Toledo Museum of Art Leadership Fellowship Awarded to Dr. Alyssa Greenberg

Posted Oct 9th, 2017 by Emily Rippe Desmond  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Community Interest, General News


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, OH, 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.

Some of Greenberg’s contemporaries and mentors include Dr. Nichole Ivy, who serves as the
Director of Inclusion at the American Alliance of Museums; Chris Taylor, Chief Inclusion
Officers at the Minnesota Historical Society; Dr. Porchia Moore, Inclusion Catalyst at the
Columbia Museum of Art; and Aletheia Witman and Rose Kinsley from the Incluseum.
“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.”

Greenberg recently became a homeowner in Toledo’s Old West End neighborhood, where the
Toledo Museum of Art is a proud anchor institution. She and her husband Simon Nyi, a
nonprofit professional specializing in journalism and community engagement, already feel
welcomed by the community.

“I’m excited to put some down some roots here and become an engaged member of the Toledo
community,” said Greenberg. “Our chihuahua, Milton, has already been photographed for the
Dogs of the Old West End calendar!”

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Emily Rippe Desmond - Toledo Museum of Art

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