Recorded Session: Who Are These Spaces For Anyway: Overcoming Traditional Narrative to Create a Place of Belonging

Recorded On: 09/26/2020

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Session Description

Who Are These Spaces For Anyway: Overcoming Traditional Narrative to Create a Place of Belonging is a recorded session of the 2020 AASLH Online Annual Meeting.

Institutions often try to push the status quo, but fall short, resulting in assumptions of what a community needs without inclusion. How can we become authentic community partners, instead of perpetuating outdated narratives, geared toward a select few? Learn how we've leaned into spaces of vulnerability, while dismantling past practices.


RECORDED DATE: September 26, 2020

COST: $5 AASLH Members / $10 Nonmembers / Free for Full Access Annual Meeting attendees w/ Promo Code (email

ACCESS: You will be provided with instructions on how to access the recording upon registration.


Chair: Jennifer Dickerson San Bernardino County Museum, Redlands, CA
Jennifer Dickerson has been the Curator of History for the San Bernardino County Museum since 2015. Prior to the SBCM, she was the Curator of History at the Mission Inn Museum in Riverside, CA. She collaboratively works with her colleagues and community members in the development, installation, and execution of all history-related exhibits and public programming. Jennifer recently worked on the exhibition Pulp Culture: A Juicy Tale in the Orange Empire and on the museum’s Old West Days public program, both of which are NACo (National Association of Counties) award winners. Additionally, she manages the history collections at two museum locations and four historic sites. She received her M.A. in History from California State University, Fullerton and her B.A. in Classical Civilization from UCLA.

Sean Kelley Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA
Sean Kelley has run all public programming at Eastern State Penitentiary since 1995, when he was hired as the organization’s first full-time employee. He produced the site’s award-winning audio tour, now heard by more than a million visitors. He has curated more than 100 site-specific artist installations at the site, and curated the exhibit Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration which won the 2017 Overall Award for Excellence from the American Alliance of Museums. From 2017 to 2019 he oversaw “Hidden Lives Illuminated,” a project which resulted in 20 original films made by currently incarcerated individuals and projected them for a month onto Eastern State Penitentiary’s façade. Mr. Kelley visits active prisons and writes critically about museums and social justice.

Esperanza Sanchez LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, CA
Esperanza Sanchez is the Associate Curator at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. She held archival, curatorial, and educational positions at the Autry Museum of the American West, the Museum of Latin American Art, and California State University, Northridge. She has co-curated Linda Vallejo: Brown Belongings, ¡Ya Basta! The East LA Walkouts and the Power of Protest and Artists Assemble! Empowerment and Inspiration in Contemporary Comics.

Lisa Silberstein Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
Lisa Silberstein has worked at the Oakland Museum of California since 2008. As an Experience Developer, she is responsible for interpretation and community engagement in exhibitions. She most recently worked on the exhibition Queer California: Untold Stories and the Black Power installation in the Museum's History Gallery. Prior to OMCA, she was the Curatorial Assistant at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and worked with Voces de Cambio, a young women's writing and photography program in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. She received her Masters in Art History and Museum Studies from Tufts University and her B.A. in Art History from UC Davis.

Recording Transcript

A transcript is provided with the recording.

Components visible upon registration.

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