The Masterclass Program is a series of professional development classes allowing participants to have a one-on-one experience with experts in the preservation field. The masterclasses allow for a personalized exchange of information between instructor and participant, as well as among attendees themselves.

The course was scheduled for February 27, 2021, from 10 am to 1 pm EST. All proceeds supported scholarships for students to attend our upcoming 4th Regional Conference in November.

The course included one hour of lecture and two hours of discussion and question and answer. Information discussed included:

The discipline of environmental management in heritage preservation, focused on designing action plans aimed at preventing deterioration in heritage collections. It used multidisciplinary and coordinated strategies, in accordance with criteria of sustainability, viability, and safety, and incorporated risk indicators, essential for decision making. It prioritized improving air quality and reducing environmental impact, implementing non-toxic and environmentally friendly conservation systems. It developed “green” tools and methodologies for the preservation of cultural heritage.

The similarities and differences between environmental management and preventive conservation were discussed in this course.

The event hosted a total of 19 participants from 9 different countries: Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, United States and Uruguay. 

The course was taught by Nieves Valentín. She holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid. In 1973, she established the first national-level Biology laboratory at the National Center for Book and Document Restoration of the Ministry of Culture, focusing on the study and control of biodeterioration of archival and library materials. From 1985 to 2017, she specialized in the control of biodeterioration of organic materials as part of the scientific research team at the Cultural Heritage Institute of Spain. Her research has focused on microbiological contamination and infestation by xylophagous insects. At The Getty Conservation Institute in the USA, she developed insect disinfestation systems and methods to assess air quality in museums and display cases. From 2013 to 2017, she served on the ICCROM Council in Rome. Over the past three decades, she has taught training courses nationally and internationally. She has published in scientific journals related to Cultural Heritage and authored/co-authored books and specialized chapters. Currently, she works as a scientific advisor, delivering lectures and workshops at cultural institutions, primarily in the Americas. In 2015, she received the National Prize for Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Assets.

The masterclass Leadership and Advocacy for Cultural Heritage Professionals, took place on June 26, 2021 from 10am-1pm EST.

The class was taught by a group of accomplished leaders in the field: 

  • Debbie Hess Norris: Director – Winterthur/UD Program in Art Conservation
  • Bob Norris: International Expert in Leadership
  • Sarah Staniforth: President Emeritus IIC
  • Margaret (Peggy) Holben Ellis: Former AIC president
  • Amparo Rueda: APOYOnline President
  • Beatriz Haspo: APOYOnline Executive Director


Each expert shared experiences and advice concerning leadership in the heritage field before breaking into smaller breakout sessions that aimed to foster closer connections between participants and instructors, so space was limited.

The 21 participants were identified as follows:

  • English speakers: 7 people (6 women and 1 man)
  • Spanish speakers: 7 people (7 women)
  • Portuguese speakers: 7 people (7 women)

We were very grateful to all the instructors, who generously donated their time in support of this fundraising initiative.

This Masterclass was presented in English with instructional material provided in Spanish and Portuguese.

The APOYOnline Masterclass: “ICCROM’s ‘Our Collections Matter’ with José Luiz Pedersoli” has held on Saturday, September 9th, 2023, from 10 am to 12 pm EST (USA). This exciting Masterclass provided practical information on the implementation of “Our Collections Matter” (OCM) protocols using the OCM toolkit.

The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) had launched their “Our Collections Matter” initiative in 2020, which aimed to accelerate, increase, and amplify activities supporting sustainable development through the use, development, and conservation of heritage collections.

OCM provided practical tools and built capacity to ensure that collections-based work was valued as a key factor in sustainable development by the heritage sector and other sectors. The Masterclass was conducted over Zoom in Portuguese with simultaneous interpretation into English and Spanish. The event was open to all interested cultural heritage practitioners, but limited space was available to facilitate more in-depth and personalized discussions.

The event hosted a total of 23 participants from 10 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Portugal, United States and Uruguay.

The masterclass was taught by  José Luiz Pedersoli. He holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a Master of Science in polymer chemistry from the University of Helsinki. He was previously a staff member at ICCROM between 2005 and 2008, working as conservation scientist in the Collections Unit. He has expertise in risk management, preventive conservation and value assessment, and is deeply engaged in ICCROM’s initiatives and activities including CollAsia, LATAM, the Summer School on Communication and Teaching Skills, and strategic planning for the organization.