USF's Museum Blog

Mediating history: Mandy Smith rejoins Antenna International

We congratulate University of San Francisco museum studies faculty member Mandy Smith on her new senior position at Antenna International. With offices and people in 24 locations throughout the world and clients in more than 50 countries, Antenna is a leading producer of media and audio tours as well as other kinds of educational and digital interpretation for artistic and historic sites.

MandyMandy, who teaches the graduate museums and technology practicum at USF, rejoined the company in March 2014 to focus on strategic client relationships while simultaneously collaborating with senior team to develop best practices for new processes and products. Mandy worked at Antenna from 2000 to 2009, managing multiple audio tour operations at museums throughout the western region. As of December 2014, her focus is new media projects and international industry trends in a rapidly changing and expanding market for digital products that deepen visitors’ experiences of art, culture and history.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

While attending a company retreat in the UK last month, Mandy got a chance to visit three Antenna International clients including Queen Elizabeth’s week-end home, Windsor Castle (pictured above) and the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for Harry Potter (pictured below) where Antenna developed a multimedia experience to accompany the amazing set designs and costumes on view from the movies. HarryPotterFinally she had a very unique experience at Stonehenge where visitors celebrated a solar eclipse and the Spring Equinox.

Solstice at Stone Henge

Solstice at Stone Henge

This Spring, she presented at the American Alliance of Museums conference in Atlanta on the use of Google Glass in art museum visits.  The panel explored features of Google Glass that can be tapped to maximize the storytelling experience.  They also raised questions such as which features increase visitors’ focus on the art they are viewing and how and whether additional theatricality accommodates the technology.  Mandy also took time from the conference to explore Atlanta where she ran into the Reverend Jesse Jackson (see photo below).

Mandy Smith with the Reverend Jesse Jackson in Atlanta in April 2015.

Mandy Smith with the Reverend Jesse Jackson in Atlanta in April 2015.

Next Spring, Mandy will be co-teaching the Museums and Technology practicum at USF with Sherri Nevins, an award-winning creative producer in digital media arts and content strategy, with Kinesis Studio.

For more information on USF’s Museum Studies program, click here.

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