The RISD Museum
welcomes several new staff members as well as announces the expanded roles of currently-held positions.
Nancy Prophet Fellow
Ahmari Benton has joined the RISD Museum as the 2021-2022 Nancy Prophet Fellow. Ahmari is a mixed media visual artist committed to exploring the convergence of museum interpretation and social activism. She obtained an interdisciplinary BFA from Howard University in 2019 with coursework integrating painting, garment construction, and textile science. Presently, she is pursuing her MA in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Ahmari acquired museum education and community engagement experience through internships at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Met Cloisters, and the Phillips Collection.
Business and Financial Manager
Jen Bose joined the RISD Museum in December 2020 as the Business and Financial Manager. Jen brings over 25 years of experience in the profit and not-for-profit worlds to the museum. She began at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as Director of Exhibitions and Design; during her 11 years there, she managed an ambitious exhibition program, a multi-million dollar budget, and a department of project managers and designers. After leaving the MFA, she focused on leading higher-level institutional, finance, and business planning functions at Northeastern University, The Boston Company, and International Center of Photography. At the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York, she was the Director of Exhibition Management, providing program and operational oversight including business development, licensing, construction and special projects. Most recently, she was the Associate Director at Providence Children's Museum, overseeing Finance, HR, IT, Facilities, Security, Visitor Services, and Design. Jennifer has a B.A. in Art History and M.S. in Arts Administration from Boston University, and a M.B.A., with a dual concentration in Investments and Corporate Finance, from Northeastern University. She has also served as an annual guest lecturer in New York Universitys M.A. program in Museum Studies, and is a Community Emergency Response Team volunteer for Providence Emergency Management Agency.
Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow for Native American Art
Sháńdíín (shan-DEEN) Brown will be joining the RISD Museum as the Henry Luce Curatorial Fellow for Native American Art beginning in June. Sháńdíín graduated from Dartmouth College with majors in Anthropology and Native American Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies. At Dartmouth, she was an intern for Native American Art at the Hood Museum, where she co-curated an exhibition, Unbroken, which explored traditional and contemporary Native American ceramics. While still an undergraduate, she also held internships in the American Section of the Penn Museum and Education Department of the Heard Museum. Sháńdíín is currently an Anne Ray Intern at the School for Advanced Research Indian Arts Research Center where she has been immersed in curatorial, education, registration, and collections care work. She is also a part-time curatorial assistant at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native American Art as well as a part-time research assistant for an upcoming Native American Art exhibition at the Barnes Foundation.
Assistant Director, Institutional Giving and Evaluation
Lauren Faria has added the leadership of museum evaluation initiatives to her responsibilities on the External Affairs team. In her five years as Senior Grant Writer at the museum, Lauren successfully raised significant funding to support exhibitions, capital projects, fellowships, programs, and collections care. In this newly expanded role, Lauren will continue as the museums institutional fundraiser while also working to build and sustain a museum-wide culture of research and reflection, with a particular emphasis on how evaluation data can inform and support anti-racist and equitable practices across the organization. Lauren is currently leading the museum through the AAM- and IMLS-funded Museum Assessment Program and is developing the museums first comprehensive visitor survey since 2012, which will be implemented when the museum reopens to the public. This position formalizes evaluation at the museum for the first time, recognizing the capacity for data to positively impact the museum and the community alike.
Assistant Manager of Museum Safety & Security
Recently promoted to Assistant Manager of Museum Safety & Security, Roscell Lopez-Pitts oversees the day-to-day museum security operations as well as provides input and support for the security departments planning and preparations of emergency situations. His new role includes maintaining a highly responsive security staff while providing a safe, welcoming, and informative visitor environment. Roscell also helps develop strategies for evaluating and enhancing the interaction of the security staff and visitors, along with appreciation of and sensitivity to cultural diversity and special needs, including disabilities, with the goal of improving the overall visitor experience. Prior to coming to RISD Roscell worked for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Public Safety Department as a Security Officer. He holds an AS in Criminal Justice from Cape Cod Community College.
Museum SEI Program Specialist
Kajette Solomon has recently shifted her role at the RISD Museum to become the museums first Social Equity and Inclusion program specialist. Her new position endeavors to shape, implement, and manage the RISD Museums efforts to build an equitable, diverse and inclusive museum for all. With consideration for museum educational programs and exhibitions, and with input from colleagues across the museum, Kajette will coordinate, implement, promote, assess, and recommend modifications to programs that connect diverse constituencies with the RISD Museum. Additionally she will develop, coordinate, and lead programs for staff, volunteers, students, and the board related to ant-racist pedagogy, teaching, research and interpretation of the collection. In addition to her work at the RISD Museum, Kajette is the New England regional director on the board of the American Association of Museum Volunteers. She holds a BA in Art History from Arcadia University and MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the State University of New York at Purchase College.