Dr. Susana Smith Bautista is an experienced arts administrator, consultant, art historian, and expert on museums, visual arts, digital technology, and strategic planning. She completed her Ph.D. as a Provost Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, where she also received her Masters degree in Art History/Museum Studies with honors (Phi Kappa Phi). She has a curatorial background in Latinx, Chicanx, and Latin American art. She recently served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums, where she sat on the newly-created Diversity Committee and conducted peer-review museum site visits for the Museum Assessment Program.
Susana has over 25 years of experience in the art world in Los Angeles, New York, and Greece working with museums, commercial galleries and non-profit art spaces, curating exhibitions, lecturing, and writing art criticism and articles. She was executive director of the Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, interim deputy director and director of public engagement at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, editorial director of www.LatinArt.com, associate with the Daniel Saxon Gallery, and executive director of the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Born in Pasadena, California, Susana served the city as Arts and Culture Commissioner for 6 years. She is currently the director and chief curator of the AltaMed Art Collection at AltaMed Health Services, and just published her second book, How to Close a Museum: A Practical Guide.
Susana’s academic focus is on the role of museums in the digital age, how new technologies are affecting traditional museum practices and communities, and digital literacy needs in museums. Susana has presented her research at numerous international conferences including Digital Humanities, Museums and the Web, Arts in Society, the European Science Foundation, National Communication Association, and Digital Media & Learning. She was on the research team for a MacArthur Foundation grant that studied museums and libraries in the digital age, was co-P.I. of The Distributed Museum project at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, and has taught at both the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Claremont Graduate University’s Arts Management Program.