Amanda Rivera Lopez has worked as an educator in the museum field for over 18 years shaping programs that position museums to be dynamic supporters of classroom and lifelong learning. While a student at Amherst College in Massachusetts pursuing a degree in fine arts/art history, she also gained four years of experience in early childhood education and wished to find a career that would combine education with the arts. At the El Paso Museum of Art she took part in establishing one of the earliest programs to train teens as docents in the museum gallery, and in 1995 received a Smithsonian Award for Museum Leadership. While pursuing her Advanced Degree in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City, she taught in classrooms as well as museum settings.
She has been the Curator of Education at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT and went on to the Connecticut Historical Society where she developed programs aimed at increased community participation in museum exhibitions. At the Chicago Historical Society she was one of two exhibit developers, using her background in education to inform the exhibit development process. Two exhibit projects involved schools/young people in their development: Remembering September 11 and Teen Chicago.
In 2002 she started at Historic Deerfield where she continues at present. She developed a new Department of Museum Education, and as of 2007 has overseen the museum’s interpretive function as well. She develops museum programs that support classroom and public learning, and she trains staff to teach in the museum’s gallery spaces and multiple historic houses. Amanda is familiar with both informal and formal learning and teaching due to training in all levels of classroom education and in the museum setting. Amanda has been involved in numerous consulting projects, professional conference presentations, and grant-making panels over the years. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.