WaMA’s Annual Conference in Spokane!

June 19-21, 2019
“All Stories Are Told Here”


Our communities are more diverse than we even know. Are we doing our part to make sure all the community feels they have a voice at our institutions? Join us in Spokane for three days of fun and learning as we explore methods of making sure “All Stories are Told” in our institutions.

This year’s conference will be held at The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, WA. At 103 years old we are still learning, changing and growing and eager to explore how we can best represent our many diverse communities. We would like to welcome you to our campus where we can share a drink at the Historic Campbell House on Wednesday night to kick off the conference.

This year’s keynote speaker, Adriel Luis, curator of digital and emerging media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, is a musician, poet, visual artist, curator, and coder. His team at the Smithsonian has been developing a series of “culture labs” as community-created alternatives to traditional museum exhibitions. Adriel will speak to his investigation into best practices for amplifying local voices.

Wed, June 19

Pre-conference activities 9 am to 5 pm. Workshops and trips require an additional fee.

9:00 am – 4 pm   Registrars to the Rescue.                               FREE

Pack Your Gloves!

Registrars to the Rescue is getting ready for the Washington Museum Association Annual Conference and we need your help.

Registrars to the Rescue (R2R) 2018 is headed north! On our way to Bellingham, we are stopping in Skagit County to do some great projects. We hope you can join us.


WaMA Registrars to the Rescue Committee, c/o Rebecca Engelhardt Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock Street Tacoma, WA 98402
Or email rengelhardt@museumofglass.org or call 253-284-4705


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm   Survey Says! Improving Survey Effectiveness                      $15.00

Presenter: Angie Ong, University of Washington Museology Department.
Space is limited; please register early.

Surveys are the most common way to gather data from visitors, members, staff, and the general public. Yet most people create them without considering whether they are collecting truly useful information. Are you asking the right question, in the right order? Are your scales appropriate for what you’re hoping to measure? Does your visitor actually understand the question you’re asking? In this interactive workshop, you will learn best practices for designing surveys and have the opportunity to apply these to your own work. Participants are encouraged to bring surveys they currently use, or are planning to use, at their museums so they can get feedback and pro-tips from professional evaluators.

2:00 – 4:00 pm   Big and Small Ways to Excite Audiences                              $15.00

Presenters: Hannah Schwenderman and Dustyn Addington, Humanities Washington.
Space is limited; please register early.

As a statewide organization, Humanities Washington is fortunate to witness creative and unique forms of public programming. From small tweaks that energize an event, to larger program structures that turn attendees into participants, we will explore dynamic programming opportunities together. Through group discussions and brainstorm sessions, participants will generate novel ways of engaging the public in your organization to excite attendees.


1 – 5 pm    Spokane Diversity: Preserving 200 Years of Immigration through

Stories, Buildings, and Material Culture                              $35.00
Meet at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture’s Auditorium

Space is limited; please register early.

For over 200 years, people have arrived in the Inland Northwest to join native Plateau Indian cultures in calling this region “home.” This field trip will share stories of both long-established African American, European, and Asian communities, as well as more recent 20th– and 21st-century arrivals. A bus tour of downtown businesses, churches, and gathering places, including the East Downtown National Register District, follows an illustrated armchair introduction to the MAC’s efforts to diversify its collection. Senior MAC Curator, Retired Marsha Rooney will be your guide.

1 – 3 pm   Perspectives on Hangman Creek                                           $40.00

Participants will meet at the Sandifer Bridge Parking Lot (Riverside Avenue and Clark Street). Space is limited; please register early.

Join Warren Seyler, Director of the Spokane Tribe’s Natural Resources Department, and Jack Nisbet, author of Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest and The Dreamer and the Doctor, for a walk along Hangman Creek, one of the Spokane River’s largest tributaries. This leisurely hike will focus on the long-term human and natural history of the drainage as well as the interaction of early white visitors with Salish people from early fur trade days to the military conflicts of the 1850s. (The walk is about a mile on either good dirt trails or gravel roads, with minimal incline.)

6:00 – 8:00 pm   Evening Welcoming Reception
Campbell House, 2316 W. First Ave., Spokane
Join your colleagues and friends for a relaxed opening reception at this ca. 1910 Neoclassical Revival style home designed by architect Kirtland Cutter. In 1898 Amasa Campbell moved his family and his mining operations to Spokane to escape Coeur d’Alene’s labor strife. He and associate John A. Finch made their homes in Spokane’s beautiful Brown’s Addition, the base of operations for wife Grace and daughter Helen’s charitable and cultural efforts. Take a brief tour of the house with retired Senior NWMAC Curator Marsha Rooney and enjoy wine, beer, and refreshments.