What happens when you combine ideas from one of the oldest art museums in the US with one of the world's edgiest research labs? Sensors bringing eighth-century Tang dynasty Chinese tomb guardians to life? Foldable electric cars vs 18th century Japanese palanquins? Quite simply: serendipity! Juliette Fritsch (Peabody Essex Museum) met Stacie Slotnick (MIT Media Lab) in a tent in a muddy parking lot at last year’s SXSW Interactive. It might seem that they’d have little overlap in their daily work, but after chatting over a banana piano, they found many possible collaborative opportunities between their very different organizations. Founded in 1799 by Salem's globe-trotting merchants, PEM's now a 21st-century museum with 1m+ objects of art, culture, and creativity. In its third decade, the Media Lab is home to more than 200 researchers exploring antidisciplinary research where anything is possible. Together we’re exploring potential collaborations bridging historic and 21st century tech.
Chief of Education & Interpretation
Peabody Essex Museum
Museum and historic environment learning and interpretation professional; over 15 years in the field working for complex, high profile organisations. Directing education and interpretation strategy embedded through the Peabody Essex Museum, working closely with curators, designers and artists to deliver exciting, beautiful, informative and imaginative galleries and associated education programmes. Strong record in evidence-based strategic learning and interpretation development underpinned by robust visitor research and evaluation. Proven experience forming, developing and leading the team of gallery educators during the recent major redevelopment and re-emergence of the UK’s national museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert museum. Guest lecturer on several Museum Studies Masters degrees and international museology seminars. Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) and a member of the Peer Review College for the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Peer-Review-College/The-College/Membership-list/Pages/default.aspx. Awarded PhD from the faculty of Culture and Pedagogy, Institute of Education, University of London; editor of Museum Gallery Interpretation and Material Culture (Routledge, February 2011). Board member for Hamilton Hall, national historic-registered building in Salem, MA, and grant reviewer for IMLS (Institute for Museum and Library Services).
Asst Dir of Communications
MIT Media Lab
Stacie Slotnick is assistant director for digital and internal communications at the MIT Media Lab. She's been at the Media Lab since 2001 (before Twitter, before Facebook, before the iPhone, before...you get the idea). She's watched communications shift from print to digital, and can't wait to see what comes next. At the Lab, she works with the entire community–students, faculty, staff, alumni, members, and the public–to keep information moving within the Lab, and to present the Lab's mission to its ever-broadening community around the world. Before joining the Media Lab, Stacie worked in development at Phipps Conservatory (Pittsburgh, PA) and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Stacie received her MA in English from Brandeis University, her BA in liberal arts from St. John's College (Annapolis), did post-baccaulareate work at the University of Pittsburgh in English and cultural studies, and attended the Breadloaf Writers' Conference. She's been a DIY concert promoter and served on the organizing committee of Boston's Bazaar Bizarre indie craft fair.