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February 27, 2019

Building Museums Symposium 2019

The symposium is organized under three inter-related themes: Vision, Implementation, and Sustainability (or Life after Opening) . The content of each day will reflect these themes across a broad range of museum sizes and scales, budgets, scope of building projects, disciplines, and collecting vs. non-collecting institutions. Join Maria Piacente, Vice President, Exhibitions & Events with Lord Cultural Resources, where she will attend the session "360° Perspective: Planning and Implementing the New Tennessee State Museum". See details below.

360° Perspective: Planning and Implementing the New Tennessee State Museum

Thursday, February 28, 2019 | 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Program Description:

The new Tennessee State Museum opened on October 4, 2018. Once the master plan was approved and funding secured, the new Museum was completed in three years. This session will provide attendees with tools for implementing a building project, adaptive leadership strategies, and discovering interpretive strategies in the design of history exhibitions. Panelists will outline the bumps along the way and offer lessons on how the  project opened on time just a hair over budget. Attendees will also learn about this incredible cultural institution and will learn from the project team’s experiences in planning, pre-design/construction, visitor experience, and leadership.  

Moderator: Maria Piacente, MMSt, Vice President, Lord Cultural Resources, Toronto, ON


  • Ashley Howell, Executive Director, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN;
  • Denise Gallagher, Director of Exhibitions, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN;
  • Sheila Barton, AIA, Principal, EOA Architects, Nashville, TN

Maria Piacente

As Vice President of Exhibitions, Maria specializes in interpretive planning, content development and project management for cultural projects of all sizes, ranging in scope from art to science to history. Maria has shared her expertise throughout North America, Western Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Her experience includes many different museum types such as archeology, history, culture, children's museum, health, science, literature and corporate museums. Grounded in current museological theory, Maria’s global experience enables her to incorporate both conceptual and curatorial aspects with leading-edge technological applications, ensuring an exciting and enriching visitor experience within operational realities.

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