What the Elimination of the NEA and NEH Means to Us

March 16, 2017 Museums

On March 16, President Donald J. Trump put forth his budget proposal and it calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), among other governmental agencies. These vital government programs have been pillars of cultural and intellectual production throughout our nation. Thousands of museums, libraries, and cultural institutions will be significantly impacted if these programs are eliminated. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation onRead More

Interview with Carol Bossert of The Museum Life

January 16, 2017 Media, Museums

Last Friday I had the pleasure of speaking with Carol Bossert, host of the show The Museum Life, about the Arab American National Museum. It was big fun. Take a listen to the show!

2016-17 American Express NGen Fellowship

January 11, 2017 Work

I’m very honored to have been selected to join such a talented and accomplished cohort of twelve nonprofit professionals taking part in the 2016-17 American Express NGen Fellows Program with the Independent Sector. Involvement within the fellowship program provides space for self-reflection, intellectual growth, and ongoing professional development. The program runs from November 2016 – October 2017, which began last year during the IS annual conference in Washington, D.C. I’m really looking forward to learning, sharing, and growing with this talentedRead More

City/Cité: An Exchange on Urban Democracy

December 21, 2016 Travel, Work

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to represent the Arab American National Museum at the City/Cité convening in Paris. It was an inspiring program and I was honored to be part of an incredibly talented delegation of professionals representing the US. In addition to sharing how the AANM works to uplift communities through arts & culture, I had the opportunity to meet with like-minded institutions in Paris to explore the potential for collaboration. This included the Cité Nationale deRead More

Interview with Monocle’s The Urbanist

November 18, 2016 Media, Work

One of the many great things about attending CityLab 2016 in Miami was the opportunity to speak with inspiring and talented leaders from across various professional fields. This included conversations with some great journalists, including the one I had with Megan Billings, Deputy Bureau Chief at Monocle. I’m a big fan of Monocle magazine and I enjoyed speaking with Ms. Billings about the work of the Arab American National Museum. The interview was published by Monocle’s The Urbanist podcast (episodeRead More

Sharing Our Innovative Work at CityLab 2016

October 23, 2016 Work

I’m immensely excited to be in Miami for CityLab 2016. Over the next few days, attendees will explore both challenges and innovative approaches to creating more sustainable and vibrant cities. I have the honor of serving on a breakout session on Monday, October 24 called Community Building with Arts and Culture. Moderated by Sammy Hoi, president of the Maryland Institute College of Art, the panel will also include Franklin Sirmans, director of the Perez Art Museum Miami; and Joe RobertsonRead More

Panel Presentations in Washington, DC (Oct. 18/19, 2016)

October 22, 2016 Work

2016 Smithsonian Affiliations Annual Conference Opening Session: Saluting our Past, Shaping our Future October 18, 2016 at the Rasmuson Theater, National Museum of the American Indian Moderated by Harold A. Closter, Director, Smithsonian Affiliations Devon Akmon, Director, Arab American National Museum Sarah Holbrooke, Executive Director, The Pinhead Institute Allyson Nakamoto, Director of Education, Japanese American National Museum Jose Santamaria, Executive Director, Tellus Science Museum Affiliate partnerships can be enriching and occasionally transforming. What have we learned from 20 years ofRead More

Little Syria, NY at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration

October 19, 2016 Museums

On October 1, 2016, the Arab American National Museum proudly opened the exhibition Little Syria, NY: An Immigrant Community’s Life & Legacy at our nation’s most storied institution on immigration, the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration. This exhibition presents the rich history of the earliest concentrated Arab immigrant community in the USA, placing the Arab American experience in context with the greater American immigrant narrative. I cannot think of a better time, or a better location, for this exhibition. NothingRead More

Upcoming Speaking Engagements: Week of October 17, 2016

October 12, 2016 Work

Next week I’m heading to Washington, D.C for a couple of professional engagements. First up is the Smithsonian Affiliations Annual Conference. The conference runs from Monday, October 17 through Thursday, October 20. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Smithsonian Affiliations and our colleagues in Washington have put together an excellent conference schedule. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with colleagues, exchanging ideas, and learning fresh insights. Check out the conference agenda. My responsibilities at the annual conference are twofold. First,Read More

Museums and Libraries As Community Catalysts

October 9, 2016 Museums

How do museums and libraries catalyze communities? More specifically, how do they serve as “enablers of community vitality and co-creators of positive community change?” These are fundamental questions the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is asking as part of the Community Catalyst Initiative. IMLS launched the initiative, in partnership with the William Penn Foundation and the Reinvestment Fund, in July 2016. On September 8–9, IMLS hosted around 70 museum and library professionals for a two-day Community Catalysts TownRead More