Claudia did a great job evaluating our existing school programs and inspired our education staff to continue evaluating beyond the project’s timeframe.
Educators have implemented programmatic changes to reflect Claudia’s recommendations and are eager to share changes with this year’s students.
Claudia consulted with the William Trent House Museum to develop a set of lesson plans for middle school students related to the history of slavery during the 1720s during the first owner’s tenure in the House. Working with staff and a group of local public school teachers, she researched background information for teachers, compiled historical documents to include in lesson plan kits, and designed pre-, during, and post-field trip activities for students for pilot testing. Museum staff are excited to begin trying out these innovative and engaging activities with students soon.
When Durand-Hedden House, Maplewood’s historic house museum, decided to have a program about Juneteenth, the African American celebration of the end of slavery, we sought the help of Claudia Ocello of Museum Partners Consulting. The scale of the event was well beyond our usual programs, and Claudia provided essential guidance and organizational skills. She developed creative ideas and helped us to execute them in a positive and satisfying way for all involved. It turned out to be one of our most successful and well-attended events of all time.
We had the pleasure of working with Claudia and MPC on a grant-funded project to reevaluate our school programs, after almost a decade of facility restoration and off-site offerings. She created an in-depth survey with which to engage school teachers in our area. Under her guidance we assembled focus groups, which she led in her professional and easygoing manner. The information that she obtained and subsequent report she assembled have served as a blueprint as Historic Cherry Hill plans for a grand reopening and expansion of school program offerings. Our marketing methods in particular are greatly improved by her input. It was truly a pleasure working with Claudia!
Working with Claudia is always something I look forward to. At the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, we engaged her to work with us on a grant-funded Oral History Project. Claudia helped us develop new concepts and ideas and led us to create a final product that was more than we had even hoped to accomplish. She is always prepared, always professional and always eager to find new ways to enhance the goals of our project. I expect we will be working with her again on any number of projects as our history museum continues to expand its educational programming over the next several years. I highly recommend her talents for any museum or educational organization that is looking to strengthen audience participation, programming, curriculum development or community engagement.
The Newark Public Schools Historical Preservation Committee recently collaborated with Claudia Ocello, Museum Partners Consulting, to put together an exhibit at the Newark Public Library. That exhibit is titled Old School. Claudia’s expertise allowed us to showcase an exemplary exhibit chronicling the history of the school district through photos, artifacts and stories. The rich history of the Newark Public Schools is on display in a way that made our organization, the school district and the city very proud. I had a very enriching experience working with Claudia when I was an administrator and as superintendent of the school district. More recently, Claudia has assisted our fledgling organization on its journey to create an archive library and eventually establish our own museum. We are very lucky to have the guidance of such a talented curator.
The American Alliance of Museums was already two-thirds through an effort to survey current and past program participants when we had to find a new consultant for the project. In the spring of 2017 we invited Museum Partners Consulting to join the project, seeking Claudia’s expertise and experience to professionally analyze the data we were about to collect, and provide a report to our funder. Claudia bravely agreed to take on a less than ideal situation: picking up an evaluation project mid-stream that had a tight-turnaround of only a couple of months! She got up to speed quickly and jumped right in. I was impressed with her commitment to frequent communication throughout the project and her collaborative workstyle. She even went the extra mile to answer a few questions about the survey results after the report was submitted and her contract was complete. She was very easy to work with and true to her company’s name, she was a great partner.
Several years ago, we embarked on a large project to reinterpret the Crane House to include the period when it was a segregated YWCA for African American women and girls. The project included researching the history, identifying women to interview for oral histories, creating an hour-long documentary about the subtle segregation in the North and the role the YWCA played for the women and girls who were part of it, reinterpreting the house to tell a more inclusive history, and public and school programs that pertain to Civil Rights, segregation, integration, and women’s history.
Throughout the multi-year project, Claudia became like a member of our staff, guiding us through the process with her knowledge and diplomacy. The documentary was accepted into and premiered at the Montclair Film Festival in 2014. The project has been featured at the Annual Meetings of the American Association of State and Local History, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and the New Jersey Historical Commission. We were also honored to be commended by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for our work in preserving women’s history and to receive the Giles R. Wright Grant Award from the New Jersey Historical Commission at the 34th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series sponsored by Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience. Even though the project is complete, Claudia continues to act as our advocate in the museum community.
We look forward to finding an opportunity to work with Museum Partners Consulting in the future.
Claudia Ocello is a consummate museum professional who I would recommend for any position and/or job.
I first met Claudia when she was Director of Education at the New Jersey Historical Society. She was my instructor for a workshop at Bank Street College where she taught me how to create fun, inventive informal education programs using state learning standards. Her teachings have been invaluable to me.
Recently, we worked together on curriculum discussing the Dutch in Brooklyn. Claudia’s work helped shaped a curriculum that teachers will use for years to come. She brought insights on using primary source materials that may appear obscure, but helped cover complex themes.
As a professor, she brings years of real world experience to the classroom and gives terrific insights into what formal and informal education is and how to do it well. Ms. Ocello is a pleasure to work with and will enhance any entity who chooses to hire her.
It was such a pleasure working with Claudia and MPC on the development of four interdisciplinary lesson plans related to our fall exhibition Casey Ruble: Everything That Rises. This exhibition addressed sensitive subject matter including the Underground Railroad, race riots, slavery, racism and social justice. Claudia handled these important issues with sensitivity, historical accuracy and professionalism. Her museum education expertise showed through her writing of the lesson plans, acute research, use of primary materials and art analysis. Furthermore, her suggestion to consult a panel of school teachers proved to be a valuable asset to the process. I look forward to working with Claudia again in the future. Thank you!
In her work with us on our accessibility study and plan, Claudia Ocello brought to the project the highest level of professionalism and knowledge of best practices in the field. Claudia kept the project on schedule and budget, kept us organized and managed its many pieces. Whenever we had questions, Claudia considered them thoughtfully and answered in a timely manner. I highly recommend Claudia and Museum Partners Consulting for any project!
Claudia Ocello from MPC was a pleasure to work with, staying on schedule and within our agreed budget. Through surveys, focus groups, and research she helped us evaluate our school program offerings and used her knowledge of best practices and current trends to provide guidance on the future of our programs. I look forward to the next opportunity to work with Claudia.
Working with Claudia on the development of a pilot educational program for middle school students at the National Museum of Natural History was an absolute pleasure. She tackled every challenge head on with calmness and creativity, was flexible and nimble at making necessary adjustments but took the time to be reflective and thoughtful in her practice. She brought a fresh perspective to the work we were doing and although our work together was short, her energy, ideas and recommendations have made a lasting impression.
Claudia was a god-send: At the time I was the director of education at an aquarium near NYC, looking for someone to help my department as we worked through a strategic plan goal to revamp our core program curriculum to align with the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. I wanted someone who could help build the capacity of my staff to develop effective curriculum, assist us in the development of a lesson plan template, and help drive the process of program redesign according to an established timeline. For this endeavor, my ideal candidate was someone with museum and elementary teaching experience, in addition to an academic background in formal, effective approaches to curriculum development. Not only was Claudia the complete package, but she approached the job in an extremely thoughtful way, adeptly walking the lines between facilitator, teacher and critical friend. I would hire her again in a second!
Claudia from MPC worked collaboratively with Brooklyn Museum staff to assess current programs and services for schools and provide recommendations to initiate new programs that best support instructional priorities now and in the future. Her work ethic kept the project on time, and her talent provided invaluable feedback and insight. I recommend MPC without reservation.
Claudia visited Ortega Museum Magnet Elementary School to conduct a 6 hour professional development for K-5 educators. Claudia’s ideas on integrating museum resources into the curriculum were innovative and can be easily implemented by our teachers to bring diversity to content. I am positive these “museum-learning” strategies will lead students to extended observation, questioning, research, analysis, and reflection.
I became involved midstream with a survey/focus group project that my organization and Museum Partners Consulting were working on together. Claudia updated me on details, mentored me through paperwork and deadlines, and provided an environment of professionalism that resulted in a successful and informed adaptation of our strategic plan. Her well documented reports have illuminated our board committees and her passion for the work she does, along with her gregarious nature, animated our reach into the community. She is an insightful, accomplished museum professional whom I hope to work with again.
Our department at the New York Public Library contracted with Museum Partners Consulting to assist us on two project evaluations for which we needed an outside eye. Museum Partners Consulting staff were responsive, efficient and insightful in the development, implementation and reporting of each evaluation.
Historic Hudson Valley contracted with Museum Partners Consulting to develop the first afterschool program ever held at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. Ms. Ocelo was a delight to work with. She is thorough and professional. Ms. Ocello encouraged us to think differently about how we view our site and how we introduce its story to children. The results were amazing.
Texas Association of Museums recently worked with Museum Partners Consulting on a very successful workshop series called “One Size Does Not Fit All: Museum Education Workshop.” Claudia B. Ocello, the president and CEO of Museum Partners Consulting, traveled to Texas where she presented a dozen workshops in diverse regions of the state. Not only did she have an obvious command of the subject matter, but Claudia also employed her skills of audience engagement to reach a wide variety of workshop participants. I was impressed with her advance preparation, how readily she embraced the goals of our project, and her determination to understand the different cultural communities in a vast area. As an instructor, Claudia was knowledgeable, thorough, and engaging. I am looking forward to bringing her back to work with Texas Association of Museums again.
The Camden County Historical Society utilized the services of Museum Partners Consulting to conduct a grant funded ADA/Accessibility Study for our organization. Museum Partners worked closely with CCHS in a very professional, organized and meaningful to produce a study that encompassed all areas of our organization. The final product is a useful, well laid out plan that CCHS can put into action to make our organization accessible to everyone.
Working with MPC has been a pleasure. MPC staff understands the value — as well as the particular challenges – of public history and education. I would recommend their consulting services highly.
Claudia Ocello of Museum Partners Consulting is a pleasure to work with. She is dependable and professional. Her consulting work for The Newark Museum was completed in a timely and skillful manner. I’m looking forward to our next project!
Claudia has been an educational consultant for the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation since 2009. She brings a great deal of experience in developing inventive educational programming for students and teachers. We are currently in development on two teacher workshops and two new school programs. Claudia has the great ability to utilize the unique identity of an institution and increase its potential by listening to staff members while offering constructive input. All of us at NJVVMF feel very lucky that we are working with an individual who works hard to help us achieve our goals.