Giselle “Gigi” Antoni has served for 17 years as Executive Director then President/CEO of Big Thought, a Dallas-based nonprofit that utilizes creativity and collaboration to provide equitable learning opportunities for students and families. Gigi was named a Champion of Change by the White House for her convening role in Thriving Minds, a citywide initiative that joins the City of Dallas, the Dallas Independent School District, Big Thought and more than 100 other organizations to connect the Dallas community with more and better educational activities through cooperation.

Gig has become an eminent lecturer and consultant who assists cities and nonprofits throughout the U.S. and internationally work towards innovative nonprofit delivery, moving beyond “pockets of excellence” into streamlined programs valued by communities as a whole.

Gigi has served on numerous local, state and national committees, boards and juries. Nationally, she has worked with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Coming Up Taller Awards; the National Endowment for the Arts; The Community Arts Education Leadership Institute; The Partnership for Arts, Culture and Education; The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration; National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and the National Working Group of the Arts for Learning organization. On the state level, Gigi has worked with The Texas Commission on the Arts: Arts-in-Education Working Group and The Texas Coalition of Quality Arts Education. Gigi is also a member of the Dallas Assembly.

In 2013, Gigi accepted the Texas Medal of the Arts on behalf of Big Thought, which was recognized for its outstanding contributions to arts education. In 2010, Gigi was honored with the National Arts Leadership Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. In 2005, Gigi was selected for the prestigious Local Hero award, given by Bank of America. She is a Fellow of the British-American Project, which creates sharing and exchange between top young leaders from each country.

Her alma maters are Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley where she graduated with distinction. Gigi resides in Dallas with her husband Dana Mullen and daughter Analise.

Heather L. Berry has worked on international projects with the American Alliance of Museums for over eleven years. She currently is manager of International Programs and oversees the Museums Connect: Building Global Communities grant program as well as other international activities, including the International Fellowship program, at the Alliance.  Heather was an integral part of the transformation from the previous exchange program, International Partnerships Among Museums, into the community-focused Museums Connect program in 2007. In the first 5 years of the new program, she has worked with 77 museums in 33 non-US countries and 21 US states plus the District of Columbia on 36 different projects that have reached more than 5,500 primary participants, including 2,500 youth; 400 community partner organizations such as schools and nonprofits; and 250,000 community members through exhibits and public programs.

Moderator: William Crow is the Managing Museum Educator of School and Teacher Programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  In that role he oversees programs serving over 225,000 students and teachers annually.  He has spoken nationally and internationally on topics related to museums, education, and digital media, and co-authored the AAM publications Unbound by Place or Time:  Museums and Online Learning (2009) and All Together Now:  Museums and Online Collaborative Learning (2010).  He was the Eastern Region representative for the Museum Education Division of the National Art Education Association (2011-13), and has recently served as a panelist for IMLS and a peer reviewer for the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) for AAM.  He holds a B.A. in Romance Languages and Art from Wake Forest, an M.F.A. in Painting from Hunter College, an M.S.Ed. in Museum Education Leadership from Bank Street, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Lisa Silagyi is the Director of the Balboa Park Learning Institute in San Diego, CA. A national model of collaborative innovation, the Institute provides professional development and research experiences for thousands of staff within the twenty-seven art, science, and cultural organizations in Balboa Park. Ms. Silagyi has twenty years experience working in art museum education, and has served as Director of Education and Public Programs at the Orange County Museum of Art, Director or Education and Gallery Learning at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Head of Teacher and School Programs at the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum and Creative Arts Center Coordinator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Her work spans teaching at the preschool to graduate level, docent and teacher training, studio production, and designing interactive museum spaces. Ms. Silagyi has been active in NAEA and AAM for many years, and was awarded the 2011 Pacific Region Art Museum Educator of the Year.


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