Category Archives: Press Releases

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.

Farewell Message from NEMPN President Michelle Epps

After advocating for emerging museum professionals for 10 years, I believe it is time for me to step down as president of the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network in order to focus more on my role as Executive Director of the Cleveland-based Art Therapy Studio. Both the pandemic and the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks has resulted in both an increase in demand and need for mental health services to the community in which my organization is positioned and supports. I have come to the realization that I am not able to serve the missions of both organizations with my full-self and would rather relinquish one so both don’t fail. Though I am sad to leave, this will allow NEMPN to welcome a fresh perspective with new leadership which will propel the organization into the next decade. This was a difficult decision for me to make as I am still very passionate about improving the museum field.

Six years ago I set out to unite all the Emerging Museum Professional chapters when the American Alliance of Museums decided to move in another direction for their EMP initiatives. The formation of the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network from its inception has been a collaborative effort. There are so many individuals to thank for making NEMPN possible; from our current board members who are trying to listen and respond to the needs and wants of the larger EMP community at this moment, to the past board members and current and former chapter leaders who participated in countless meetings and were incredibly generous with their time and limited resources. 

During my role as President, we made great strides in advancing our cause and I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished together. I wanted to take a moment to highlight the work we have done collectively to show how far we have come and hopefully inspire us to go further still. Together we effectively worked with our colleagues at 43 museum associations to support the adoption of salary transparency policies on their job boards. We started a partnership with Rogers Publishing to create Theory & Practice, a journal dedicated exclusively to the writings of emerging museum professionals. Collectively we compiled and vetted a detailed list of museum studies programs in the U.S.and hosted this information in one place to allow for easier searching of programs available. We also surveyed our community to discover details and insights into who EMPs are and what challenges we face in breaking into the field. And lastly, we worked to create a space of learning and collaboration on our social media accounts by promoting real discussion about the challenges facing the museum field today. All these accomplishments would not be possible without YOU!

“Retiring” alongside me are former Vice President Katie Conrad and former Secretary Kristen Mihalko. Both Katie and Kristen have been instrumental in keeping NEMPN going over the last couple of years and I owe them a debt of gratitude for their loyalty, compassion, and dedication. Though we may be departing, the current NEMPN board will continue on with our mission to engage museum professionals across all stages of their careers in building vibrant communities of networking, knowledge exchange, and resource sharing. We know there is still more work to be done and we hope you will remain engaged so we can continue to advocate together for museums to do and be better.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to emerging museum professionals!


Michelle Epps

Immediate Past President 

National EMP Network

Theory & Practice Call for Submissions Spring 2019

T&PHeadline1000 (1)Call for Papers: Theory and Practice: The Emerging Museum Professionals Journal is accepting Abstracts for consideration for its second volume: “Museum Futures: Diversity, Inclusivity, and Social Justice.”

Abstract Deadline: DEADLINE EXTENDED! Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

The future of museums is constantly in question, yet the shifting priorities of museums throughout history have shown that museums are, in fact, adaptable.

In our second volume in the “Museum Futures” series, we seek to engage in a dialogue about how issues of diversity, inclusivity, and social justice will affect how museums interact with objects, visitors, and their communities at-large. What do we mean when we speak about diversity? How can museums expand the ways in which they are inclusive? What is the role of the museum in the examination and implementation of social justice?

This volume seeks to answer these questions by exploring the transdisciplinary theories involved in museum studies, as well as what we learn from being practitioners within museums.

Submission Requirements:

  • Name and email
  • Title
  • Abstract (up to 250 words)
  • Author bio (up to 200 words)
  • Keywords (up to 5)

Deadline for Abstract is December 3, 2018 to be included in the spring 2019 issue. Submission of research papers, presentations, exhibition reviews, and book reviews are welcome. MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations are welcome as we realize the inherent transdisciplinarity of the museum field.

Authors will be notified of their accepted proposals no later than December 15, 2018.

Submissions should be made online by clicking here. If you have any questions, please email T&P Editor Kelsey Picken,

Theory and Practice: The Emerging Museum Professionals Journal is coproduced by The Museum Scholar and the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network. There are no fees for participation and all articles will be free for all to read.

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Announcing a new journal: Theory and Practice

Announcing a new journal: Theory and Practice 

The National Emerging Museum Professional Network (NEMPN) partners with The Museum Scholar to coproduce a new peer-reviewed academic journal Theory and Practice. The inaugural issue will feature articles focusing on the future of museums with an emphasis on the role of technology, culture, and politics.

Theory and Practice will help enable emerging museum professionals to make meaningful connections across backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions. This issue is the first of a thematic journal series exploring varied topics related to museums, with articles written by emerging professionals.

Utilizing The Museum Scholar’s Open Access Gold platform, Theory and Practice will be free for readers online, granting broader access to ideas to advance knowledge across the museum field. There is also no fee for authors to participate.

Each article is published in two formats on the journal’s website: as a downloadable academic paper, and as a web-based publication.


Meet our New Treasurer and Committee Members

closecrop_headshotName: Milan Jordan
Committee: Governance
Position: Treasurer
Milan has a background in architecture and American Studies, with a passion for museums and non-profits. She currently works at an architecture organization developing resources, engaging artists and industry partners, as well as managing new program development. Her career is the intersection of mission-driven work for the built and cultural environments.

Name: Stephanie Keating
Committee: Conference
Position: Committee Member
Stephanie works as the Adult Programs Coordinator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. In her role as a museum educator, she seeks to facilitate opportunities for the public to access and understand contemporary art. She has a MA in Art History from Boston University with a specialization in mid-century Latin American and European art.

Name: Matt Wagner
Committee: Conference
Position: Committee Member
Matt is an emerging access professional, dedicated to decreasing barriers in cultural institutions. He is a 2016 graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program. During his free time, he spends time nerding out to video games, astronomy, and nature.

kimpton_headshot_2017Name: Rachel Kimpton
Committee: Website
Position: Committee Member
Rachel is an educator currently living and practicing in Chicago. During the day, she convinces people that vegetables are amazing and that all things creepy and/or crawly are really cool; she moonlights as a “rogue” public program developer with her cohort at Museum Game Night, encouraging people to be playful at museums around town. She believes in the healing powers of breakfast tacos, loves escaping the city to commune with wilderness, and enjoys playing boardgames with her life partner.

Name: Sena Dawes
Committee: Survey
Position: Chair
Sena is a recent graduate of the UW Museology (Seattle) master’s program and currently works as an evaluator at the Missouri History Museum. She spends her free time binge watching Netflix, playing the bass in various community orchestra, and volunteering at her local dog shelter. And always looking for interactive data visualizations to fill in the gaps in between.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEMPN Elects New Governance Committee and Launches Go Fund Me Campaign

The National Emerging Museum Professional Network is an independent coalition of Emerging Museum Professional Chapters from all over the United States and two international chapters. NEMPN is comprised of an all volunteer board of directors made up of chapter leaders and lead by a vibrant and active Executive Committee. The NEMPN Board is proud to introduce its new President Michelle Epps, Vice President Marcus Harshaw, and Secretary Sarah Groh. Currently the group is actively seeking a Treasurer to complete the organization’s newly formed Governance Committee.

Prior to becoming President, Michelle Epps co-created and co-chaired the Cleveland Emerging Museums Professionals group for 5 years. Under her former title of Executive Committee Chair, Michelle was instrumental in bringing together Emerging Museum Professional Chapters leaders from across the country to create the National EMP Network.

Marcus A. Harshaw is a dynamic, energetic, and innovative leader with experience in museum education, program, and evaluation roles. Marcus recently earned a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and is the founding member of the Cincinnati Emerging Museum Professionals chapter.

Sarah Groh currently holds leadership positions in Guest Operations and Membership departments of San Francisco Bay Area Museums. Her prior roles have ranged from event management to public programs to exhibit design. Sarah is also the President of Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals.

The National Emerging Museum Professionals Network is actively raising the necessary funds to take the group to the next level by incorporating and filing for 501(c)(3) status. Contributions will help NEMPN become the leading organization that engages museum professionals across all stages of their careers and building vibrant communities of networking, knowledge exchange, and resource sharing. Help make this goal a reality and donate today at

The Exective Committee members are Diane Strand, Keith Lohse, Erika Katayama, Jackie Peterson, Charles Zange, Katherine Mercier, Ellen Lynch, Carl Aldrich, Kassaundra Porres, Nancy Harmon, Brittany Snider, Alex Garcia, Grace Torres, Adrienne Turnbull-Reilly, Kelsey Picken, Rebecca Gomez, Garrett Barmore, Patrick Wittwer, and Erin Murphy. Follow the links for a complete list of General Board Members and Emerging Museum Professional Chapters.

To find out more please visit National Emerging Museum Professionals Network.

Any inquiries can be directed to Michelle Epps at