Described as a "visionary" by Smithsonian Magazine, Nina Simon has built her career around advocating for participatory museum experiences. Currently she is executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in California. Before that she was the principal of Museum 2.0, a consultancy working with cultural institutions worldwide on projects designed to engage visitors as collaborators and active participants. Simon is the creator of the popular Museum 2.0 blog, which explores how the philosophies of Web 2.0 can be applied in museums. She is the author of The Participatory Museum (2010), a practical guide to working with community members and visitors to make cultural institutions more dynamic, relevant, essential places. She composed it online in a wiki format, inviting others to contribute and hone the final publication. Previously, Simon served as curator at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, and was an experience developer at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
Simon is a contributor to Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, published by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2011. In April 2011, she visited the Center for a sold-out discussion and interactive workshop with local arts and culture practitioners from the Philadelphia area. At this event, Simon shared her vision for the future of cultural institutions as personal, dynamic, collaborative places for visitor engagement.