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Caroline Klibanoff, Project Manager for Exhibitions Team, MIT Museum

“As the project manager for the exhibitions team at the MIT Museum, I am coordinating the development of interpretation, digital media and gallery space for the current museum’s exhibitions, as well as efforts to open a brand-new purpose-built MIT Museum in the heart of Kendall Square in 2021. I work across departments and the university, as well as with external vendors, to ensure we can open over 10 well-executed, interdisciplinary, “MIT-worthy” galleries simultaneously, and I have been particularly involved in thinking through the future museum’s digital and interactive experiences.

My experience in the Public History program prepared me well to think about what makes successful museum exhibitions, and helps me advocate for privileging a moment of learning or deeper resonance over a surface-level experience. The interdisciplinary subject nature of the MIT Museum is a great fit for the wide-ranging interests I developed during my M.A. The combination of my M.A. in Public History and the Certificate in Digital Humanities gave me a strong foundation in scoping, planning and project-managing large-scale projects involving multiple teams, and I have enjoyed bringing improved systems and organization to the museum. My fieldwork at Northern Light Productions left me well-versed in the vendor side of museum multimedia, and my work on the National Register of Historic Places gave me an understanding of how to navigate large institutions and manage a complex revisions process.”

Doneeca Thurston, Creative Engagement Manager, Peabody Essex Museum

“I have served as a Creative Engagement Producer in the Education and Interpretation department at the Peabody Essex Museum for the past two years. In my role I’m responsible for the museum’s after-hours party series PEM/PM. Every third Thursday of the month, the museum is open until 9PM, and we offer a cash bar and signature cocktail, small plates, live music and performances, gallery experiences, art making and much more. Each month has a different theme and always promises a great time. I also manage the museum’s Maker Lounge, a maker space inside the museum that features exhibition-inspired design challenges, 3D printing, and engineering stations. We also offer drop-in activities, workshops and demonstrations throughout the year.

I would to say the best part of my job is working with the community. The audiences for PEM/PM and the Maker Lounge tend to be hyper-local, so it’s great to collaborate with North Shore-area businesses, groups and organizations on various programs. I think it’s important for museums to create opportunities to connect with people outside their doors, and I’m fortunate to be able to develop some of those opportunities”