WaMA’s Annual Conference in Bellingham!

June 20-22, 2018
“Transcending Boundaries”

Online Registration


Washington Museum Association Annual Conference
June 20-22, 2018

Friday, June 22

9:00 – 10:15 am   Breakout sessions
All sessions within walking distance; locations to be announced.

(1) New Kids on the Block: Making the Transition to Museum Director
9:00 – 10:15 am, Location: TBD
Presenters: Joseph Govednik, Cowlitz County Historical Museum; Jason Mattson, Lewis County Historical Museum; Bradley Richardson, Clark County Historical Museum.

Many museum professionals eventually migrate from curatorial, development, or programming positions into senior director positions as part of natural career growth. Sometimes it seems that to be a successful museum director, one has to have been a museum director. This panel of three new directors shares their challenges, rewards, and recommendations for skills development for those desiring to attain director roles.

(2) The Experience Economy—Trends Impacting Museums
9:00 – 10:15 am, Location: TBD
Presenter: Chuck Lennox, Lennox Insites.

The Experience Economy is alive today. Polling data and trends research show people (especially Millennials) prioritize spending money on experiences instead of material goods. How do these shifts affect museums? Could we take advantage of these trends to expand our audiences and members? After all, we ARE in the experience business! Learn how museums can capture this momentum and attract visitors to our sites by doing something different with the familiar.

(3) “Remember When We…?”: How and Where Families Share Their Personal Memories in History Exhibits
9:00 – 10:15 am, Location: TBD
Presenter: Abby Rhinehart, University of Washington Museology Program.

With video data from approximately 30 families visiting history exhibits, this study aims to help museum professionals better understand how and where families share their personal memories in exhibits. This case study is intended to help exhibit designers, interpretors, and educators create learning experiences that leverage visitors’ memories to transcend the boundary between history exhibits and families’ pre-existing understandings of the past.

(4) Leveraging Audience Evaluation for Greater Funding
9:00 – 10:15 am, Location: TBD
Presenters: Brian Carter, 4Culture; Angelina Ong, University of Washington Museology Program; Cassie Chin, Wing Luke Museum; Chieko Phillips, 4Culture.

Changing U.S. demographics make it increasingly important for museums to identify the composition, priorities, and needs of their surrounding communities. Successful audience/market research provides useful information to help staffs, boards, volunteers, programs, and collections of museums better reflect and engage these local communities. Beyond being good practice, funders are increasingly looking for evidence that museums understand the audiences (demographically and psychographically) they strive to engage. This panel pairs funders from 4Culture with an audience research expert and the Wing Luke’s Deputy Director to discuss the importance of audience evaluation and how to leverage that work for greater funding.

10:30 am – 11:45 pm Breakout sessions
All sessions within walking distance; locations to be announced.

(1) The Woke Museum: Social Justice in History Museums
10:30 am – 11:45, Location: TBD
Presenters: Sarah Samson, Renton History Museum; Nancy Salguero McKay, Highline Heritage Museum; Virginia Wright, Rainier Valley Historical Society.

This session will explore the ways history museums can take on social justice issues at a local level. Panel members will share their recent experiences delving into social justice by way of exhibits and programming covering race/racism, stereotyping, microagressions, women’s rights, and diversity/inclusion. We will discuss: why each of our institutions is engaging in social justice issues; what blowback we’ve received (internal and external); what we’ve gained from moving into these areas; and advice/suggestions for those wishing to engage in social justice at their own institutions.

(2) See Through the Burke
10:30 am – 11:45, Location: TBD
Presenters: Hollye Keister, Burke Museum; Jess Millhausen, Burke Museum.

Washington’s oldest museum is becoming Washington’s newest museum. Opening in fall 2019, the new Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will turn the idea of a museum inside out, with visible collections storage and lab spaces that transcend the boundary between a traditional museum and a museum of the future. The Burke cares for more than 16 million objects of local and global significance. Moving these collections into the new facility will be no small task. This session will explore the Burke’s collections move process from pre-planning to installation.

(3) What You Need to Know about Writing a Successful Grant: Best Practices for Applying to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
10:30 am – 11:45, Location: TBD
Presenters: Barbara Matilsky, Whatcom Museum; Rachel Price, Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound; Libby S. Hopfauf, Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound

What are the strategies, tools, and timelines necessary for obtaining government funding? This session will outline the qualities that define a successful grant proposal. Specific exhibitions and projects that have received different levels of financial support will be referenced. A variety of proposal topics will be highlighted with an emphasis on the processes involved in obtaining a federal grant.

(4) Transcending Boundaries: Partnering through Programs with the WA Secretary of State’s Office
10:30 am – 11:45, Location: TBD
Presenters: Shawn Schollmeyer, Washington State Library; Evan Robb, Washington State Library; Amber Raney, Legacy Washington.

The Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) is the umbrella agency for several legacy and historical divisions, including the State Library, State Archives and Legacy Washington. Each offers services and programs available for partnerships with museums across the state. Join us for a panel discussion of a few of these programs that go far beyond a single institution with services and grant opportunities from Washington Rural Heritage, Washington Digital Newspapers, and the regional branches of the State Archives. We will provide examples of current partnerships working to preserve our cultural heritage though digitization programs with regional libraries and museums.

The focus will be on preservation and digitization projects, such as Rural Heritage grants and the newspaper digitization program which promote access to previously hidden collections of our local histories. Discussion will cover Library/Museum partnerships, digital collection metadata improvement projects, research and collection resources at the state library and archives. We will also discuss K-12 educational programs and opportunities for federal funding from IMLS grants.

12:15 – 1:45 pm  Annual WaMA Membership Meeting & Lunch
                               Location: Rotunda, Whatcom Museum’s 1892 Old City Hall

Annual Report by WaMA President, Freya Liggett, including Bylaws revision and upcoming members’ survey; Presentation of new Board Members; and announcement of the 2019 Conference.
Free for full conference registrants.