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The Southeastern Museums Conference

Published December 4, 2015

The Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) is an association of museums, museum staff, independent professionals, and corporate sponsors. Focused on the Southeastern United States, the conference strives to provide educational and professional development opportunities while exchanging ideas and expanding on new information.


This year’s annual meeting was held in Jacksonville, Florida, October 12-14, 2015. The theme of the conference was “Cultural Collaboration: Creating a Collective Vision.” Like the name entails, the meeting aimed to foster cultural collaborations in the Jacksonville area and revitalize the vision for the future of museums. Attendees were invited to share their ideas and stories while exploring new directions and trends museums are taking.


Dr. Antonio Cuyler

Dr. Antonio Cuyler

The Department’s Dr. Ann Rowson Love and Dr. Antonio Cuyler presented at SEMC this year. Dr. Cuyler presented with his colleague, Grace Robinson, on internships. The title of their presentation was Establishing Effective Higher Education Internships in Museums/Arts Centers: A win-win-win for the student, college/university, and museum/arts center. When asked what experience was most memorable, Dr. Cuyler said, “I most enjoyed sharing knowledge that can significantly help to improve internships for students, and meeting new colleagues.”


Dr. Rowson Love presented three times at the SEMC. She was first invited by the CurCom committee (curators committee) to present to a panel of curators a research paper in relation to collaboration. The title of her paper, “Curatorial Collaboration in a Learning Organization,” will also be published as a white paper in the February 2016 SEMC newsletter.


Dr. Rowson Love also moderated and presented research with the MEX program’s partner museum staff member, The Ringling’s Curator of Education Maureen Zaremba, on a volunteer study they conducted during 2015. This session, “Growing Relationships: Millennial and Baby Boomer Volunteers,” focused on their findings related to older adult volunteers in the art museum, particularly the new and emerging needs and preferences of Baby Boomers. The Ringling boasts one of the largest volunteer corporations in the country with nearly 600 volunteers. In dialogue with Elizabeth Kind, Visitor Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator at the Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Dr. Rowson Love contrasted the needs and preferences of Baby Boomers with Millennials. She shared national research trends that indicate similarities and differences between the two generations of museum visitors.

Dr. Rowson Love’s final presentation, “Research-Based Framework for Art Museum Mobile Apps,” was co-presented with MEX doctoral student, Victoria Eudy, and Curator of Education at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Deborah Randolph. They shared research methodology with participants and invited them to use their framework with art museum apps during the session.

Dr. Rowson Love presenting at the SEMC Conference


When asked what she enjoyed most about the conference, Dr. Rowson Love said,”I participated in SEMC in past years when I worked in southeastern museums, but since I just returned to Florida from the mid-west last year, this was my first SEMC conference in several years. It was a joy to catch up with colleagues from the region. It was also a great joy to spend time with our FSU alums working in museums around the southeast. (see photo) I had the opportunity to meet potential students interested in our Arts Administration or MEX programs for their graduate experience at Florida State.”


For more information on attending SEMC Annual Meetings or joining, click here.