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Polly McKenna-Cress


Senior External Advisor

Polly McKenna-Cress has been dedicated to furthering the museum field in many different capacities through her 30+ years of leadership in the design and interpretation fields and formal and informal education. She is deeply practiced in and dedicated to civic and socially responsible creative processes and community engagements that have been applied locally and in all parts of the world. She has managed and collaborated on more than 60 exhibitions, taught as an Associate Professor at the University level, provided leadership in different departmental capacities, and is an author, lecturer and workshop facilitator. She is recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her work and has lectured, given papers and conducted workshops in the UK, Colombia, Poland, China, and Argentina and presents at national museum conferences several times a year. She has been awarded a three-year Fulbright Specialist appointment and began this work in March 2019 in Bogota, Colombia. She was a Noyce Leadership Fellow in 2014-15, and co-authored a widely influential book, Creating Exhibitions: Collaboration in Planning, Development, and Design of Interpretive Experiences (Wiley, 2013 and Fudan University, Mandarin translation, 2019). Ms. McKenna-Cress has held and holds multiple board seats and is partner in a branding, communication and exhibition design firm, Alusiv, Inc. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and three children.