President's Message: Advocating for Utah Museums
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Posted by: Carl Aldrich
As this is my first blog post, I want foremost, to thank you for welcoming me as your new UMA president. I am truly honored to be part of such a remarkable community. As a farm kid, I believed that museums were for people who were highly educated and more privileged than my family. In fact, the first time I remember setting foot in a museum was when, as an adult, I began working in one. I quickly discovered that museums are places where everyone is welcome and can have access to the important stories and objects that help us make sense of our respective places in the world. So, for over a quarter century, it has been my personal and professional mission to champion museums and museum people.
UMA has provided me with many opportunities to further this mission and I have grown as a result of the high quality professional development it offers. As a member of the Western Museums Association Board of Directors, I am a voice for Utah museums, representing the good work done in our state, and raising awareness of the issues that we grapple with here. As a Daughter of Utah Pioneers, I personally benefit from DUP’s efforts to preserve an important element of our community’s heritage, and as a regular museum goer, I appreciate the wide variety of interesting museums that my family can visit throughout the state.
I am appreciative of Sonja Lunde’s leadership over the past two years. She set a high standard and challenged UMA to focus on essential and achievable goals, and I will do my best to reach the high bar she set for this office as I work with the dedicated UMA Board members to serve you and your museums.
To that end, I will report on the Association’s efforts throughout the year to ensure that you are aware of the work we do on behalf of this statewide community. Our new Strategic Plan will guide UMA’s efforts over the next 4 years to strengthen Utah’s museum community; cultivate year round advocacy; deliver relevant professional development; and maintain excellence in association management.
The fast-approaching Museum Advocacy Day at the Capitol is an opportunity to make our legislators aware of the essential role that museums play in Utah’s economy; the importance of preserving and interpreting our shared heritage; and the necessity of the immersive learning experiences we provide. It is also a great time to get to know one another and to learn what is happening in museums across the state and I look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you for your continued efforts to make museums accessible and welcoming places for all people.