AMA's Annie Vanoteghem Recognized as "One to Watch" by Southeastern Museums Conference
Thursday, July 14th, 2022
Albany Museum of Art Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem has been recognized as “One to Watch” in the museum field by the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC).
SEMC began its weekly “Ones to Watch” program in November 2020 to identify and recognize rising leaders in the museum field who are enhancing the profession in special ways while working to make a difference in their communities through their work in museums.
“Annie's nomination letter highlights her energy and passion for bringing relevant and inclusive educational programming and dialogue to the many diverse communities of Albany,” SEMC officials said in the announcement.
In nominating Vanoteghem, AMA Executive director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said she is "a one-woman education department here at the Albany Museum of Art.”
“She has created and launched dozens of sustainable educational programs over the last four years here at the AMA, from small to medium to large, including our groundbreaking Courageous Conversations About Race program for kids and adults,” Wulf said. “Annie works tirelessly as our director of education and is as professional and empathetic a museum professional as I have ever had the pleasure to know. We are fortunate to have her on our team."
Vanoteghem, who became education and public education director in April 2019 following an internship at the AMA, said she was honored by the recognition.
“I am humbled to have been selected by such a distinguished organization,” she said. “A museum should be accessible, inviting, and an integral member of its community, a place where everyone feels comfortable and welcomed. We work every day to break down barriers and to give everyone who visits—from the youngest toddler to our most senior guests—a positive, art-centered experience each time.”
At the AMA, Vanoteghem has worked to reach out to the Albany/Dougherty County community and the Southwest Georgia region. In addition to Courageous Conversations About Race, which brings parts of the community together to discuss the difficult topic of race relations using art as a catalyst, she has created programs such as Awaken at the AMA, which uses art to reach those with memory, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. She organized the AMA Teen Art Board, which helps develop teen leaders who contribute with community-enhancing projects such as Love for Liberty House, which collected art supplies for children escaping abusive environments at Liberty House.
During her tenure, the AMA has instituted free field trips for school systems and organizations, such as 4-H Clubs, Scouts, and Boys and Girls Clubs. The number of scholarships available to attend the museum’s winter, spring, and summer art camps also has been expanded to reach underserved children and teens.
She has introduced monthly afternoon art workshops for students with the After School Art Club. She helped organize and facilitate the AMA Teen Art Board-created Student Art Studio Saturdays, a free, monthly program for teens to come together on one Saturday each month to join peers in creating art, with all supplies provided by the AMA.
Vanoteghem has been involved with partnerships between the AMA and other organizations for programming such as Yoga in the Gallery, which combines the experience of art with a yoga session, and Lift Every Voice, a free annual concert celebrating Black History Month that is open to the entire Albany community. She also has established and coordinated artist lectures, the AMA Art Lovers Book Club, and periodic art workshops for various age groups.
A 2017 graduate of Georgia College and State University with degrees in Art History and Museum Studies, Vanotegehem is a graduate of Westover High School. She and her husband, Daniel, have two daughters.