Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Michaela Ternasky-Holland

Michaela Ternasky-Holland


Michaela Ternasky-Holland

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I am an Emmy and Webby award-winning director who specializes in creating socially impactful stories using immersive and interactive technology. As an XR/spatial computing creator, consultant, and speaker, I have been recognized as one of the 100 Original Voices of XR by industry veteran Avi Bar-Zeev and listed as one of Blooloop’s 50 Immersive Influencers. I specialize in creative strategy and impact production and has either worked with or had her work featured by top brands and organizations like Disney, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, Cannes Film Festival, New York Public Library, Tribeca Film Festival, and more.

How long have you been a member of the Tenement Museum?

On and off since 2019

What was your first interaction with the Tenement Museum?

I moved to the Lower East Side area into my own tenement style apartment where I had a very NYC sized room with no closet space and one window. The apartment itself had two other roommates, a small kitchen, and a bathroom. There was no living room space. I walked by the Tenement Museum and became curious as to what it was. I signed up for a tour, and my mind was blown. I work in virtual reality non-fiction and social impact storytelling and what the Tenement does is exactly the analogue version of what I do! I recreate fully immersive spaces. I put a quality amount of people through a long form experience vs. quality people in short form experiences. The projects I do in virtual reality are also all about getting personal with the story and with the person, which are all pillars of experiencing a Tenement Museum tour. To this day, the Tenement Museum is one of the first places I recommend folx to go to.

Does the Museum make you reflect on any of your own family stories?

Always! My grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines. My grandfather was enlisted in the U.S. Navy for over 25 years. His service allowed for not only my grandmother and their children to begin the citizenship process in California but also his extended family. He opened the door for over twenty Filipinos to settle in Milpitas before it became a hub for Filipino immigrants.

Michaela Ternasky

Do you have a favorite Tenement tour or program (virtual or in-person)?

The original Under One Roof!

What does the Tenement Museum mean to you?

The Tenement Museum shows me that institutions can prioritize quality audience experience over quantity audience experiences. It is an incredible beacon that it is possible for successful institutions to work from a micro and personal perspective over a macro impersonal perspective. It is so heartening and inspiring to know there is a respected establishment like this in NYC.

What are some other cultural institutions that you frequent/support?

The Met, The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum

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