Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I am writing to let you know that Anna Cohn has stepped down from her position as Director of SITES for health reasons to become a Senior Project Advisor in my office. During Anna's 25 years as director, SITES organized and circulated some 300 traveling exhibitions including In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jim Henson's Fantastic World; Earth 2U, Exploring Geography; The Precious Legacy: Judaic Treasures from the Czechoslovak State Collections; Latin Jazz: La combinación perfecta; Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers; Native Words, Native Warriors; Star Wars: The Magic of Myth; and Moscow: Treasures and Traditions. Anna was also instrumental in creating Museum on Main Street, a groundbreaking initiative that brings the Smithsonian to small towns across America.
We are fortunate to welcome Myriam Springuel as SITES' interim director while a national search takes place, a process that I anticipate will take about 8 months. Myriam brings 30 years of experience to the museum field, responsible early on for statewide exhibitions and programs at The Ringling, and holding positions at SITES from 1985-1994. Since 1995, Springuel Consulting has helped more than 70 museums and cultural organizations nationally respond to change and prepare for the future with clarity about mission and priorities.
Jim Vella, SITES Board Chair and Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services President, joins me in welcoming Myriam back to SITES and applauding the many contributions that Anna has made during her years of service. "It has been an honor to be part of SITES under Anna's leadership. Her commitment to sharing the diversity of Smithsonian resources with people all across the country has been an inspiration and we are delighted to know that Myriam's interim directorship will bring continuity to the creative programming for which SITES is known."
SITES' mission to share cultural and scientific resources through traveling exhibitions has not wavered since its founding in 1952. And its range of topics, presentational formats, and impact at the community level are unmatched in other traveling exhibition services. And as I'm sure you will agree, SITES' professional staff is extraordinary, comprised both of newly minted museum graduates and of those with decades of experience.
That said, it is you - our host venues, project partners, lenders, supporters, museum colleagues, and friends - who make our efforts worthwhile. You bring exhibits to life through innovative public programs, complementary exhibits, outreach initiatives, creative displays, and your own unique presentations. With your support, encouragement, and collaboration SITES can confidently commit to continuing to serve the museum community well into the future.
Please feel free to be in touch with me or any of your SITES contacts during this transition period with your suggestions, advice, and guidance. We value each and every relationship with those we serve, and want to ensure that program offerings continue to meet the highest expectations.
Claudine K. Brown
Assistant Secretary for Education and Access