Elyse Mallouk will give a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Wednesday, October 26, at 12 pm. Her talk is entitled “Whitney Stories: Humanizing the Museum through Digital Storytelling.”

Three years ago as the Whitney Museum of American Art prepared to move from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to the Meatpacking District, it faced a distinct messaging challenge: it needed to raise awareness about the move while involving audiences intellectually and emotionally in the process. To meet this need, the museum relaunched its online publication Whitney Stories as a series of fifteen short video profiles released over the course of two years. By featuring artists, staff, and members of the construction team, the series humanized the museum at a time of transition. Now that the new building has been open for over a year, Whitney Stories continues to function as a key tool for shaping institutional perception. A new audio series titled Human Interest invites artists to select portraits from the Whitney’s permanent collection and share reflections on its subject, highlighting specific works through an expansive theme: what is it like to consider portraits as a human being? This talk will provide insight into digital storytelling in a museum context, and will demonstrate how content strategies necessarily shift in response to changing needs, opportunities, and resources.

Elyse Mallouk is the Senior Digital Content Manager at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her writing appears in the second edition of What We Want Is Free: Critical Exchanges in Recent Art; catalogue essays for MOCA Los Angeles and the Wattis Institute; and various publications including Art Practical and Artsy. She founded Landfill Quarterly in 2012, and holds an MFA in Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts.