Alyssa Greenberg has been named Leadership Fellow at the Toledo Museum of Art. She hails from Brooklyn and completed her doctorate in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The recently established TMA Leadership Fellowship Program has been endowed with gifts from Scott and Margy Trumbull and the late Dorothy MacKenzie Price, and a challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The goal of the Leadership Fellowship Program is to cultivate membership of the next generation of museum leaders through an innovative, experiential program that combines direct experience in strategic planning, curatorial and program leadership, board engagement, donor stewardship, financial and resource management, and policy development along with building partnerships across the broader industry and community. Leadership Fellows work closely with TMA’s executive staff on projects related to the day-to-day operation of the Museum, conduct research and complete an independent project in the field of museum work. The TMA Leadership Fellowship builds on a successful program over the past six years, which saw four young museum leaders progress after completing two-year fellowships supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“Alyssa’s experience developing innovative, community-centered museum programming, combined with her scholarly expertise in art history and museum studies, is certain to help her carve out a new role in museum thought-leadership,” said Brian Kennedy, director, president and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art. “We are pleased to have her as a member of the Museum’s executive team.”
Greenberg has nearly ten years of experience working in museums, including the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio; the Brooklyn Children’s Museum; the Bard Graduate Center Gallery; and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. She brings knowledge and expertise to TMA, particularly in the area of diversity and inclusion and its role in internal and external museum practices.
“My selection as a Leadership Fellow is indicative of the TMA’s momentum around diversity and inclusion work,” said Greenberg. “By inviting me here, they are saying they are excited to put more muscle behind this work, to trying something new.”
The two-year fellowship will be a learning experience for both Greenberg and Museum staff as she incorporates the theories and research she has conducted through her graduate and doctoral programs into the projects and work she coordinates in Toledo.
“Diversity and inclusion is a process, not an outcome,” said Greenberg. “It’s a shared value that we can articulate and further institutionalize.”
Greenberg has a long history of questioning the status quo in the museum field. Recently, she co-facilitated a workshop called “Racism and Equity in Museums 101” at the National Art Education Association Museum Education Preconference at the Rubin Museum of Art with Keonna Hendrick of the Brooklyn Museum, and co-presented a session titled “Making #BlackLivesMatter in Museums” at the American Alliance of Museums 2017 Annual Meeting in St. Louis with Dr. Aleia Brown and Adrianne Russell of #MuseumsRespondToFerguson and Dr. Lisa Kristin Gilbert.
Greenberg’s doctoral dissertation, Arts Awareness at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Art Museum Education as Artistic and Political Practice, was a case study on a radical arts education program development in the 1970s at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the time, museum educators were deliberately enacting a form of social justice and inclusivity through their pedagogy. Since many of those Met museum practitioners are still around, she was able to successfully collect the oral histories of these educators to conduct an analysis that had never been communicated.
“I do this work because I am passionate about museums and have such a strong conviction that museums can be amazing forces for social good, dialogue, connection across lines of social difference, understanding, solidarity and empathy,” Greenberg said. “All of my work is driven by deep optimism and enthusiasm.”