OMA Board of Directors, October 2022. From left to right: Ariel Peasley, Janice Crane, Eleanor Sandys, Zachary Stocks, Peter Kukla, Katie Williams, Amanda Coven, Jennifer Fang. Not pictured: Natascha Adams, Heather Christenbury.
Peter Kukla, Board President
Peter Kukla is part of the Eugene Science Center team in Eugene, OR as their Community Engagement Director. He has over six years of experience in the museum field, having worked in education, guest services, volunteer management, and public programming. Peter is passionate about the museum field and creating equitable access to informal education. Peter is also currently serving on the Program Committee for the Western Museums Association. He has a BA in Physics from Occidental College with internship experience at organizations ranging from OMSI to NASA.
Ariel Peasley, Board Secretary
Ariel Peasley was born and raised in Oregon, but earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Montana, Missoula and her Master's degree in Anthropology and Museum Studies from California State University, Chico. She has worked in museums since 2013 and returned home to Oregon in 2017. She is currently a Museum Educator at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE). Ariel is passionate about public and community education and the important part that museums and other non-profit organizations do to provide this service to their communities. She hopes to continue to aid in this endeavor in her role on the OMA board and is excited about other opportunities to help serve fellow museum professionals across Oregon.
Amanda Coven, Board Member, Membership Chair
Amanda Coven is the Director of Education at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. She leads the museum in developing dynamic programs for diverse audiences across the state of Oregon, trains volunteers to engage visitors, students, and community groups in conversational and thought provoking programs, and facilitates professional development opportunities for educators. Amanda helped draft the content for Oregon’s Holocaust and Genocide bill (SB664), and since its unanimous passing, works closely with the State Department of Education to prepare educators for its implementation.
Eleanor Sandys, Board Member
At the Oregon Arts Commission, Eleanor serves as Visual Arts Coordinator, managing the state's Percent for Art in Public Places Program and grant programs for individual artists, as well as continuing to fulfill her previous position as collections manager for the Oregon's public art collection. Over the course of her career, Eleanor has worked and interned at a variety of arts and cultural organizations, including SCRAP PDX, FOR-SITE Foundation, Japanese Museum of Oregon, Portland Chinatown Museum, Portland Japanese Garden, Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, the Museum of Contemporary Craft and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Eleanor has a Master’s in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology from Reed College. She believes in the power of museums and the arts to present diverse experiences, generate critical conversations and encourage new perspectives.
Heather Christenbury, Board Member
Heather Christenbury is the Interim Director and Curator of the Coos History Museum. She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado in the field of Anthropology. Heather moved on to complete archeological field school while living and working throughout Europe and Africa. After working for the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, she returned to the U.S. and completed her M.A. in Museum Studies through the University of Oklahoma. Since that time, Heather has worked for a diverse range of museums and cultural institutions in the Denver area before most recently moving to Oregon. Heather specializes in inclusive interpretation collaborations with community partners and best practices related to collections management.
Janice Crane, Board Treasurer
Mt Hood/The Gorge
Janice Crane is the Executive Director of the Friends of the Cascade Locks Historical Museum in the fabulous Columbia River Gorge. She entered the museum industry in 2010 and has served in primarily operations and education capacities. Janice’s Oregon museums career includes work at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals and the Washington County Museum (now Five Oaks Museum) in Hillsboro, and the Douglas County Museum of Natural & Cultural History in Roseburg. Originally from southwest Florida, Janice has an MA in Folklore Studies with an emphasis in Historic Preservation from Western Kentucky University and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the University of Portland.
Katie Williams, Board Vice President, Programs Committee Co-chair
Katie Williams is the Senior Manager - Education & Programs at Pittock Mansion. Most recently, she served as the Education Manager at World of Speed Motorsports Museum in Wilsonville, OR. Prior to joining World of Speed, Katie was the Education Manager at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle, where she also served as the Programs Officer for the Museum Educators of Puget Sound. Katie earned her MA in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University and her BA in Art History from Lewis & Clark College and has completed internships at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Oakland Museum of California, and the Asian Art Museum.
Jennifer Fang, Board Member, DEAI Committee Chair
Jennifer Fang is the Director of Interpretation and Community Engagement at Pittock Mansion and an adjunct professor at the University of Portland where she teaches Modern U.S. History and Asian American History. With a passion for historical interpretation and fostering community-centered values in cultural institutions, Jennifer has held roles at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Portland Children’s Museum, and the Portland Chinatown Museum over the course of her museum career. Jennifer earned a PhD in US History from the University of Delaware and specializes in race and immigration during the Cold War. She currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Oregon Historical Quarterly and the Board of Directors of the Western Museums Association.
Natascha Adams, Board Member, Conference Committee Chair
Natascha is the Director of the Independence Heritage Museum, located in the historic hop capital of the world.
Natascha has spent most of her career working in non-profits. After interning with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and graduation with her MA in Museum Studies from the George Washington University, she spent close to two years as an archaeologist in Ireland. She returned to the states and was the director of OMSI’s Hancock Field Station and learned firsthand how instrumental hands-on learning is for kids and adults to truly grasp complex concept. Her time as Vice President of Youth Development at the YMCA left a lasting impression on her philosophies of inclusion and community engagement, while her time as a volunteer recruiter for the State of Oregon’s Long Term Care Ombudsman agency helped hone her skills in marketing and outreach.
Natascha rejoined the museum world in 2021 working only a few blocks from home in a community she loves. She is passionate about telling the stories that have gone untold, creating innovative programing, engaging the community, and making sure everyone feels welcome and safe to explore.