Barbara as principal of Barbara Henry & Associates, is devoted to transforming museums into welcoming, comfortable, and thriving public places. Drawing from 25+ years of experience as a museum practitioner in authentic public engagement, she knows how museums can be vibrant cultural spaces truly embraced by diverse communities.
Using best practices with her clients, Barbara applies her expertise in community collaborations, visitor experiences, programming, and organizational culture. She tailors her approaches based on each client’s goals, unique circumstances, and resources. Recent clients include:
Museum de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) —Conducting workshop sessions for Education Department, “Becoming a Leader in Transforming the Museum”
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority — Facilitating professional development courses on community engagement for staff assigned to Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the National Zayed Museum
TyPA Fundación (Theory and Practice in the Arts), Buenos Aires — Lab on Museum Management. Conducting sessions on organizational change, cross-functional teams, and visitor experiences for Latin American museum professionals
The Presidio Trust with The Adoption Museum Project —Coaching on community engagement sessions for the exhibition Operation Babylift: Perspectives and Legacies
Historic Old Sacramento Foundation — Strengthening visitor experiences of the Old Sacramento Underground Tours and related exhibit spaces
Contra Costa County Library — Advising on ways to present sensitive content in the online exhibit, War Ink: See Their Ink, Hear Their Stories, related to veterans’ memorial tattoos of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
Barbara has presented at numerous conferences and served as a panel reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services. She received her MAT in Museum Education from George Washington University and a BA in Art History from U.C. Berkeley.
Before BH&A, for more than two decades, Barbara held senior executive positions as Lab Center Director and Chief Curator of Education at the Oakland Museum of California. She developed extensive expertise in community engagement and institutional change. Barbara was a leader in transforming the museum’s art gallery, the results of which were recorded in the book How We/Visitors Changed the Gallery of California Art at the Oakland Museum of California. These experiences informed her passion for museums as dynamic public places evolving with their changing communities.