NYCMER 40th Anniversary Event

Apr 30, 2019 3:00PM—8:00PM


Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch 10 Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn, New York


Founded in 1979 as a 7-person steering committee, NYCMER has grown to a nonprofit organization with over 700 members! Come celebrate forty years of work and achievements in informal education with fellow museum colleagues and past board members who are now museum directors, heads of education departments, and leaders in state councils and national organizations.


This event is split into two sessions. For a single price, join us for one or both!


Afternoon Session – Panel

– Join us as past board members reflect on how being part of NYCMER impacted their career trajectory, the challenges of museum education during their tenures, and their insights for going forward.


Evening Session – Keynote

– Hear from a NYCMER founder and the current president as they discuss the organization’s past and future. Afterwards, we’ll choose teams and play an engaging game of museum education trivia!


Connect with colleagues in between the two sessions at a reception where you can win exciting raffle items and purchase brand new NYCMER swag! Join us after the evening session to continue the conversation at a local after party.
Speaker bios:

Sharon Vatsky is the Director of School, Teacher and Family Programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where she oversees the planning and facilitation of programs and interpretive materials for students, teachers, and families. She has conducted workshops for teachers and museum educators in the US and internationally.

Vatsky currently teaches graduate courses in Museum Education at New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Her book, Museum Gallery Activities: A Handbook, was published in 2018 by the American Alliance of Museums.

Prior to joining the Guggenheim in 2000, she was Curator of Education at the Queens Museum for more than a decade.


Gonzalo Casals is the Director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York. His experience ranges from innovative cultural programming, authentic engagement strategies, and progressive public policy.

As Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement at Friends of the High Line, he led the team in a transformative process that shifted the focus of the organization to equitable cultural practices to impact its surrounding neighborhoods. For over 7 years, Gonzalo held various roles at El Museo del Barrio. His tenure as Director of Education and Public Programs focused on cultural production as a vehicle to foster empowerment, social capital, and civic participation.


Laura Kujo is an Arts Consultant working in teaching, learning and evaluation.

After supervising the Education Department of the New York Transit Museum for almost a decade, she moved to independent projects at museums and community organizations in 2014. Recent projects included curriculum advisement for NYC Parks, co-facilitation of an evaluation of the Astor Educator initiative at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and supporting a series of assessment projects for the Apollo Theater. She is also an Adjunct Professor at BMCC, teaching early childhood curriculum planning.

Ms. Kujo enjoyed her first NYCMER events as a student at Bank Street, completing her degree while working at The Jewish Museum and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She joined the Conference Committee during her years as Program Manager at Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and then served on the Board.


Viki Sand – For over 40 years Viki Sand’s museum career focused upon an examination of cultural values that underlie museum collections and interpretive programming. Both as director and head of education, Sand expanded community constituencies for museums and guided efforts to sustain systemic change in public programming, exhibitions, and collections development and care. She conceived and developed nationally recognized curriculum resource materials, collections management programs, and collaborative public programs. She was elected to the governing bodies of AAM, AASLH, Museum Association of New York, and AAM’s Standing Professional Committee on Education. Sand was a founder of the Minnesota and New York City museum education roundtables. She served as chair of advisory panels for NYSCA, including Museum, Capital, and Appeals. In 1967 Sand began her career as the Educational Supervisor of the Minnesota Historical Society, in 1979 moving to the NY Botanical Garden to head its Interpretive Programming effort. For 25 years Sand directed medium-sized history museums, guiding two through the AAM accreditation process.



NYCMER is committed to providing opportunities for all of our members to participate in our programs and engage with one another. The Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is wheelchair accessible. Should you require any accessibility services, please contact by Monday, April 22, 2019.


Child Care:

Children are welcome to join the event. There will be a room nearby to take a break with them if needed, and child-friendly snacks will be provided during the cocktail hour. Please note that attendees must stay with their children at all times, as there will not be supervised child care. Children up to 10 years old welcome, max 2 children per ticketed adult.


Stay Connected!

Share your thoughts about this program before, during, and after via social media using #NYCMER40. Follow NYCMER on Twitter and Instagram for updates about this and all other NYCMER programs.