Polly McKenna-Cress
Program Director, MEPD
Associate Professor
MFA, The University of the Arts
BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

With more than 25 years of experience in the field of museum planning, management, development and design, Ms. McKenna-Cress has been dedicated to furthering the museum field and has managed, developed and designed 20+ exhibitions locally and nationally. She recently co-authored a book with Janet A Kamien,Creating Exhibitions: Collaboration in the Planning, Development and Design of Innovative Experiences published by John Wiley and Sons in October 2013, and launched it in conjunction with an International Symposium she developed as a catalyst for transforming the museum field. Presenters and attendees ranged from CEOs, VPs, and Managers to teachers and graduate students from different Museum Studies programs around the country. She maintains a strong professional advisory and consultancy practice with different organizations, as well as the inspiration and direction she provides emerging professionals in the academic realm.

Most recently Ms. McKenna-Cress was appointed a fellowship in the Noyce Leadership Institute (Cohort 7) completed in May, 2015. With a focus on leadership through the process of community engagement, she lead a number of different teams through a “design thinking” based process that included graduate students, high school students, the Franklin Institute, and local branch libraries to develop, design and install “pop-up” community exhibits. In June, she was awarded a $50K grant funded by Eleanor Davis and the Connelly Foundation to further sustain and scale the process and project.    

Ms. McKenna-Cress earned her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in Industrial Design and her MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning + Design from The University of the Arts.

Class Schedule, Spring 2017

01:00PM - 03:50PM
08:30AM - 11:50AM
01:00PM - 03:50PM
10:00AM - 12:50PM
Museum Exhib. Design Studio
T08:30AM - 11:50AMThesis Development: MEPD
- Museum Exhibit.& Plan. Intern.
- Museum Independent Study
- Museum Studies Ind Study

Contact Info

Office: Anderson Hall 202
Tel: 215-717-6328
Fax: 215-717-6326