Jason L. Porter is the Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education and Public Engagement at Seattle Art Museum. Previously, he served as the director of education + Programs at MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture) in Seattle, as director of education and public engagement at the San Diego Museum of Man (now Museum of Us) and associate director of education at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. His work focuses on experiential education and public programs that serve community, school, family, and teacher audiences and on using the arts as a vehicle for personal transformation and social change. Prior to entering the museum field, he was a public school teacher. He received a B.A. in English from Tufts University, an M.A. in Education from Seattle University, and an Ed.D from UCLA. His dissertation examined charter schools meeting the needs of special education students. Professional development activities have included presentations at conferences including AAM, CAM, and WMA, serving as a mentor to emerging museum professionals and teaching as a guest lecturer in a number of museum studies programs. He has been a board member of AAM’s Education Professional Network (EdCom) from 2014 through 2016, a jurist with the Excellence in Exhibitions competition in 2017 and 2018, a grants reviewer for IMLS in 2018, and a member of the peer review board of the Journal of Museum Education (JME) since 2016.
In the last 25+ years, Mary Kay Cunningham has served over 35 different cultural institutions or attractions in the diverse roles of consultant, manager, museum educator, volunteer coordinator, and docent. She founded Dialogue Consulting in 2001 to support institutions improving their visitor experience through inclusive and collaborative interpretive planning, programming, and professional development. Her passion for facilitating group learning that brings together staff, volunteers, and communities to navigate institutional change is the hallmark of her work.
Mary Kay is the author of The Interpreters Training Manual for Museums that guides front line staff in facilitating meaningful learning conversations with visitors. As a professed learning addict, she pursues and support professional development in the field by serving on the editorial board of The Journal of Museum Education since 2010, creating and instructing a graduate-level course on Visitor Experience design at the University of Victoria, B.C. since 2013, and presenting over 45 sessions or workshops in the last 20 years for professional meetings including AAM, APGA, ASTC, CAM, NAI, and WMA.