Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Trustees Hire Nina Simon

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Nina Simon, nationally renowned museum consultant and exhibit-design expert, is the new Executive Director of the Museum of Art & History (MAH) at the McPherson Center in Santa Cruz.

Expert in Innovation to Lead Museum in Santa Cruz

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Nina Simon, nationally renowned museum consultant and exhibit-design expert, is the new Executive Director of the Museum of Art & History (MAH) at the McPherson Center in Santa Cruz. After an extensive nationwide search, with a review of more than 80 applications, the Board of Trustees selected Simon as a dynamic innovator who will bring MAH’s new strategic plan into reality. Smithsonian Magazine calls Simon a “museum visionary” for her community- centered focus that engages visitors as active participants in the museum experience. The author of The Participatory Museum (2010) and the popular Museum 2.0 blog, Simon previously served as Curator of the Tech Virtual at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and was the Experience Development Specialist at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D. C. Adam Learner, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, applauds the selection: “I am certain that Nina’s innovative programs will vastly increase visitor engagement and provide MAH with enormous national attention.” Lori Fogarty, Director of the Oakland Museum of California says, “The entire Santa Cruz County community will surely benefit from having Nina at the helm of the organization.” Simon and husband Sibley Verbeck moved to Santa Cruz County in 2007 from D.C. and “can’t imagine living anywhere else.” Simon is eager to develop new opportunities for local partnerships. “Collaborating with community groups and civic leaders, MAH will become the downtown destination for lifelong learning and cultural engagement,” says Simon, who strongly embraces the Museum’s goal to create a thriving central gathering place. Author and historian, Geoffrey Dunn is “thrilled” and “confident that she will inspire us to think in bold new ways to achieve the most meaningful intersection of art and history.“ MAH’s staff will welcome their new Executive Director on May 2, her official starting date. The public is invited to meet Simon during the Free First Friday events, held at the Museum on May 6. Board of Trustees President Ronna Schulkin extends the Board's deep appreciation to the Interim Executive Director, Paula Kenyon, "Whose commitment and thorough management ensure a smooth transition and solid foundation for Simon's success." http://www.santacruzmah.org [santacruzmah.org

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