sharing resources. NEMPN is a registered 501(c)3. For more information:

LAND THAT JOB: Resume Writing, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Saturday, January 9th, 2021

4:00 PM EST / 3:00 PM CST / 2:00 PM MST / 1:00 PM PST

RSVP: Eventbrite

Join Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals (BAEMP) & Association of African American Museums EMP as they explore the most effective tools and strategies for getting noticed and getting hired. Hear what Executive Directors and Hiring Managers are looking for in applicants.

The Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals facilitates social and professional opportunities for individuals at all stages of their careers in museums, zoos, and aquariums, and other cultural institutions.

EMP Skill Share: Conversational Roadmapping with Deidre McVay-Schulmeister

Monday, January 11th, 2021

1:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM CST / 11:00 AM MST / 10:00 AM PST

RSVP Here: Facebook

Start off your new year by joining an EMP Skill Share, peer-to-peer learning events to expand our professional skillsets. Deidre McVay-Schulmeister will be sharing “Conversational Roadmapping: How to Advocate for a Museum’s Membership Program through Tailoring Conversations with Perspective Members to Join and Current Members to Upgrade.”

As a Museum, the experiences of customers and current members shape our success, especially if they make the transition to become a member or even consider upgrading to a higher membership level. According to an American Museum Memberships Conference presentation in 2019, visitors bring in on average $73 per year in revenue. However, once a member has chosen to retain membership and continue to be engaged with their museum, the average revenue acquired from them (including donations) is $603 per year. Therefore, it all starts with the impact that was made during their first visit or their first year of membership, educate perspective and current members accurately on what our museum offers to its members. This presentation will discuss the new techniques that are implemented to advocate for the membership program at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Volunteers, staff, and store personnel were trained to utilize their current experiences and knowledge on the museum’s membership program to help advocate it to the public by “roadmapping” a conversation that they would have with them.

Deidre McVay-Schulmeister is the Development and Membership Associate for the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, NM. She operates the museum’s entire membership program, from exclusive event planning to member experience services and record keeping. She also assists with fundraising initiatives for the museum that support its STEM educational programming, historic aircraft and missile restoration projects, exhibitions, and COVID-19 relief, including managing the entire operations of the museum’s annual silent auction, The Einstein Gala. Her involvement in museum membership has led her to attend the American Museum Membership Conference to further grow her knowledge and bring new ideas back to her museum, and later serving on the host committee for the organization’s first ever virtual conference this past October, where she moderated panels and provided technical assistance in her assigned panels. Deidre graduated from Heidelberg University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors in Political Science with minors in Legal and International Studies. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Dayton with a master’s degree with honors in Public Administration.

In her spare time, she is also an independent Senior Designer for Origami Owl, a company that fosters building community and empowering others through customizable jewelry that gives everyone the opportunity to share their own stories. She is also a United States Air Force spouse, has been married to her husband, Taylor, for over 3 years. They are proud doggy parents to their American Foxhound-Beagle mix named Dooku. Finally, she has served on the Boards of Directors for 2 organizations, the Young Professionals of Albuquerque as their secretary and the Kirtland Spouses Club as their parliamentarian, and now serves as the co-founder and chair of her sorority, the Euglossian Society’s, alumni council.

EMP Writing Workshop

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

8:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM CST / 6:00 PM MST / 5:00 PM PST

RSVP Here: Facebook

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to get published in 2021? If not, it should be! 

Join NEMPN for a workshop just for EMPs who are interested in submitting a paper proposal. The EMP journal Theory & Practice currently has a call for papers, and yours could be one of the ones included! No experience necessary for this one-hour program.

Learn more about Theory & Practice (submission deadline is February 1)-Just for first-time writers: tips and tricks for writing a great submission (and, eventually, a great paper)

Hear from The Public Historian editor Dr. Nicole Belolan about her experiences both submitting to and editing journals

We’ll also be collecting and sharing contact information for anyone interested in giving/receiving peer reads and/or anyone looking for collaborators on a paper.

Headshot for Nicole Beloan. A white woman with long brown hair and glasses, smiling, wearing a white shirt with pastel red/blue stripes. She is standing against a brick wall.

Nicole Belolan, PhD, is the Public Historian in Residence at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities at Rutgers University-Camden. At Rutgers, she directs a continuing education program in historic preservation. As part of her appointment, she is also the Co-Editor of The Public Historian and the Digital Media Editor for the National Council on Public History. Nicole is a historian of the material culture of disability in early America. She regularly lectures and gives workshops on disability history and best practices for museums and historic sites.

EVENT: Join our December EMP Town Hall!

We are hosting our last EMP Town Hall of 2020 and we want to hear from all of you! The National EMP Network has grown into a successful community of over 14,000 members, and we want to hear from you! The NEMPN Board of Directors are looking to include the voices and ideas of the entire EMP community as much as possible as we rethink what NEMPN can and should do to support museum professionals.

Some items of discussion include the CFP for Theory & Practice, the Chapter Guidelines we’re putting together, and our newly formed committees to create a support network for EMPs across the world. Please join us in conversation, and come share your ideas for the future of this organization.

If you are unable to attend, a recording of the event will be made available on the NEMPN website, page, and group. You may submit your questions (to be answered during the event) via this Google Form or as a post on the event page.

Join a NEMPN Committee

We are looking for volunteers to serve on NEMPN committees! These committees, along with the NEMPN Board, are essential to making the National Emerging Museum Professional Network an incredible support network for EMPs across the world.

Please review the descriptions for the committees below: you may apply to one committee of interest. Each committee will have a different time commitment depending on the project being taken on and agreed upon collectively by the committee. We are looking at approximately 5-7 hours a month but it could be more or less! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sierra Polisar and Sierra Van Ryck deGroot, Co-Presidents, at

Apply for a committee via this Google Form. We currently have five committees looking for members:

Advocacy Committee: Hey EMPs- Feeling overworked? Under-resourced? Undervalued? The NEMPN Advocacy Committee is here to help. This year the Advocacy Committee will be working on three worthy tasks: eliminating unpaid internships, crafting NEMPN’s mission/vision/values page, and supporting EMP Self-Care needs. Together we can change museum culture, but we need your help. Those who advocate must collaborate, and we need your creativity, determination, and pure awesomeness to get our projects off the ground. Join our Advocacy Committee and help us change the industry, one project at a time.

Communications Committee: NEMPN is renovating its communications strategy for 2021: we want our web presence to be as creative, resourceful, and exciting as the EMPs we support! In the new year, we’re re-launching our newsletter, redesigning our website, and growing our social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram to make sure we provide updates, resources, and events for museum professionals nationwide. The NEMPN Communications Committee is looking for writers, graphic designers, social media savvy people, and anybody else who’s interested in promoting the amazing work of EMPs and their chapters across our network. Join us and let’s get started!

Finance and Fundraising Committee: The Board of Directors of the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN) has big goals this year to better serve and impact our community! Sick of only finding unpaid internship work? Tired of feeling like you don’t have the resources to advocate for yourself in the museum world? We are seeking Finance Committee members to help create and carry out a Fund Development Plan for the 2020-2021 year. We hope to use this plan to get advocacy initiatives off the ground, and provide more value overall to NEMPN. NEMPN is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Apply today to be a part of this Fundraising Committee!

Community Committee: We’re so excited to be starting a new chapter in the book that is NEMPN, part of which includes the formation of a Community Committee. We’re looking for EMPs in all locations to join the Community Committee to help with the following: Assessing what parts of our EMP network need support and how we can help provide it (Recruiting new members? Activating social media networks? Brainstorming ways to do fundraising? We can help with all this and more!) Bringing our community together with town halls, workshops, and other means of meeting and learning from one another. Defining and working toward EMP goals for the future, both generally and regionally [Infomercial voice] All this AND MORE!

Theory and Practice Committee: NEMPN is proud to partner with The Museum Scholar to publish Theory and Practice, a peer-reviewed journal for emerging museum professionals. Theory and Practice gives all museum professionals a platform to share their research and writings on a broad range of topics relating to museums, libraries and archives. There is no fee to publish, and all articles are free to read. This fantastic resource relies on us, the NEMPN community, to provide the back-end support that makes this journal possible. Please consider volunteering for the NEMPN Theory and Practice Committee. We are looking for a team of peer-reviewers and marketing wizards to help get this project moving.

Theory and Practice Call for Papers, Spring 2021

We would like to announce the Call for Papers for Theory and Practice: The Emerging Museum Professionals Journal, a peer-reviewed journal for emerging museum professionals that is co-produced by the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network and The Museum ScholarTheory and Practice is accepting submissions for its fourth volume, We the Museum, which seeks to develop a dialogue about how the power dynamics within and beyond museums affect everyone who engages with them, and how these structures are changing.

Deadline: Monday, February 1st, 2021 to be included in the Summer 2021 issue.

During calls for democratization and unions, amid the push to decolonize museums and public art, and throughout COVID-19 layoffs and budget cuts, museums have been reminded that they are inextricably linked to the political and social change in the communities they inhabit. However, the people who call for these changes—and who are affected by them—are often invisible within the institution. This fourth volume of the Museum Futures series seeks to develop a dialogue about how the power dynamics within and beyond museums affect everyone who engages with them, and how these structures are changing. How can the definition of a museum professional be expanded through recognition of labor and a redefinition of what is important in a museum? How can museums become institutions that are created both by the people and for the people?

Theory and Practice invites submissions from emerging professionals across the entire museum community, which includes all institutions that utilize a collection to educate the public. Case studies, research papers, presentations, exhibition reviews, and book reviews are welcome.

Submission Requirements:
● Abstract (up to 250 words)
● Author bio (up to 250 words)
● Manuscript and Citations (up to 5,000 words)
● Images/Videos (up to 10)
● List of Images/Videos
● Keywords (up to 5)

There are no fees to submit or publish, and all published articles will be free for all to read.
Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style citations for your submission. A style guide can be found on The Museum Scholar website here. Submit here, or submit via

If you have any questions, please contact Camille Roccanova at

NEPMN Statement in Response to the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

New York, NY (Oct 16, 2020)—NEMPN objects to the content of the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping that was issued by the President of the United States on September 22, 2020. NEMPN is troubled by the message that this Executive Order (EO) projects to not only museum professionals but to all those who are fighting to end systemic racism and sexism. It is one of NEMPN’s core beliefs that museums are cultural spaces for all and should strive to represent the many diverse cultures and histories that encompass our globe. We see this EO as undermining these values and pushing to reverse course on much-needed diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) efforts. NEMPN understands that this is difficulty and uncomfortable work but we also acknowledge this work as essential for the betterment of society. We want to reassure our network of wonderful museum colleagues around the world that NEMPN is dedicated to our DEAI work. We will continue to forge a path ahead to fight for a more equitable museum field.


The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network envisions communities in which museum professionals make meaningful connections within and across backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions by providing leadership, responding to changing needs, enriching experiences, growing capabilities, and sharing resources. NEMPN is a registered 501(c)3. For more information:

New Board, New Directions

National Emerging Museum Professionals Network announces 2020 board, new direction for the future

National Emerging Museum Professionals Network announces 2020 board, new direction for the future

New York, NY (Oct 13, 2020)—The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN) today announced the selection of seven new board members, along with a renewed global vision for the organization and its role in providing guidance and support to new and growth track professionals in museums, cultural organizations, and other informal learning institutions.

After stepping into the role of co-President in July 2020 Sierra Van Ryck deGroot and Sierra Polisar have developed a vision for NEMPN that the pair say requires a strong team with the drive and determination to get the job done.

“NEMPN is poised to do some really big things this year and in the near future. We wanted to create a Board that is not only representative of the communities we serve, but also willing to get right to work with some of our big picture dreams for the upcoming year,” said Van Ryck deGroot, who also serves as the Education Programs Manager at Poster House in New York City. “We have quite a few goals and we needed the support of individuals who were ready and willing to get the organization where it needs to be.”

Those goals include fundraising to develop initiatives to support the EMP community, advocacy work both in and for museums, a museum salaries transparency project, and developing international resources and support networks for museum professionals at all stages of their growth and emergence. “We are excited to revitalize our resources and turn them into something more than just a place to ask questions related to the field,” said Laura Santoyo, returning Board member and newly appointed Board Secretary, and Curator of Collections at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University. “We want NEMPN to be more than just a static, one-way resource. We want it to be a part of the community.”

The Board welcomes back the following returning members in their new roles: Treasurer—Chloe Doucette of Idaho Falls; Secretary—Laura Santoyo of Aurora, Illinois; and Director of Resources—Michelle Reynolds.

Along with new top leadership, the 2020/2021 Board welcomes four new regional directors and a new director of communications.

Director of Communications, Emily Esten (Digital Humanities Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania)

Regional Director-Northeast, Kelsey Brow (Executive Director, King Manor Museum, New York)

Regional Director-Southeast, Cassandra Cavness (Development Assistant, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama)

Regional Director-Midwest, Dianne Choie (Youth and Family Programs Coordinator, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin)

Regional Director-Southwest, Amy C. Oliver (Visitor & Science Center Manager, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Arizona)

Regional Director-West, Jesse Dutton-Kenny (Museum Preparator, SFO Museum, California)

Regional Director-International/Multi-Location, Madeline Smolarz (Museum Assistant, City of Kingston, Ontario, Canada)


The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network envisions communities in which museum professionals make meaningful connections within and across backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions by providing leadership, responding to changing needs, enriching experiences, growing capabilities, and sharing resources. NEMPN is a registered 501(c)3. For more information:

Next Steps for NEMPN

It is with great respect that we announce a transition of our NEMPN leadership team. Our founding President, Michelle Epps; Vice President, Katie Conrad; and our Secretary, Kristen Mihalko will be stepping down from their roles on the executive team. Sena Dawes, our Communications Chair, will also be stepping down from her role on NEMPN Board. On behalf of NEMPN, we wish Michelle, Kristen, Katie, and Sena luck, and thank them for their boundless support and guidance over the years.In this transition, the Board has elected an Interim leadership team, until new candidates can be officially voted in. Our new leadership team is:

Interim Co-Presidents, Sierra Van Ryck deGroot and Sierra Polisar (hereby known as “the Sierras”)

Interim Treasurer, Chloe Doucette

Interim Secretary, Laura Santoyo

Interim Resource Chair, Michelle Reynolds

The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN) was built to give museum professionals across the country and the world a voice, a community, and the resources to flourish in their careers, and it is in this spirit that our newly restructured Board of Directors is excited to rethink and revitalize NEMPN alongside the vibrant community of professionals that our group has become.As we embark on this transition, we are putting out a call for additional Board members to join us in support of our mission and reenergizing the NEMPN. Please find our call for Board members and information on how to apply here:

We are also looking to include the voices and ideas of the EMP community as much as possible as we rethink what NEMPN can and should do to support museum professionals. We will be hosting a virtual EMP Town Hall on August 11th at 8 pm ET via Zoom. Please visit the Facebook group for more information on the EMP Town Hall.