Museum People

Podcast hosts Marieke Van Damme and Dan Yaeger at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.

Museum PeopleWelcome to Museum People, a NEMA-produced podcast that celebrates individuals connected with the museum field by highlighting their work, passions, opinions, and personalities. In each episode, you’ll hear stories and viewpoints from a variety of museum people, from unsung workers to executive directors, volunteers to trustees, as they help change the world one visitor at a time. NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger and Marieke Van Damme, director of the Cambridge Historical Society, are hosts. Each season of Museum People features eight episodes released weekly.

To listen now, choose an episode below. To follow Museum People, click here.

Click here to listen to Season One.

Let us know what you think! Click here or use #MuseumPeople on Twitter.

Season 2 Photo Gallery

Bonus Episode: Museum People LIVE!

Join the fun with Marieke and Dan at the 98th Annual NEMA Conference, where Museum People took center stage in a live podcast session on Veteran’s Day, 2016. This special episode features an in-depth panel discussion with three museum professionals who are also veterans (Terry Dickinson of the Newport Mansions, Ted Gaffney of Florence Griswold Museum, and Van Shields of Berkshire Museum), discussing service, leadership, and how museums compare with the military. Adding to the excitement is a raffle drawing for a Museum People interview, won by Chuck Clark of Castle in the Clouds, and questions from the live studio audience. And of course there’s the usual assortment of person on the street interviews and witty banter between the co-hosts.

01:45     Person on the Street interviews
10:30     Panel discussion with military veterans
45:25     “Raffle” interview

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 8 – September 14, 2016

We round out our second season with an in-depth interview with Kathy McGaughey, a museum guard who gives us a glimpse of how guards pass the hours in galleries, discrimination and bias against front-line staff, and her suggestions for how museums can become more engaging in their communities.

Music credits: “Objective C#,” Admiral Bob,

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 7 – September 7, 2016

Celebrate with us as we honor the Tomaquag Museum, a NEMA member which was awarded a 2016 IMLS National Medal. Dan sits down with executive director Loren Spears as she shares her joys and challenges in running a Native American museum, how indigenous populations feel alienated in their own homeland, and her hopes for the future. Marieke chats with Diana Montano of renegade tour company Museum Hack and hears how they are changing the visitor experience.

Music credits: “Two Fingers of Rum,” Admiral Bob,

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 6 – August 31, 2016

The future is ours! Special guest Elizabeth Merritt, founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, takes us on a glimpse into the world of futurism, how she selects subjects for the annual Trendswatch publication, and what jobs to stay away from in the coming years. Dan's colleagues in the Council of Regional Associations weigh in on what issues museums are facing nationally.

Music credits: “More, More, More,” Reiswerk,

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 5 – August 24, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service! In honor of the anniversary on August 25, Marieke tells about her experiences with the NPS in Alaska and Boston. Dan talks with Laurel Racine, curator at the Lowell National Historical Park, about how parks impact communities, her career path in the NPS, and what the next 100 years will bring to the system.

Music credits: “Unfriendly Me,” Martijn de Boer,

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 4 – August 17, 2016

Marieke and Dan chat about summer museum fun, Pokémon Go,and innovation. Marieke interviews software guru Rich Sheridan, author of Joy, Inc., about his transformational museum experiences, how he is creating a joyful workplace culture, and how museums can become more inspirational places for workers and visitors.

Music credits: “Too Broken,” Admiral Bob,

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 3 – August 10, 2016

Special feature: Dan and Marieke interview emerging professionals Scarlett Hoey, Alli Rico, and Adrienne Turnbull-Reilly about why they love museums, museum studies programs, the importance of mentorships, navigating internships, and their futures in the museum field.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 2 – August 3, 2016

The NEMA board tells us their greatest wish for the museum field. Exhibit designer and museum activist Margaret Middleton speaks out on diversity, worker rights, uncomfortable conversations using inclusive language, and the social responsibility of museums in a changing society. Dan and Marieke explore teamwork between boards and executive directors, biases, and whether Dan is a feminist.

Music credits: “I Dunno,” Grapes,

Download this episode (right click and save)

Season 2, Episode 1 – July 27, 2016

Dan and Marieke on location at the 2016 AAM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Dan interviews attendees about “conference buzz” and what’s at stake in the presidential election. AAM President & CEO Laura Lott talks about strategic plans, work/life integration, and the state of the museum field.

Music credits: “Paint the Sky,” Hans Atom,

Download this episode (right click and save)


Have an idea for “Museum People?” Tell us who we should be interviewing and provide us with ideas for future episodes.


Thanks and Credits

Museum People voiceover: Emily Robertson

Sound engineering for voiceover: Joe Rivers

Theme music: “Café Connection,” morgantj,


The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of their employers.