Spanish Speakers’ Biographies
“Conversations with the Museums Association of the Caribbean” (Spanish Caribbean) – August 19, 2020 – 6:00 PM EDT
- Marianne Ramirez Aponte, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico and President of the Association of Museums of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico)
- Alexis Salazar, Director of the Museum of Belize and Houses of Culture, National Institute of Culture and History (Belize)
- Alex Martínez Suárez, General Coordinator and Museographer of the Fernando Peña Defilló Museum (Dominican Republic)
- Amanda Destro, Administrator of the Destro Buttons Museum, President of the Network of Museums and Visitor’s Centers of Panama (Panama)
- Moderator: Nyasha Warren, The Society of Friends of the West Indian Museum of Panama / MAC Board (Panama)
Marianne Ramírez Aponte holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History of Art and Engraving from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Master’s Degree in Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies from the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, where she is pursuing doctoral studies. Since 1995, she has worked as an educator, museologist and curator. She directed the Department of Education and Exhibitions of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico (MAC), and also worked as Director of the Department of Exhibitions and Collections at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico (MAPR). She has been Professor of Appreciation and History of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Puerto Rico and at the University of the Sacred Heart and a guest lecturer at numerous prestigious universities and organizations. In 2008, she was appointed Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico. She is the creator and curator of El MAC en el Barrio, a cultural equity and social justice program. She is co-founder and the current president of the Museums Association of Puerto Rico.
Alexis Salazar was born in San Ignacio Cayo and raised in Belmopan, the capital of Belize. He holds a BA in Anthropology from Galen University in Belize, and thanks to a scholarship from the Organization of American States he obtained a Master’s Degree in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development from the Di Torino University in Torino Italy, and later obtained a Master’s Degree in Project Management from the University for International Cooperation in San José, Costa Rica. He was a high school teacher for thirteen years, and he has been the Director of the Museum of Belize and Houses of Culture that are part of the National Institute of Culture and History since November 2016. Under his direction the department has opened a new house of culture, renovated three houses of culture and inaugurated twelve exhibitions. He works actively with cultural agents in Belize.
Alex Martínez Suárez is an architect, researcher and educator, he completed a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architecture from the Berlage Institute in Holland and a postgraduate degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University, USA. He is also a graduate of the Curando Caribe curator training program. He is an active member of the Dominican DoCoMoMo, the Palm Inc. Foundation, ICOM and the Museums Association of the Caribbean. His work has been widely published and he is currently a columnist and member of the editorial committee of Arquitexto and a collaborator in other editorial projects. He is currently the general coordinator and museographer of the Fernando Peña Defilló Museum and director of Archipiélago, a multidisciplinary and collaborative platform involved in architecture, academia and cultural management projects. He teaches at Harvard University, United States, at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico and at the Universidad Iberoamericana -UNIBE-; he has also served as a visiting professor at other distinguished academic institutions. He was recently awarded the 2018 National Youth Award in the area of Cultural Development.
Amanda Destro is responsible for the Destro Buttons Museum and she is the president of the Board of Directors of the Network of Museums and Visitor Centers of Panama since 2016. She loves art, culture and the environment in all of its facets, and is currently completing the last year of her degree in Tourism at ISAE University in Panama. As part of her responsibilities in the Network, she was co-organizer of the II Panamanian Congress of Education and Museums – El Museo Tras Bastidores in 2018. More recently she was a panelist on the Museums as agents of education and inclusion in times of social emergency webinar organized by the Ministry of Culture of Panama, and author of the article Network of museums: encounters of history, education and recreation, published in the La Estrella de Panamá newspaper.
Nyasha Warren is a consultant involved in educational research and the development of inclusive and innovative learning experiences in the classroom, the museum, and online. She is affiliated with the Center for Educational Research and is an active member of the Society of Friends of the Afro-Antillean Museum of Panama and is on the board of directors of the Museums Association of the Caribbean. Nyasha has co-developed educational resources, curricula and educational programs for initiatives sponsored by organizations such as Voices from Our America, Vitalitas, Nashville Public Library and recently assisted in the design of a school program and the generation of the content for a massive open online course about the history of Panama City for the Museum of Panama City.