NEWARK, NJ.- Newark Museum
Director and Chief Executive Officer Steven Kern has announced the appointment of Sonnet Takahisa as Deputy Director of Education, succeeding Ted Lind who retired in 2013.
Sonnet brings an impressive record of innovation to the Newark Museum, Kern said. We welcome her passion for the power of museums to excite and engage that will help take our institution to the next level regionally and nationally.
For many years, Takahisa has been a consultant to museums, cultural institutions and schools, focusing on public engagement, community building and education reform. She has served on national and local task forces for museums, arts, pre-K through higher education, government funding agencies and foundations.
Additionally, she was instrumental in initiating programs at Boston Childrens Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. From 1993 2003 she was the founding co-director of The NYC Museum School, a groundbreaking public school that used the Museum Learning model to engage middle and high school students by providing direct access to the resources of New York City cultural institutions. She also served as Senior Program Officer at New Visions for Public Schools, a New York academic management organization, where she worked with a portfolio of new schools co-created by arts and cultural organizations, youth leadership groups and the New York City Department of Education. For six years, Takahisa coordinated the statewide Museum School Partnership Professional Learning Network for the New York State Council on the Arts. Recently she consulted on exhibit planning and design for museums and early childhood education.
She has taught intensive graduate seminars for The Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies students and later this year will lead a professional development seminar for students of the State University of New York/ NY State Historical Association Cooperstown Graduate Program in museum studies.
I am a firm believer in the Newark Museum as a community anchor, a place that serves the needs of our audiences and provides a dynamic environment for people to make connections with one another and with our collection and exhibits, Takahisa said. I look forward to expanding and creating new opportunities for engaging our visitors both in the museum and online.
A resident of Brooklyn, NY, Takahisa holds a bachelors degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, Radcliffe College and a masters degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Washington, School of International Studies.