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News & Press: Annual Conference


Monday, July 20, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jessica Weiss
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By: Jessica Weiss


Utah is home to a tremendous community of museums, and one of the highlights of the year is the annual conference where we meet together to share, learn, and be inspired. This October we will be hosted by the Thanksgiving Point Museum in Lehi, Utah. Plan to join us October 7-9 for a chance to recharge and refresh your professional life!



Here are just a few highlights of what you can look forward to at the conference:


Fantastic Speakers


We have the very talented Marsha Semmel for our keynote address. She has years of experience in various museums, with IMLS and NEA, and is passionate about our theme of “Embracing Change.” This will be a unique opportunity to hear from a national leader and hear how museums of all sizes and disciplines can work to innovate, regardless of resources.


Our plenary address will be from Utah’s own Chris Bray. As the Executive Director of the Utah Nonprofit Association she has come to understand the challenges and successes that are a part of our work in museums throughout the state.


We will have a concluding address from Blake Wigdahl, the Vice President of Design of Programming at Thanksgiving Point. With his energy and enthusiasm, he will end our conference with words to inspire each attendee as we head back to our respective institutions with new knowledge, training, and motivation.


A Variety of Sessions


From fundraising to programming to collections care to evaluation, this year the conference programming committee has worked hard to create a lineup of sessions that will appeal to museum staff and volunteers in every aspect of museum work. The sessions, as always, have been organized into three tracks: Operations, Collections & Exhibitions, Education & Programming. Check out the preliminary conference program to see what is being offered in your track.


Hands-on Workshops


On Tuesday, the day before the conference, we will host several half-day workshops at Thanksgiving Point. For a small fee you can get more in depth experience with grantwriting, exhibition planning, and board governance from experienced professionals. Be sure to look at the offerings in the preliminary conference program to see which workshop works best for you.


State Performance Goals for Museums: One on One Consultations


Meet with Jennifer Ortiz, Museum Specialist with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, to discuss the State Performance Goals and how your institution is meeting these with the help of the Performance Goals worksheet. This is new this year! See the preliminary conference program to see dates and times.


Networking Opportunities


The host committee for the conference has created several opportunities for you to meet and get to know your colleagues from around the state! Here are just a few of the events happening this year:

                Drinking about Museums

                Opening Reception

                Business Lunch

                Sponsor Breaks

                Field Trips


Watch for an upcoming post to tell you more about these fun events!


Want to attend this year’s conference? Of course you do – and registration is now open! You can also apply for a scholarship if you need financial assistance to get there.


Jessica Weiss is the Head of Education at the Springville Museum of Art and serves on the Professional Development Committee for the UMA Board, where she works to organize trainings and workshops such as the Annual Conference.


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