Joanne Jones-Rizzi recently joined the senior leadership team at the Science Museum of Minnesota as Vice President of STEM Equity and Education. In her new role, she leads the Science Museum’s education initiatives, ensuring that they achieve maximum impact and are equitably accessible for all audiences. Jones-Rizzi has a decades-long career working on systemic, ecological change within museums, specializing in expanding meaningful access through exhibitions relevant to audiences who do not yet think of museums as their cultural institutions.
In her previous role as Director of Community Engagement at the Science Museum of Minnesota, she led a group that is committed to being intentional about defining community and creating approaches that advocate equitable access, reciprocity, meaningful participation, and cultural relevance to a broad range of communities. Before coming to the Science Museum of Minnesota, Jones-Rizzi was an exhibit developer and cultural program director at the Boston Children’s Museum, where she led an initiative that addressed the institution-wide politics of inclusiveness, ranging the full spectrum from community partners to the museum’s board of trustees.
She is the co-author of Opening the Museum, a book that reflected on this process. She has also written numerous articles exploring ideas related to identity, race, and community. Jones-Rizzi is the co-creator and concept developer of several award-winning exhibitions, including The Kid’s Bridge (Boston Children’s Museum, 1990), The Kid’s Bridge (Smithsonian Institution, 1992), Boston Black: A City Connects (Boston Children’s Museum, 2004), and RACE: Are We So Different? (Science Museum of Minnesota, 2007 with a national tour through 2015). She is the recipient of several awards for her anti-racism work, including a Facing Race Ambassador Award from the Saint Paul Foundation in 2016. She advises museums nationally and internationally on culture, identity, anti-racism, exhibition development, and community engagement.
Her talk will feature discussion around what makes equity work challenging and how internal cultural shift impacts the visitor’s experience in a public institution. She will share stories of growth and of failure, and how the only way forward is to make equity and inclusion our everyday work in whatever we do.
Please note: There is no cost or pre-registration required for attendees for this event. However, registration (with fee) is required for guests.