The Gardner Museum’s Educator-In-Residence Program offers innovative educators time to reflect on their practice.

We look for thoughtful individuals interested in exploring the theoretical underpinnings of museum education practice and the changing role of education in today’s art museums. Residents spend four weeks at the Gardner pursuing a topic of their choice, and sharing ideas with Gardner staff and other area museum educators. As with the the Gardner’s residency programs in Contemporary Art and Landscape, the Educator-In-Residence Program helps spark dialogue about art and ideas in the Greater Boston area.

2014 Educator-in-Residence

Marianna Adams, a leading researcher on how people learn in museums, has been selected as the 2014 Gardner Museum Educator-In-Residence. Marianna will be in residence at the Museum during the month of July 2014.

Marianna has worked with museums and cultural organizations across the country, helping staff better understand and engage diverse audiences. She has conducted seminal visitor research studies, and works collaboratively to help museum professionals embed appropriate and manageable evaluation strategies into their programs. Marianna's areas of evaluation and research expertise include assessing effectiveness of community partnerships, museum/school collaborations, and learning in interactive/participatory experiences.

Marianna Adams began her career as a K-12 teacher before going on to head education departments at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Broadening her expertise to include the field of “informal” learning, she pursued her doctorate in education policy studies from the George Washington University. As senior researcher at the Institute for Learning Innovation (1995-2007) she oversaw scores of groundbreaking projects, including one on museum multiple visit programs that led to her being hired as lead investigator for the Gardner’s Thinking Through Art research project (2003-2006). She formed her own consulting company, Audience Focus Inc., in 2007.

In her career as an evaluator/researcher, Marianna has managed over 100 projects in the U.S. and Canada. She regularly presents at national conferences, has published numerous articles and book chapters, and has presented internationally in Ottawa, Canada, Lisbon, Portugal, London, and Mexico City. Marianna has also served as an adjunct professor for both the Museum Studies and Museum Education graduate programs at the George Washington University. She is currently an adjunct professor for the Bank Street College of Education's Museum Education graduate program and Oregon State University's Free-Choice Science Education graduate program.

While in residence at the Gardner, Marianna will work on a book about family audiences in museums. Follow her residency experience on her blog.