Q&A with Ayman Elsayed

September 1st, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, Q&A by Emily Schuster

Ayman Elsayed

Interviewed by Joelle Seligson

This interview appeared in the September/October 2011 issue of Dimensions magazine.

The deputy director of the Library of Alexandria’s Planetarium Science Center on global partners, local heroes, and surviving a revolution

Egypt’s cultural and educational institutions were not spared the chaos in the country early this year. Looters broke into Cairo’s Egyptian Museum and other sites during the revolution, stealing and smashing ancient treasures. Yet, thanks to an inspiring demonstration, the Planetarium Science Center (PSC) at the Library of Alexandria came out unharmed.

Ayman Elsayed, deputy director of the center and ASTC’s 2010 Lee Kimche McGrath Worldwide Fellow, will attend the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore, October 15–18. He tells his institution’s story, and discusses how working together benefits science centers worldwide.

Read the full transcript, or listen to the podcast.

Money Matters: Science Centers Thriving in Tough Times

August 24th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

July/August 2011

Faced with the challenges resulting from the worldwide economic crisis, science centers and museums must work diligently and creatively to maintain financial viability. Many science centers are diversifying their income sources, both by adhering to time-tested best practices of fundraising and by pursuing new methods and opportunities. Especially in these difficult times, successful science centers must follow sound financial practices, carefully prioritize their spending, and above all, deepen their commitment to their missions and their communities. In this issue, we explore trends, best practices, and strategies for thriving in tough situations.


The State of the Science Center, by Katherine I. Goodall
• Strategies for Financial Health, by Charlie Trautmann and Lara Litchfield-Kimber
• Reducing Expenses While Increasing Value, by Gerardo Ibarra Aranda
• Rebuilding After a Natural Disaster in the Philippines, by May Pagsinohin
• Building a Strong Membership Program, by Shannon Schumacher
• How to Ask For (and Get) Major Gifts, by Simone P. Joyaux
Great Opportunities Through Active Corporate Partnerships, by Larry Dubinski
• Guidelines for Planning Grant-Funded Projects, by Robert L. Russell

Download the full issue.

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The State of the Science Center

August 24th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

By Katherine I. Goodall
From Dimensions
July/August 2011

There is no question that recent years have been extraordinarily challenging for those responsible for the financial well being of science centers and museums. Since the global economic downturn began in 2008, every revenue stream has been under threat. Some organizations have been forced to make huge cuts, while at the same time serving increasingly broad populations (AAM, 2011). Yet for many, the economic crisis has been a chance to think strategically, refocus, strengthen branding and core support, and explore new opportunities.

As ASTC’s director for institutional advancement, I’ve had the opportunity to talk about these challenges and opportunities with professionals in large and small science centers and museums worldwide. This article is by no means an exhaustive investigation of the recession’s impact on science centers, nor is it intended to suggest that every institution’s experience has been the same in the last three years. Rather, it provides a high-level overview of the complex subject of financial viability. For a deeper look at many of the topics touched on here, see the other articles in this issue.

Great Opportunities Through Active Corporate Partnerships

August 24th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Katie McCarthy

By Larry Dubinski
From Dimensions
July/August 2011

U.S. nonprofit organizations have long benefitted from the largesse of the for-profit sector. In 2009, corporations donated more than $14 billion to U.S. charitable causes, and the corporate sector has proven especially fruitful for science centers. Many centers—including the Franklin Institute (TFI) in Philadelphia, where I oversee external affairs—have long counted on their region’s leading utility, technology, and pharmaceutical companies to be among their top donors.

New Dimensions

August 23rd, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

ASTC is committed to helping our members worldwide achieve their goals, by equipping individual professionals with essential skills, providing member institutions with valuable information and perspectives, and linking our members to one another.

With this mission in mind, we proudly launched the newly redesigned Dimensions magazine with our July/August 2011 issue. We hope you’ll find the new magazine to be even more relevant, readable, and attractive.


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