Succession Planning for Cultural Institutions, Part One: Research Findings


Event details


Cost: Free

This program of the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts is provided with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional support from the William Penn Foundation and Independence Foundation.

Cultural sector professionals are notorious for wearing the proverbial many hats and making extraordinary use of scarce resources.  Staff transitions, whether unexpected or planned, can be disruptive and stressful in these environments.  With shifts to the workforce and volunteer pipelines, succession planning and knowledge transfer are becoming more important to address. 

In 2023, members of 15 arts and cultural organizations participated in listening sessions supporting the Collections Stewardship Succession Planning Initiative, a joint effort by the Conservation Center and Lyrasis, funded by a Museum Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum & Library Services. This input, along with insights from museum, library, and arts professionals across the country, has led to the development of tools and resources to support better succession planning for collections care and management roles at cultural institutions. 

Join Michelle Eisenberg, Executive Director of CCAHA, and Tom Clareson, Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services at Lyrasis, for a presentation on the findings of this report.  

This webinar addresses Goal #3: Collections Sustainability of the Foundation for the Advancement in Conservation’s (FAIC) Held in Trust Report on Field Sustainability, Infrastructure, and Sector Health. It is part one of a multi-part webinar series on succession planning for cultural institutions.  


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About our speakers: 

Tom Clareson is Project Director of the Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help performing arts organizations nationwide learn how to protect their assets, sustain operations, and be prepared for emergencies. He serves as Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services at Lyrasis, consulting and teaching nationally and internationally on preservation, disaster preparedness, digitization, digital preservation, special collections/archives, remote storage, funding, strategic planning, and advocacy for libraries, archives, and museums. Clareson serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation. 

Michelle Eisenberg is Executive Director of CCAHA. She is responsible for executing CCAHA’s strategic goals and business planning initiatives. She manages large scale conservation and preservation projects with partner organizations, leading internal and external teams. She oversees CCAHA’s budget and works with the Board of Directors on business development. 

Prior to joining CCAHA, Michelle worked at Schultz & Williams, a consulting firm serving the nonprofit sector. Michelle was formerly Associate Director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and held several development roles at the National Constitution Center. She has a MBA from Temple University and a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania.