Four Reasons to Attend the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo

May 15, 2018

JRA is a proud silver sponsor of the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo.

JRA is a proud silver sponsor of the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo.

June is right around the corner, and that means it's almost time for the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo (AAE)! This year in Hong Kong, you'll see our team at Booth 720 on the show floor, as well as at the educational sessions, mixers, and special events throughout the conference.


Stop by and say hello, and let us know how together we can dream, design, and realize your next project. Also, be sure to attend the JRA-sponsored AAE Leadership Breakfast, featuring Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Hong Kong's influential Lan Kwai Fong Group. 


The theme for the 2018 AAE show is "it's all here" - and we can see why! Here are four reasons why AAE is an event we wouldn't miss: 

2018AAE展的主是“一切在 -  可以看到其原因所在就是四个我不能错过 AAE的理由。

1. 15 Education Sessions Led by Industry Experts
This year, the conference offers even more unique and compelling learning opportunities to enhance your business! There will be 15 education sessions led by industry experts to share their insight on current industry trends. Join us, acquire best practices, and gain business insights here.

1. 15场由行业专家主讲的教育会议

2. Special Events – Great Opportunities to Network!
You can also take part in the Expo's special events to strengthen your network with industry peers. Opening Ceremony, Opening Night Reception (to celebrate IAAPA's 100th year anniversary), Leadership Breakfast, and Lunch and Learn, are just some highlights of networking opportunities during AAE 2018.

2. 特别活动——拓展人脉的良机!

3. Exclusive EDUTours to Hong Kong's Renowned Attractions
IAAPA members can participate in exclusive EDUTours to Ocean Park Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland to learn the behind-the-scenes operation of two of the top attractions in the city.

3. 独家考察游 参观香港著名景点

4. Explore the Expansive Trade Show Floor
On the trade show floor, there will be over 300 companies from 30 countries and regions displaying new products and services. AAE 2018's international profile will keep your attractions on the cutting edge of success.

4. 博览会现场 规模庞大展品众多

The IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo takes place from 5-8 June at the Hong Kong Conference and Exhibition Centre. Register today at, and we'll see you there!





Tags: JRA Journeys , Outside the Studio

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Flip This Museum! Shawn McCoy Helps Children's Museums Turn Struggles Into Success

May 14, 2018

Shawn McCoy

Shawn McCoy

At this year's Association of Children's Museums Interactivity 2018 Conference, JRA Vice President Shawn McCoy moderates a "Flip This Museum: Real World Techniques That Turn Struggles Into Success," a session on how museums can overcome and pave the way toward a more successful future.

While children’s museums are nonprofit institutions created to serve their communities, many facilities underperform or ultimately fail due to a variety of financial and operational issues. In this engaging and interactive session, attendees will first hear from two museum directors who have taken on such challenges and transformed their museums into institutions built for long-term success. Next, two economic and management consultants will share how to identify and solve various financial and operational problems. Attendees will then test out new knowledge by examining a fictional case study of a struggling museum.

Panelists for Shawn's session include: 

  • Sally Edwards, Marble Kids Museum
  • Ainslie Brosig, expERIEnce Children's Museum
  • Sarah Linford, AECOM
  • Ray Glang, Management Resources 

In addition to his concept development, business development and marketing roles as VP of JRA, Shawn McCoy is globally recognized as a thought leader in the themed entertainment industry, crafting and sharing presentations on industry trends, intellectual property, branded attractions, theme park technology, the impact of globalization, and immersive storytelling. Shawn has served as a speaker, panelist, or moderator for conference sessions around the world, including the Themed Entertainment Association’s SATE Conference, the Future of Immersive Leisure Conference, the China Summit, and the Museum Education for Children Symposium, and has been a featured contributor for numerous webinars.

For the past eight years, he has presented the session “Emerging Trends in Immersive Design” at the annual International Association for Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo to standing-room-only crowds. He has been interviewed as a trends expert by global industry and mainstream publications, including Forbes, Quartz Magazine, and CNN and has many internationally published articles to his credit. He is currently a member of the Association of Children's Museums Education Committee and is Museum Subcommittee Chair for the Themed Entertainment Association's Thea Award Committee.

"As exhibit designers, our focus is on creating engaging visitor experiences that allow children to better understand the world around them. However, we understand that for a children's museum to be truly successful, its leadership has to be equally focused on economics and operations.

With this in mind, we wanted to create a session that speaks to the daily challenges that museum leaders face to keep their institutions operating as effective and efficient businesses. Our hope is that the lessons provided by our panel of museum leaders and consultants will provide session attendees with a variety of valuable tools that will help them to continue to successfully serve their communities and meet their missions." - Shawn McCoy

"Flip This Museum" takes place Wednesday, May 16 at 1:15 p.m. If you're attending InterActivity, it's a session you won't want to miss. 


Tags: JRA Journeys , JRA Team , Outside the Studio

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JRA Celebrates 10 Years of the ACM InterActivity Small Museums Scholarship Program

April 26, 2018

From May 15-18, children's museum professionals from across North America will converge in Raleigh for the Association of Children's Museums 2018 Interactivity Conference. This year's theme is "Open Source Play: Sharing the Creative Code". Where do children's education and open source innovation intersect? How can the free sharing of information help cultural communities, and the industry as a whole? These questions will be answered through a variety of professional development sessions, forums, and tours throughout the conference. 

This year marks the tenth anniversary of JRA's partnership with ACM on the InterActivity Small Museums Financial Aid Program. The Small Museums scholarship, founded by JRA in 2008, provides select small museum professionals with complimentary registration to Interactivity and a ticket to the Evening Event, which will be hosted this year at Marble Kids Museum. The goal of the initiative is to offset professional development expenses for museum staff at open children's museums with annual budgets under $500,000. By doing so, ACM wishes to cultivate staff members at small museums for long-term careers in the children's museum field. Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the inaugural ACM Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 15.

This year's scholarship recipients represent children's museums from diverse sections of the country - what unites them is a love of children, a passion for learning, and a profound understanding of the power of transformative play experiences. Congratulations to the following children's museum professionals!

Trisha Blosser, Development Officer
Explore More Discovery Museum (Harrisonburg, VA)

Trisha Blosser spearheads fundraising efforts at Explore More Discovery Museum that sustain museum operations and support future growth and expansion, with the goal of increasing the base of support from museum memberships, special events, and annual giving. She has a Masters in Museums Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of SUNY-Oneonta and a BA in Anthropology from James Madison University. As a fundraising staff of one, Trisha looks forward to learning more about how children’s museums approach development: best practices, networking with other fundraisers, and gaining insight into how to help make the Museum the best it can be!

Steven J. Bulger, CEO/ Executive Director
Kids Oneida, Inc. & Utica Children’s Museum (NY)

Steven Bulger has nearly twenty years of experience in the behavioral health field with thirteen years at Kids Oneida, serving as CEO/Executive Director since 2014. Kids Oneida is a nonprofit provider of innovative home and community based interventions in upstate New York and provides daily services to 1,100 families through fifteen programs across seven upstate NY counties. In December 2017, Utica Children’s Museum and Kids Oneida entered into a management contract relationship, with Kids Oneida providing strategic operational, development, and marketing support, , ensuring that the Museum will become an even stronger resource for children and families across the region. Steven hopes to learn hands-on from experts in the field about approaches that can help ensure the Museum’s successful revitalization and preservation.

Coreena Dietrich, Director
A Quaint Corner Children’s Museum (Altoona, PA)

Coreena Dietrich has worked at A Quaint Corner Children's Museum for eight years, seven as director. She oversees all museum operations and supervises two staff. She holds a degree in elementary education. Coreena looks forward to attending InterActivity and learning about ways to enhance the Museum’s exhibits and inspire regular visitation from families and groups in the community.

Jerica Starr, Education Coordinator
Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum (MI)

Jessica Starr began working at Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum as a student intern in 2015. Upon her graduation from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development, she began working as the Volunteer Coordinator and Guest Services. In 2016, she was promoted to Education Coordinator. Jessica schedules and hosts field trips, creates educational programs and events, and manages the museum’s Youth Advisory Board. She looks forward to attending InterActivity and learning more about the children’s museum field and returning to her museum inspired to develop new programs and events.


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One of us...One of us...

April 21, 2018

Want to be in this picture?

Want to be in this picture?


We are currently searching for an experienced designer and media producer to join our team in Cincinnati. The ideal candidates for each position have worked in the entertainment industry and have experience designing interactive/immersive environments in venues such as museums, visitor centers, sports or entertainment complexes. 

Job Requirements:
• Participates in creative brainstorming workshops
• Works closely with project writers / researchers to formulate project conceptual ideas
• Conducts design research to inform and support conceptual ideas
• Prepares illustrative sketches, plans, CAD plans and / or models to support and present the concept vision
• Prepares the detailing of the approved concepts as required
• Participates in proposal and project presentations as required
• Travels as required

Required Software Knowledge:
• Adobe Suite (Illustrator, In Design, Photoshop)
• Google Sketch up
• Cad and/or Revit

Media Producer

Job Requirements:

• Ensure compliance with creative and technical execution for exhibits as they relate to the guest-experience on a project.
• Partner with a team to develop media scope of work, contract documents, cost estimates, schedules, strategies, and work plans to align with achieving the project's creative and technical intent.
• Liaison with internal and external resources through every phase of design, production, and installation, to ensure creative, technical and quality consistently align.
• Travel as required depending on project needs.

Required Skills:
• Experience in museum or visitor center exhibit UX design, production and installation experience.
• Have experience with emerging UX technology

Ready to make a move RIGHT NOW? Qualified candidates please email your resume and portfolio or portfolio link to Dana Everhart, Director of Operations, at We look forward to hearing from you!


Tags: JRA Team

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National Comedy Center Announces Star-Studded Lineup for Grand Opening

April 11, 2018

Lily Tomlin, Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd will help celebrate the opening of the National Comedy Center.

Lily Tomlin, Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd will help celebrate the opening of the National Comedy Center.

The National Comedy Center just announced that it will celebrate its grand opening with appearances by Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin, Saturday Night Live original season alumni including Dan Aykroyd and more, coinciding with the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 1-5 in Jamestown, New York.

As featured on the cover of this month's InPark Magazine, the 37,000-square-foot National Comedy Center visitor experience includes more than 50 immersive and interactive exhibits that tell the story of comedy from its origins through the present. It is the first non-profit cultural institution and national-scale attraction dedicated to the art of comedy.

JRA is providing planning, exhibit design, graphic design, executive media production, art direction, and project management for this blockbuster attraction, with fabrication by Adirondack Studios, AV integration by Electrosonic, media production by Cortina Productions, and exhibit lighting design by Abernathy Lighting Design

The opening celebration will feature more than 50 events and 40 artists that include the innovators, creators, and legends of comedy. 

“Each of these artists has played a significant role in shaping and redefining comedy as we know it today. From sketch to stand-up to TV to film, the landscape has been forever changed due to the creativity and, frankly, bravery, of Lily Tomlin and Amy Schumer. Laraine Newman, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Alan Zweibel challenged the nation’s sensibilities about comedy in what they brought to air in 1975, introducing what became one of very few cultural phenomena to endure more than four decades,” said National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

“Offering four brilliant minds from the show that broke the late night television mold is not only a glimpse into the creation of Saturday Night Live but also a sampling of the National Comedy Center‘s core mission to share the story of comedy,” notes Malachi Livermore, Director of Operations and Programming for the National Comedy Center.

In a special press briefing at the site on Friday, March 30, United States Senator Charles Schumer announced his push for a congressional designation for the Center. The new designation would officially make the National Comedy Center the nation’s cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy, recognizing it as the only institution of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of comedy and its role in our culture.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and for the last 25 years has produced the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival with performers including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Lewis Black, Trevor Noah, Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Nick Offerman, Ray Romano, Bob Newhart, The Smothers Brothers and more than 100 other comedic artists.

Located in Jamestown, a city in Chautauqua County and Western New York, the National Comedy Center is in the region of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

For more information on the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and the National Comedy Center opening, please visit For media inquiries, email Clara Rice, JRA Director of Communications, at

Tags: Project Spotlight

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