The Corning Museum of Glass has appointed Scott Sayre as its first chief digital officer and Kris Wetterlund as the Museum’s new director of education and interpretation. Both will begin their role on June 16, 2014.
Sayre and Wetterlund are co-founders of Sandbox Studios, a Minneapolis-based group that works with museums and other non-profits to vision, plan, create, manage and assess educational programs and technology projects. Sandbox Studios has worked with over 100 client museums worldwide on projects ranging from online classroom materials and web portals, to mobile tours and gallery-based interactives.
“The Corning Museum of Glass is the world’s leading resource on the history, art, and science of glass, and we are committed to making our resources as widely available as possible. You can search our entire glass and library collection online and access hundreds of articles and books. In addition, we have strong educational outreach programs that reach diverse audiences both locally and internationally,” said Karol Wight, executive director. “Kris and Scott have been leaders in using technology to develop new learning experiences at museums around the country. We are looking forward to working with them to enhance our digital, educational, and interpretative experiences onsite, online and offsite.”
As the Museum’s chief digital officer, Sayre will be responsible for developing new strategies for and overseeing the Museum’s digital program onsite and online, including the Museum’s website and in-gallery digital applications.
Sayre holds a doctorate in education and has over 25 years of experience working with emerging education and information technologies. Before co-founding Sandbox Studios, he was director of Media and Technology at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts where he formed and led the museum’s Interactive Media Group.
He has also served as the Art Museum Image Consortium’s (AMICO) director of Member Services and U.S. Operations. Sayre teaches in the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, and has previously taught media and information technology design and planning at Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano; the University of Minnesota; the Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and the University of Victoria. He serves on the board of Museum-Ed.org and the Museum Computer Network (MCN), and has previously served and chaired the boards of the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the American Association of Museum’s (AAM) Media and Technology Standing Professional Committee. He has published over 30 articles, chapters and papers and presented at conferences worldwide.
As director of education and interpretation, Wetterlund will strategize and oversee the vision for education and interpretation throughout the Museum to meet the needs of the diverse audiences the Museum serves.
Wetterlund has been an art museum educator for 20 years, in the education department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and as director of education at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, MN. Wetterlund founded and serves as editor for Museum-Ed (www.museum-ed.org) a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the professional development of museum educators.
Wetterlund has been on the faculty of the Museum Studies program at Johns Hopkins University since 2009. In 2012 the National Art Education Association named Wetterlund Art Museum Educator of the Year in the western region.
In 2013, Wetterlund was educator-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where she wrote a guide for interpretive writing for art museum educators, If You Can’t See It Don’t Say It. In the beginning of 2015 she will be a Getty Museum Guest Scholar in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum, dedicating three months to research regarding interpretation and art museum education.
The Museum’s digital media initiatives engage audiences, encourage learning and exploration and facilitate a deeper understanding of glass and glassmaking. The Museum’s website, www.cmog.org, is a launchpad from which to explore 35 centuries of glass featuring thousands of videos, articles, images and resources on glass. Nearly 260,000 in-depth collections records are available online through integrated glass and library collections search interfaces at www.cmog.org/collection/search. Interactive kiosks in the Museum’s galleries let visitors explore media associated with collection objects, search glassmaking terminology, check live demonstration schedules and more.
The GlassLab design program site, www.cmog.org/glasslab, launched in 2012 as the Museum’s first responsive web app. Upcoming digital initiatives include a responsive web app on contemporary glass to launch with the opening of the new North Wing in December 2014 and an online catalog of Venetian glass and glassmaking techniques.
The Museum’s education programs serve a diversity of audiences, and the majority are offered free of cost.
Programs aimed at youth include free storytelling and performances, and themed day-long Families Explore events featuring hands-on activities. More than 13,000 schoolchildren visit the Museum each year for curriculum-based tours and activities.
Teens engage with the Museum through after-school programs like Junior Curators, Junior Scientists, Museum Explainer and Tour Assistant Programs, where students work closely with Museum staff to learn new skills and assist the public.
Programs aimed at special audiences include scout programs, immersive hands-on glassmaking experiences for students in regional alternative schools, and specialized gallery tours for those with dementia.