Joanne Jones-Rizzi currently serves as the Vice President of Science, Equity, and Education at the Science Museum of Minnesota, where she leads the Science Museum’s science and education initiatives, ensuring that they achieve maximum impact and are equitably accessible for all audiences. However, her career at the Science Museum is long and accomplished.
Jones-Rizzi has a decades-long career working on systemic, ecological change within museums, specializing in expanding meaningful access through exhibitions relevant to audiences who do not yet think of museums as their cultural institutions. She advises museums nationally and internationally on culture, identity, anti-racism, exhibition development, and community engagement.
Before coming to the Science Museum of Minnesota, Jones-Rizzi was an exhibit developer and cultural program director at the Boston Children’s Museum, where she led an initiative that addressed the institution-wide politics of inclusiveness, ranging the full spectrum from community partners to the museum’s board of trustees. She has also written or co-written several books and numerous articles exploring ideas related to identity, race, and community.
Jones-Rizzi is the co-creator and concept developer of several award-winning exhibitions, including The Kid’s Bridge (Boston Children’s Museum, 1990), The Kid’s Bridge (Smithsonian Institution, 1992), Boston Black: A City Connects (Boston Children’s Museum, 2004), and RACE: Are We So Different? (Science Museum of Minnesota, 2007 with a national tour through 2015). She is the recipient of several awards for her anti-racism work, including the 2018 Inclusion Award from the American Alliance of Museums, and a Facing Race Ambassador Award from the Saint Paul Foundation in 2016.