Susan Shifrin, PhD

Founder and Executive Director
ARTZ Philadelphia

Susan Shifrin is the founding director of ARTZ Philadelphia, a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people living with dementia and their loved ones through arts- and culture-centered programming. She is an art historian, educator, and arts accessibility advocate. She received her PhD from Bryn Mawr College and has worked on the curatorial and education staffs of a number of large and small museums up and down the East coast. As a scholar, curator, director of museum education, and as a teacher in higher education Shifrin has focused on the interactions of objects and viewers within a social context. As a curator and museum educator, she has sought to facilitate viewer inclusion and participation. And as a teacher of college students, her approach is student-centered and discussion-centered. During the last decade, Susan's arts-based outreach efforts have turned to engaging and serving community members living with disabilities, including those living with the diagnosis and experiences of dementia. Viewer inclusion and participation are the keys to all that she does.

Shifrin was one of only twelve people worldwide to receive certification in 2016 from the Memory Bridge training program ( for professionals working with people living with dementia. She has organized and participated in a number of conferences and symposia relating to arts accessibility and the role of arts in the lives of people with chronic illness and disabilities. She is currently at work on an edited volume of essays titled The Museum As Experience (forthcoming, Fall 2019).


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