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News & Press: Annual Conference

Help us create this year's conference

Saturday, February 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carrie Snow
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In my personal life, Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. Mainly because since childhood, it has involved crowding my mother in the kitchen while she cooks and learning how to make family recipes. My mom doesn’t share recipes, so you have to learn by watching; even though I confess to surreptitiously jotting them down or snapping pics with my phone when she is out of the house.

As a UMA Board member, February is my favorite time of year. It’s the time of year we begin to bake our Annual Conference. We gather as a board and later as a programming committee to plan the menu of speakers, sessions, workshops, and events that will educate and inspire you. The conference spread allows us to showcase new ideas, knead the hard issues and forge new networks that will be part of our museum family recipe book.

This year’s conference theme is Museums: A Catalyst for Belonging”. Museums should be venues for conversation and understanding, creating safe spaces for dialogue through narrative, collecting, programming, and discovery. This year we are asking questions such as:

  • Do the communities that we are preserving and representing feel comfortable in our museum?

  • Do new staff, board members, volunteers, and recent arrivals to the neighborhood feel like welcome voices in our institutions?

  • Simply put, do people that come into our spaces feel like they belong there?

  • How can we remain committed and successful in creating a culture of belonging in Utah museums?


Beginning to address belonging and diversity issues can be daunting and often fraught with missteps. We want to learn from the experiences of colleagues both within and outside the museum field to remain committed and successful in creating a culture of belonging in Utah museums. These can be hard questions to bring up with colleagues.

This is where you come in as members of UMA. Many of you have already perfected the recipes for tackling these questions in major and minor ways. Some of you have sourced the ingredients for engaging communities, developing buy-in for new projects or successfully funded new visions for what a local museum can be. You have masterclass level skills, so why not share them? Your colleagues are hungry for learning and innovation, so why not feed the beast?!

Submit your ideas and proposals for sessions to help your colleagues learn from what was successful and what failed. Save your fellow museum professionals from headaches and reinventing the wheel, by sharing your programming ideas, processes, and approaches. Make sure this year’s conference leaves us all with a belly full of fire and purpose and a head full of ideas!

Here’s the link to form to create your recipe for success, please use it.

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