Training & Experience

Jean earned a BS in Textiles & Clothing from the University of Delaware and a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY-Oneonta. Recruited to work for the Kansas City Museum, she served for eleven years in positions of increasing responsibility and leadership–as Curator of Clothing & Textiles, to Chief Curator, Associate Executive Director, and President.  During her tenure at the Museum, she was selected to participate in the Museum Leadership Institute, sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Foundation.  While she was President of the Kansas City Museum, it was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.  Prior to moving to Kansas City, Jean worked for the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown, New York and the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware.

In 1989, she established Svadlenak Museum Consulting to help museums, corporations and other organizations—preserve, document and share their community’s history.  She has helped dozens of organizations–from small, all-volunteer museums to federal agencies–develop and implement plans to preserve and share their community’s history.

Service to the Field

Jean served as Adjunct Faculty to the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City teaching graduate level museum studies courses from 1991-2001.  From 1991-2012, she has coordinated the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City’s training programs focusing on collections care, from one-day workshops to a 30-day program, offered in conjunction with the University of Missouri-Kansas City.   Active in the museum profession at the local and national levels, she served two terms as President of the Missouri Museums Association, four years on the Council for the Association of Midwest Museums and as an officer for the Committee on Museum Professional Training, a Standing Professional Committee of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  She has served as a grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and as a visiting committee member for the AAM accreditation program.

Jean is a member of The Museum Group, a consortium of senior museum consultants.  As independent consultants, we help museums identify innovative solutions and strategies for every part of their operations.


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