Cristina Garza serves as Director of Social Impact for the Mission Economic Development Corporation. She curates and leads all STEAM and entrepreneurship initiatives for this EDC, and through this work commits herself improving the financial mobility of area residents, and fostering progressive and equitable economic development practices.
Among the programs she founded are Web of Women, an initiative to teach technical skills to women professionals, and Career Readiness and Empowerment of Women (CREW), a multidisciplinary internship that trains young high-school women to serve as leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship. She is 2017 Next City Vanguard and named by CityLab Latino one of the Top 20 Young Civic Leaders of 2017.
Before her career in economic development, Cristina worked in several museums in New York City including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin of Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Museum. She holds a BA in art history from New York University, an MA in art history from Syracuse University where she received the Florence Fellowship, and is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Texas, RGV.
David Bowles is an informal learning specialist with a record of effective team leadership, a passion for empowering museum visitors, and a knack for generating high-impact and inclusive experiences.
In his current role as Gallery Educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, he and his team conduct scholarly research in preparation for leading gallery conversations, lectures, tours, courses, and innovative educational programs for current and emerging audiences. David helps supervise all aspects of docent teaching in the galleries, supporting rigorous training modules for new docent trainees and contributing to ongoing continuing education through regular observations, guidance and mentorship.
Prior to this, he led K-12 School Programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. He has presented at major conferences such as AAM, NAEA, and NYCMER, and has served as an IMLS peer reviewer for the Museums for America Grant Program, as well as a board member for NYCMER and NAEA, which publishes the Journal of Museum Education, the only American journal devoted to the theory and practice of museum education. David has an M.S.Ed from Bank Street College and a B.A. with Honours from McGill University.
Dr. Kathryn Lasdow is an Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Public History Concentration at Suffolk University in Boston.
She has worked for a number of museums and historic sites, including the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, the White House Historical Society, the National Park Service, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Her physical and digital exhibition credits include Waterfront (2018-ongoing), Until Everyone Has It Made: Jackie Robinson’s Legacy (2017), Visualizing 19th-Century New York (2014) and The White House Social Secretary (2012).
Leigh Gleason is the director of collections at UCR ARTS, where she oversees the collections of the California Museum of Photography. With its robust collection of photographs and the second largest camera collection in the US, it is the most diverse photographic collection in the American West.
Gleason holds a bachelor's degree in photography, a master's in the history of art, a MLIS in archival studies, and a PhD in visual history. Gleason has written and curated extensively on photographic topics, including stereoscopy, color photography, and early photography in Riverside, California.
Matthew Clouse was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and has been working in the arts since the very beginning. He studied at the University of Nebraska, Omaha and received a Bachelor’s degree in Art History before going on to earn a Master’s in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. He completed his thesis on the topic of collections management policies and how they can be used to ensure proper documentation of new and emerging forms of contemporary art.
He has worked at Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, in both Education and the Collections and Exhibitions Departments, as well as at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Sedalia, Missouri. At the Daum Museum, he was the first Registrar at the nearly new facility and completed a full cataloguing and inventory of the collection, in addition to writing the first collections management policy (CMP).
Currently, he is the Registrar at University of California Riverside, California Museum of Photography/Culver Center for the Arts. Here, he has also co-written the museum’s new CMP. Matthew is also an artist, Certified Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master and Certified BodyTalk Practitioner.
Dr. Kalnicky’s lifelong career interest and passion for developing educational programming and research focused on connecting youth and adults to nature began more than 20 years ago as a volunteer at the Henry Vilas Zoo in her hometown of Madison, WI. She holds a doctorate in ecology from Utah State University, a master’s in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and bachelor of science degrees in zoology, psychology, and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kalnicky has experience teaching youth and adults in the US and abroad, in both formal and informal settings.
Kalnicky has spent her career leading education, evaluation, and research in a variety of museum contexts, from zoos to botanical gardens and conservatories to nature centers. She most recently served as the Evaluation and Research Specialist at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN. Before that, she has held many roles at museums and non-profits, including executive director, director of education, and research manager, with a large focus on using data to effectively lead and drive decision-making.
Margaret Middleton (they/them)
Margaret Middleton is an independent exhibit designer currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and working at the intersection of design and social justice. Middleton has a degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design and 15 years of experience working in the museum field.
Middleton developed the Family Inclusive Language Chart in 2014 and consults with museums on implementing family inclusive practice. Their writing has been published in the Journal of Museum Education, Exhibition (NAME), Dimensions (ASTC), and Museum magazine (AAM).