Museum of Neon Art announces the Appointment of Connie Conway to its Board of Directors

by Pierre Vudrag on Monday, November 2, 2020

Museum of Neon Art announces the Appointment of Arlene Vidor, Veronica Alvarez, and Connie Conway to its Board of Directors and Nsikan Akpan to its Advisory Board 

Through these new appointments the Museum looks forward and outward to growing audience engagement, educational programming, ties to the city of Glendale, and fundraising development.

From left: Veronica Alvarez, Arlene Vidor, Connie Conway, Nsikan Akpan

Glendale, CA, The Museum of Neon Art is pleased to announce the appointment of Veronica Alvarez, Arlene Vidor, and Connie Conway to the Board of Trustees and Nsikan Akpan to the Advisory Board. These individuals are the first additions to the Museum’s leadership team after the hiring of MONA’s Executive Director in the Spring of 2020. The new members point the way to a future museum that is inclusive, imaginative, forward thinking, and sustainable. “The vision, intelligence, and community investment that Connie Conway, Veronica Alvarez, Arlene Vidor and Nsikan Akpan bring to the table is an inspiration. MONA is thrilled that these stellar individuals will help to shape the future of this institution,” says Executive Director Corrie Siegel. “As the Museum of Neon Art soon enters its fortieth year, we are proud to welcome three talented Trustees and one advisor who bring with them decades of artistic, civic, and nonprofit knowledge. I’m thrilled to welcome the new ideas and visions of an expanded museum Board,” says President of the Board of Trustees J. Eric Lynxwiler.

Veronica Alvarez, Ed.D is the Director of the CalArts Community Arts Partnership. Prior to joining CalArts, Veronica worked as the Director of School and Teacher Programs at LACMA. She also worked at the Getty Museum for over 16 years, mostly writing curricula, creating professional development opportunities for teachers, and overseeing the docent program at the Villa. Veronica has served as an education consultant for other entities such as UCLA’s Fowler Museum and Chicano Studies Research Center, LMU’s Family of Schools, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the State Department of Cultural Affairs in Chiapas, Mexico. Veronica has also created online and blended learning models on arts integration with the Teaching Channel and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, where she worked with coaches from 70 school districts. Veronica currently serves on the Policy Council for the California Alliance for Arts Education and until October, 2020, was the Awards Chair of the American Alliance of Museum’s EdCom Board. Veronica has a BA in Liberal Studies and an MA in history from CSUN. She received her doctorate at LMU’s Educational Leadership for Social Justice Program. “Veronica is a leading voice in Museum Education and accessibility, her work as an educator, administrator, and human being is inspiring, and I am fortunate to have learned from her leadership through her work in numerous associations and museums. I look forward to working with Veronica to deepen MONA’s commitment to K-12 education and accessibility,” says Executive Director Corrie Siegel.

Arlene Vidor is on the Antaeus Theatre Company’s Board of Directors and a member of the Glendale Arts & Culture Commission. She also serves on the Glendale Historical Society’s Advisory Council. Vidor previously served a successful ten-year run as President of the Associates of Brand Library & Art Center and was recently named President Emerita of that organization. She also previously was appointed to two terms on the Glendale Historic Preservation Commission and successfully nominated four city properties to the Glendale Register of Historic Resources. Prior to that she served six years as President of The Glendale Historical Society and received the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Arlene has a degree in Biology and prior to becoming a full time community volunteer, she held the position of Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Baxter BioScience, “Arlene is a model of civic engagement and an advocate for the advancement of art, culture, and preservation. Her sharp intellect and interest in institutional growth and the community’s cultural enrichment will be a great asset in her new role at MONA,” says Executive Director Corrie Siegel.

Connie Conway is a fine art photographer and producer of photo shoots for advertising photographers. She has produced campaigns for some of the industry’s top photographers and brands over the past 25 years. Connie’s path to photography started in South Jersey where she grew up, at the age of 5 she received a Polaroid Land Camera, and has been making photographs ever since. She always had a love for neon as an art form. It flourished during her project, LA After SUNSET, a series of images that capture the beauty and essence of Los Angeles’ dramatic transformation at sunset. Each piece is an illumination of the oddities of the respective landscape – both physical and societal. The powerful images produced evoke a unique combination of the gritty reality and ethereal make-believe of L.A. In 2016, when the book was published Conway held a signing at MONA. Her Canter’s image was included in the permanent collection of the Museum. “Connie’s enthusiasm for neon and love for MONA is inspiring, her tenacity and patience, waiting for the right moment and searching for the best vantage point to capture a neon sign in the best light transfers over to her out-of the-box solutions for MONA,” says Executive Director Corrie Siegel.

Nsikan Akpan is a Washington, D.C. based science editor at National Geographic. Before joining National Geographic, Akpan was the digital science producer for PBS NewsHour, where he co-created the YouTube series ScienceScope. He has also worked for Science Magazine, Science News Magazine, and NPR and is an alum of the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His reporting has garnered a AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award, a George Foster Peabody Award, and an Emmy Award for News & Documentary. He earned a doctorate in pathobiology from Columbia University, where he studied neurological conditions like stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. His research pursuits also touched on infectious disease. “Nsikan’s invaluable reporting on the Covid-19 epidemic is accessible and clear, just as his work as a journalist has been over his career. His passion for translating science into something that is available to the general public is an inspiration for MONA’s programming and ethos. MONA is an art museum that displays and preserves neon and kinetic art which employs scientific principles, and makes the abstract laws of nature accessible and playful. MONA has been grateful to Nsikan for advice on ways to make communication and engagement with our audience more effective,” states Executive Director Corrie Siegel.

MONA is invested in preserving history, and bringing forth a future with a new generation of neon artists,preservationists, and conservationists. The Museum stands at the crossroads of science, art, and historic preservation. Over the past 39 years MONA has worked to safeguard the artistic and historic legacy of neon, electric, and kinetic artwork. “As we enter our fourth decade the vision of our expanded board will help the institution make the scientific principles, community narrative, and artistic excellence accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Through this work the museum endeavors to bring forth a new generation of artists and preservationists,” says Executive Director Corrie Siegel.


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