Thursday, June 22

9:00 – 11:30 am                      Introductions, Awards, and Keynote by Museum Hack.

Join us as WaMA President Joseph Govednik presents our Annual Awards for Excellence to outstanding museums and their staffs, volunteers, boards, and benefactors.

Museum Hack presents a keynote in which we’ll explore best practices for creating unique and interactive adult museum experiences that attract and engage new audiences. From the power of passionate storytelling to activities & challenges that utilize smart phones to forge social experiences, we’ll discuss ways in which Museum Hack is skirting old interpretation paradigms and helping to turn guests into “meaning makers” by giving them agency within the context of a facilitated museum experience.

Noon – 1:30 pm                      Lunch with Mrs. America Natalie Luttmer in Council Chambers.  Welcome by Moses Lake Museum &Art Center.

Mrs. America Natalie Luttmer of Moses Lake, WA is the first Mrs. America crowned from Washington state. She has lived in the state for 25 years. She grew up with a strong interest in drama and music, and learned to play several instruments in her youth. She was a member of the nationally award-winning Moses Lake Drill Team, the Molahiettes, and is in the WSDDCA Hall of Fame with her team. Natalie and her husband, Landon, have been married for 4 years, and have 7 children.

Natalie is actively involved in her community and state. She is a board member of the Moses Lake Public Library Foundation and assisted in organizing their yearly fundraiser “Bagels for Books.” Natalie co-organized a Mother-Daughter Tea Party, with all proceeds benefitting the Victoria Siegel Foundation. Her heart was touched by the great need for organizations that support families and youth affected by substance abuse, which is why she chose “Substance Abuse Awareness” as her community platform. One of her favorite quotes is by Charles Dickens, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

Box lunches by Michael’s Bistro. Free for registrants.

2:30 – 3:45 pm                        Breakout sessions.

All sessions within walking distance; locations to be announced.

(1) Surge
Presenter: Christopher Shainin, Museum of Northwest Art

In partnership with Skagit Climate Science Consortium, Skagit Land Trust, Skagit Watershed Council, and Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, MoNA presented Surge, a week-long exhibition of art, science, and information centered on climate change and its impacts on Northwest coastal communities. The project brought together scientists, educators, and artists to explore impacts such as rising sea levels and changing river flows. The presentation will cover the collaborative aspects of the project and the role of the museum and artists in addressing community challenges.

(2) Community Projects & Outreach: Sharing Digital Collections Documenting Regional History East of the Cascades.
Presenters: Julia Stringfellow, Maurice Blackson, and Carlos Pelley, Central Washington University.

The CWU Archives and Special Collections staff will discuss the inception and growth of the digital regional history collections available through CWU’s institutional repository ScholarWorks, The process for building this collection and the outreach and promotion conducted to raise awareness has resulted in increased collection views and research questions. Outreach activities have also resulted in new donations, consultations with the Wanapum Heritage Center and Yakima Nation Library, and stronger relationships with local history groups.

(3) Ready, Set, GO! Getting Ready for Interpretive Planning.
Presenter: Chuck Lennox, Lennox Insites.

The task of developing an interpretive plan may seem daunting – but it does not have to be! Focusing on your needs and desired outcomes is important to determine what direction to take. What are the questions to ask? What information or documents should be gathered to help you answer your questions? Can you develop a plan yourself or do you need outside help? This session will help you understand the interpretive planning process.

(4) Voces del Valle: Bridging Barriers Between Communities.
Presenters: Karen Summers, Skagit County Historical Museum; Chloe Dye Sherpe, Museum of Northwest Art.

Voces Del Valle (Voices of the Valley) was conceived after recognizing a significant gap in the museum’s collection and educational programs regarding the contributions and history of Mexican Americans in Skagit County. In the summer of 2015, during a special event about farming, a group of farm workers protested the migrant labor situation.  Although the museum took no stance on this, it was recognized that the museum did not adequately represent a very important and vibrant community.  Karen Summers, SCHM Curator, reached out to the community for almost a year.  Through many formal meetings, and informal visits, friendships were forged and a foundation of trust established. Over the course of many months, Karen attended Latino Outreach seminars and local cultural events and interviewed a range of Latino families about their vision for the project, resulting in a uniquely dynamic exhibit.  This presentation will explain all the barriers and accomplishments during the creation of this important exhibit, which started with only four photographs.

4 – 5:15 pm                             Breakout sessions

All sessions within walking distance; locations to be announced.

(1) Chipping Away At A Mountain: Creating & Executing a Collections Work Plan
Presenters: Sarah Samson, Renton History Museum; Kathrine Browne, Flying Heritage Collection & Combat Armor Museum.

This session will explore the ways museums can climb the mountain that is collections work. It will include: the usefulness of collection assessments, how to create a work plan, creative ways to leverage interns and volunteers to move collections work forward, and creating projects attractive to granting agencies.

(2) Art-vocate?
Presenters: Monica Miller, Gallery One; Alex Eyre, Ellensburg Arts Commission

As artists and arts enthusiasts we are each in the position to create an awareness of the importance of the arts to our society.  As citizens, it is our right and responsibility to help our fellow citizens and elected officials understand the many ways the arts enrich our lives and contribute to the health of our nation and our children. This is the story of how a small, rural, volunteer-based arts commission increased their funding by 500%.  Monica Miller of Gallery One and Alex Eyre from the Ellensburg Arts Commission will share their story with the hopes of inspiring participation and advocacy on every level.  Join them also in a conversation about the future of the arts in your town and our state, and learn what we can do together to ensure that the arts remain a vital part of our lives.

(3) Searching for Your Equitable Oasis: A Small Museum Guide
Presenter: Chieko Phillips, 4Culture; Priya Frank, Seattle Art Museum; Aletheia Wittman, Incluseum.

This session is inspired by a national convening called MASS Action: Museums as a Site for Social Action. We will tailor the conversation to small museums that might not feel they have the capacity for incorporating equitable practices. We will discuss the first steps of internal reflection and include achievable action steps toward changing museum culture. Participants will walk away with an internal audit they can complete at their organizations.

(4) Creating Community through Art & Environment
Presenters: Lindsay Huse Kestin and Leah Oren, Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is a prime example of a space that is designed to create community in an urban setting through cultural and environmental programming. We will focus on programs that generate personalized experiences and bring visitors of all ages together through common affinities. Looking at year-round programming, presenters will explore the multi-functionality of the park, which serves as an exhibition site, civic space, community center, classroom, laboratory, playground or incubator. Presenters will lead an interactive session that asks participants to reflect on the communities they serve, discuss challenges and explore best practices.


6:00 – 8:30pm                         Evening reception at Best Western Lakefront Hotel

Buffet dinner and bar. Featuring Dime Store Prophets. Free for full conference registrants /

$45 for partial registrants.