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Expert Profile


Erika Katayama






Position Type:

San Diego


United States of America

Years in the field:

16 – 20 Years

Areas of Expertise

Camp Programs, Curatorial/Collections, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion + Access, Docent Programs, Education, Events, Exhibits development, Explainer/guide, Grants/Foundational Giving, Guest/Visitor Services, Intern Programs, Marketing & Communications, Membership Programs, Senior Leadership, Operations, Outreach and Public Engagement, Partnerships, Project Management, Professional Development, Rentals/Sales, Strategic Planning, Theaters, Volunteer Programs, Youth/Teen Programs, Other



Senior Director of Audience Engagement October 2018- June 2020

● Promoted and maintained interdepartmental collaboration and communication across exhibits, education, visitor experience, cultural resources, and marketing teams.

● Functioned as the primary advocate for the visitor’s experience through thoughtful exploration of community needs, audience engagement, and visitor wayfinding. Included overseeing all facets of the Museum’s exhibit development process including design, content, and production as well as educational programming.

● Engaged in strategic planning to implement the Museum’s decolonizing goals within the cultural resources department, beyond compliance with NAGPRA, removing ancestral remains, funerary objects, and ceremonial objects from display through communication and dialog with their communities, and establishing a Policy Committee.

● Advocated for continued decolonizing practices as a part of the Policy Committee tasked with creating sustainable policies of decolonizing initiatives within every aspect of the museum - from cultural resources and exhibits to treatment of staff and deep community reconciliation.

● Implemented comprehensive DEAI policies that reflected a new kind of museum firmly fixed in transparency, staff reflective of served communities, authentic interactions, and continued learning and action.

● Worked closely alongside CEO, executive team, and Board to create and set short and long-term goals for programming befitting the Museum's goals, vision, and mission.

● Acted as Grant Team Lead for a variety of grants including, IMLS, Cal Endowment for the Arts, NEH, and NAGPRA, approving all deliverables and ensuring grant progress and spending.

● Served as a Staff Liaison on the fundraising committee for the Board, fostering current and potential donor relations through presentations, luncheons, and exhibition tours.

● Routinely appeared as the spokesperson for the Museum for media requests and outlets such as CBS Sunday Morning.

● Played a central role in relationship building with the Indigenous Kumeyaay and Luiseño communities of Southern California as a part of the Museum’s decolonizing initiatives. This was the first and most crucial stage in working toward meaningful partnerships beyond tokenism, performative allyship, and other harmful relationships museums often impose on communities.

● Oversaw the revision of multiple exhibits, including Kumeyaay: Native Californians and the California Tower Tour educational material with these new decolonizing processes in mind.


Director of Exhibits August 2016- October 2018

● Supervised the exhibits department and acted as chief liaison between the exhibits team and other departmental heads.

● Ensured that the Museum’s values were reflected in exhibit deliverables and visions with prioritizing the visitor experience at the forefront.

● Conferred with the executive team, Board, and staff to guarantee fluid communication of strategies and alignment of goals.

● Oversaw the department budget and compartmentalized budgets of each exhibit in progress, including managing contracts, media licensing, fabrication, and prototyping.

● Supported fundraising and assisted in cultivating donor/sponsor relationships.

● Alongside executive leadership, department communication, and community data, determined future exhibition schedules and public programming content.



Registrar November 2013-August 2016

● Created and maintained collection records including, but not limited to, accession and deaccession forms, deeds of gifts, recommendations, exhibition files, extended loan files, conservation records, and disaster/emergency preparedness.

● Developed and administered collection budget and risk management procedures including fine arts insurance, import/export, preparation of standard facilities report, maintenance of current appraisals, and evaluation of exhibition contracts.

● Generated exhibition didactics in collaboration with the Curatorial and Education departments.

● Oversaw all aspects of art handling including safe and proper display and storage.

● Coordinated all aspects of incoming and outgoing loans and exhibitions including loan forms, condition reports, receipts and request forms, packing, crating, transporting art, and acting as liaison with borrower/lender relationships.

● Managed Museum’s collections, collections files, and collections database EmbARK and developed, updated, and implemented all collection management policies and collection-related forms.

● Monitored condition of collection and loan objects and managed conservation treatments.

● Served on Collections Committee as staff liaison.



Associate Registrar, Exhibitions April 2013 – October 2013

● Managed exhibitions, exhibitions files, and database TMS.

● Oversaw all aspects of handling and movement of art work, safe and proper display and storage, and access to objects in storage to staff and visiting scholars.

● Monitored condition of loan objects and managed conservation treatments.

● Oversaw incoming and outgoing exhibitions, processed loan forms, receipts and request forms, acted as liaison with borrower/lender, completed condition reports, and arranged, coordinated, and provided transportation for art objects.

● Developed and administered budgets and risk management procedures including fine arts insurance, import/export, preparation of standard facilities report, maintenance of current appraisals, and evaluation of exhibition contracts.

● Acted as courier for national and international artwork shipments.



Registrar February 2011 – April 2013

● Managed collections, collections files, collections database FileMaker Pro, and developed, updated, and implemented all collection management policies and collection-related forms.

● Created and maintained collection records including, but not limited to, accession and deaccession forms, deeds of gifts, recommendations, artist files, exhibition files, extended loan files, conservation records, and disaster preparedness.

● Developed and administered budgets and generate exhibition didactics in collaboration with the Curatorial Department.

● Oversaw all aspects of art handling including safe and proper display and storage and all aspects of incoming and outgoing loans and exhibitions.

● Monitored condition of collection and loan objects and managed conservation treatments.

● Served on Collections Committee as staff liaison.



Box Office Manager January 2008 – February 2011

● Supervised day-to-day box office operations including ticket sales, customer service, memberships, and subscription services.

● Created the employee schedule and supervised eight employees.

● Trained all box office employees in ticketing software programs.

● Assisted director and marketing manager with various tasks as needed.



Registrar March 2009 – July 2009 | April 2010 – January 2011

● Registered and assigned accession numbers to all objects in collection according to the established registration system, Past Perfect.

● Composed concise description of objects and recorded descriptions in electronic database and catalog files.

● Oversaw handling, packing, movement, and inspection of all objects entering or leaving LSU MOA, including traveling exhibits, and conferring with other personnel to develop and initiate most practical methods of packing and shipping fragile or valuable objects.

● Maintained records of storage, exhibit, and loan locations of all objects in collection for use by LSU MOA personnel, insurance representatives, and other persons utilizing facilities.

● Prepared acquisition reports for review of curatorial and administrative staff.

● Periodically reviewed and evaluated registration and catalog system to maintain applicability, consistency, and operation Recommended and initiated changes in recordkeeping procedures and insurance coverage to achieve a high standard of collections care.

● Assisted Collections Manager as needed, specifically during inventory and exhibit installation


Curatorial Assistant January 2008 – March 2009

● Curated exhibitions, including Through the Lens, a contemporary photography exhibition consisting of 15 works and Toys: A Continuing Tradition, a retrospective of regional antique and vintage toys consisting of more than 50 works.

● Curation duties included selecting works, researching artists and works, writing labels and text panels, designing exhibition layout, and supervising and assisting with installation.

● Wrote, submitted, and edited articles and text for museum and university publications, including the book Treasures of LSU.

● Coordinated interdepartmental communications, schedules, and deadlines.

● Researched artists and works of art; coordinated and corresponded with artists and galleries.

● Assisted curators with catalogue and brochure production, including gathering images, securing rights and reproductions, providing and editing content, and maintaining project schedules.

● In collaboration with curators and the education department, researched, compiled, edited and/or wrote object labels, artist biographies, bibliographies and other related texts. Supervised interns as needed.



Curator of Education January 2005 – January 2008

● Created and managed public programs, including musical performances, lectures, and special activities with an emphasis on community and statewide partnerships.

● Developed and maintained evaluation, documentation, and assessment for all educational programs.

● Conducted outreach and wrote curriculum for school and community programs, with an emphasis on Louisiana history; managed educational trunks and traveling exhibitions.


Interim Public Information Officer August 2006 – December 2007

● Coordinated special events, building usage for public and private functions, and served as marketing and media relations liaison.

● Managed building rentals by outside groups and individuals for receptions, programs, parties, etc.

● Planned and coordinated, with appropriate staff, lectures, events, receptions, openings, etc.

● Responded to media inquiries and contacted media representatives regarding exhibits, special events, and programming.

● Arranged publicity for agency events, set up non-collection displays, gave informal tours and audio-visual presentations.

● Performed supervision and customer service training for museum police personnel, cashiers, and student workers.

● Developed and supervised the Louisiana State Museum, Baton Rouge's public relations files, including media exposure, printed materials, press releases, etc.



Interim Education Director, Education Associate July 2004 – December 2004

● Collaborated with curatorial staff on exhibition planning, development, and evaluation as well as researching exhibitions and writing interpretive materials for publications, brochures, and wall text.

● Created and managed public programming and community partnerships for a diverse public audience.

● Collaborated and supervised research and writing of curriculum for school and community programs Forecasted and maintained department budget.

● Promoted effective team environment for other department staff, interns, volunteers, and 35 docents through established performance objectives and annual reviews.




Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz | Visitor Services Coordinator Nov. 2003 – Sept. 2004

Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz | Curatorial Assistant January 2004 – March 2004

Freer & Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C. | Accounting Assistant June 2002 – November 2003

Freer & Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C. | Education Intern March 2002 – November 2003

Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz | Education Intern November 1999 – March 2002



American Alliance of Museums, Japanese American Citizens League, California Association of Museums, PACCIN- Preparation, Art Handling Collection Care Information Network (career administrator for website), Western Museums Association



American Alliance of Museums Presenter, “Is That Hung White?” | 2019, 2020 (book adaptation forthcoming)

MASS Action attendee | 2018

WMA conference presenter | 2016, 2017

American Alliance of Museums attendee | 2014
Jekyll Island Management Institute graduate | 2013

Southeastern Museums Conference attendee

Louisiana Association of Museums conference attendee

International Registrars Symposium attendee



Girl Scout Troop leader | 2016-present

RC-AAM mentor | 2014-2018

IMLS grant panel evaluator | 2017, 2018

Smithsonian Institution grant evaluator | 2017

National Emerging Museum Professionals Board Member, Secretary | 2015-2017

San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals Board Member | 2015-2017

MAP evaluator for AAM | 2016

California Association of Museums Conference Host Committee Member | 2014

Member, Junior League of Oklahoma City | 2011-2013

Board member, Historic Spanish Town Civic Association | 2010-2011

Board member and membership coordinator, Baton Rouge Progressive Network | 2010-2011

Board member and secretary, Of Moving Colors Dance Company | 2009-2011

Board member, Baton Rouge Blues Foundation | 2005-2010

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