In order to remain a high quality professional organization, the work and governance structure of MESC was in need of a transformation. MESC embarked in a multi-year organizational transformation that resulted in a new mission, vision, values, and board structure voted in by membership in June 2017.










A MESC Steering Retreat was held on November 2016 with the dual aim of reevaluating and rewriting MESC’s mission, values, and goals, and cultivating the organization’s future leadership. The retreat was facilitated by Mary Ellen Munley of MEM and Associates and attended by the board of directors, pilot programming chairs, and other MESC members selected through an application process.

The retreat launched the final phase of the organizational transformation. This report documents what took place at the retreat and the plans to complete the MESC transition by the Transition Team.


The Steering Retreat was supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Learn more at and

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2016 Pilot Programming Report

MESC is dedicated to strengthening the field and practice of museum education through on-going dialogue and professional development. In order to continue this work and be responsive to the needs of the field, MESC has been transforming. All of the 2016 MESC spring programs were a part of a member-driven pilot programming model.

The pilot programming model was initiated to create space for MESC to experiment with implementing programming ideas brought up in the series of member focus groups conducted in 2015. The goals of the pilot programming model were to empower MESC members to initiate conversations about what is important to their work, to experiment and assess different ways of organizing events, and to inform the transformation of MESC. This report documents the efforts and process of the pilot programming.




2015 Focus Group Report: Member Voices Steer the Future of MESC

In order to remain a high quality professional organization, the work and governance structure of MESC was in need of a transformation. To inform decisions about new directions, MESC embarked on a two-year research and assessment project, during which the board of directors hired outside consultants to evaluate the state of the field, analyze the practices of similar organizations, and review the current work of MESC.

This report summarizes the results of a series of focus groups with MESC members in the spring of 2015. Mary Ellen Munley of MEM and Associates trained the board to conduct focus groups to evaluate the organization. The goals of the focus groups were to determine if there is a need for MESC to exist, to inform the strategic direction of MESC, and to get feedback from MESC members. Invitations to participate in the focus groups were sent to the MESC membership with an aim to have a diverse representation of museums and individuals from a range of career phases.

The focus groups affirmed that MESC is a valuable resource for the museum education field in Southern California; however, there are several opportunities to increase the value of the organization to the membership. As MESC transforms into its next iteration, the implications for the strategic direction included in this report will steer the rewriting of MESC’s mission and bylaws and be considered in the restructuring of the organization.
Thank you to all the organizers and participants of the focus groups, and a special thank you to Mary Ellen Munley of MEM and Associates for her guidance throughout the process.