The AIC Sustainability Committee is thrilled to share that we have recently welcomed six (!) new members to our team, growing the committee to a total of 10! These six individuals join returning members Roxy Sperber (Chair), Kate Fugett (Network Officer), Bellie Camp (Outreach Officer), and Amy Crist (Resource Officer).
To learn more about the newest members, we asked each to share a little bit about themselves and tell us why they wished to join the committee.
Kim Hoffman is the Preservation Librarian at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she is responsible for maintaining both the circulating and special collections as well as the digital preservation program. She received her MS in Library and Information Science and her MA in Museum Studies in 2019 from Syracuse University in New York, where she also earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Cultural Heritage Preservation. She is currently serving a two-year term as the co-chair of the Sustainability Interest Group for the Academic Library Association of Ohio.
“Climate change and the harm caused by unsustainable practices can feel like an overwhelming and intractable problem. I find it easy to get discouraged at the scope of the crisis; it can be tempting to give up on being part of the solution before we even begin. Joining forces with others who care about sustainability is one way that we can all amplify our impact. I joined the sustainability committee in the hopes of learning from the group while contributing to our combined efforts. I want to bring the creative solutions we develop back to apply at the state level, at my library, and in my personal life. Working as part of a team also helps energize me and keep me motivated.”
Anusha Kasthuri has more than 25 years of experience as an Archaeological Conservator and Archaeological Researcher on archaeological materials from terrestrial and underwater environments. She has experience working with international missions across cultures with people of over 50 different nationalities. Currently, Anusha is reading a PhD in Archaeology at the Institute of Near Eastern Archeology, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie University Berlin, Germany. She was the 'Second Leon Levy Visiting Fellow' in Archaeological Material Conservation at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Subsequently, she was the 'Annette De La Renta Conservation Research Fellow at the Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.
“I have more than 25 years of experience in archaeological material conservation in both terrestrial and underwater. I could share my knowledge and experiences with the conservation community by joining the sustainability Committee.”
Netanya Schiff is a cultural heritage conservator specializing in objects. She has been studying and working in the field since 2012 and has a broad range of experience in different contexts including institutions, sites, and private practice. She is a lover of people, things, and things people love.
“I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and developed a connection to the environment, and by extension the sustainability movement, as a child. I remember spawning salmon in my elementary school classroom and giving unsolicited lectures of the benefits of recycling to my parents! Things have become a bit more dire since then. I feel we have arrived at a crisis moment and radical changes will need to be made as a global community in how we live, work, and consume. Climate Change and human impact on important cultural sites and artifacts are issues which I am concerned about, but I also feel that conservators have a lot to contribute as the core part of our practice is about sustaining and maintaining.”
Stephanie Spence is an Assistant Conservator in the Objects Conservation lab at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Stephanie completed her 3rd year internship at the Nelson-Atkins in 2016-17, and later returned for a fellowship focusing on the treatment of portrait miniatures and outdoor sculpture. During graduate school, her research focus was on the conservation of Asian lacquers, an interest that developed out of an internship at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology where she treated Okinawan lacquer objects. Upon graduation from the SUNY Buffalo State Art Conservation Program in 2017, Stephanie was the Conservation Fellow at the Toledo Museum of Art where she planned and implemented a large-scale conservation treatment to blast freeze tens of thousands of dried flowers for a special exhibition.
“I joined the Sustainability Committee because I’ve often found myself wondering what it means to be more sustainable, and how can I go about achieving that goal. It started with a glove recycling program in the lab and a compost bin at home, but I know there is so much that can be done to make an impact on climate change. I want to use my time on the committee to not only educate myself on sustainable practices in conservation, but also to be able to share this knowledge with others in the field in the hope that they will do the same.”
Lindsey Williams is a Material Culture Specialist with a focus in medieval Scandinavia and the British Isles. She currently works as a Preservation and Bookbinding specialist and volunteers for Ki Culture, a non-profit consultancy which aims to bridge cultural heritage and sustainability in the form of practical solutions and partnerships around the globe. She spends her free time reading, seeking out antiques, adventuring around the world with her photographer husband, and relaxing with her black cat, Nova.
“I saw an opportunity to bridge two career interests in joining the AIC’s committee while also finding a community of people within my field where I could be an active participant. I hope my participation will broaden my knowledge of both cultural heritage and sustainability and find ways to both encourage and promote sustainability as a mindset and not a trend. As stewards of our material and textual cultural heritage, conservators and preservation professionals need to be cognizant of our stewardship of the earth and its peoples as well since we cannot adequately succeed in one without the other.”
Justine Wuebold has worked in museums and cultural heritage for eight years, with specialized knowledge in collections care, conservation, and green museum practices. She holds a dual Masters in Museum Studies and Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University where she penned her thesis on Sustainable Materials in Collections Care, and previously earned a Bachelors in Art History from San Francisco State University. Justine currently works as a Research Associate in the Embedding Sustainability in Conservation Education Initiative at the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. She volunteers for Ki Culture and serves as Recording Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild.
“I joined the Sustainability Committee to grow my network of colleagues who care about making big and radical changes to the way cultural heritage operates. As a collective, I believe in our ability to be leaders in sustainability by bringing in unique perspectives and challenging long-held conventions.”