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2016 Request for Session Proposals
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Session Proposal Deadline Extended to Friday, January 15, 2016
You will be notified of your status by Saturday, February 27, 2016

Making Connections By Thinking Local

Our work is about people; whether building strategic partnerships, inspiring visitors through thoughtful exhibitions, or telling the stories of people long gone that are preserved through the objects in our collections. Some of our best resources can be found within our own community – funders, partners, volunteers, advocates. Many of our museums are founded on our local heritage and history, and we are working today to serve our local communities. We invite you to explore the opportunity and potential of local connections as we examine the untapped resources in our own backyard.

UMA is seeking people interested in sharing their stories, successes, and challenges with the Utah museum community in sessions and posters that present strategies and ideas for strengthening the future of Utah museums, their programs, collections, and communities.

Proposed sessions should reflect this year’s theme. Sessions should be applicable to a range of museum sizes and disciplines, and should be designed to assist employees and volunteers of Utah museums to better perform their duties, organize engaging educational experiences, develop in their profession, protect their collections, obtain necessary resources, and serve their communities.


How to submit

In order for your proposal to be considered you must submit by the deadline using the Session Proposal form below.  If you are interested in an opportunity to share your research and/or projects in an informal setting by submitting a poster please go here


Session Format Options

Panel (60 minutes): A panel has a maximum of four speakers, often with contrasting perspectives, institutions or experiences. The moderator briefly introduces the topic and the presenters formally address it in some detail. The moderator may also serve as one of the presenters. The session concludes with a general question and answer period.

Dialogue (60 minutes): A dialogue uses a moderator and at least one presenter. Unlike a panel, a dialogue devotes almost the entire session to a lengthy and facilitated discussion with the audience on a specific topic. The moderator and/or presenter(s) are limited to brief remarks at the beginning and closing remarks at the end.

Workshop (2 hours): A small number of workshops may be selected to demonstrate and initiate in-depth or hands-on practice in one component of museum work. Financial assistance is not available to cover the cost of workshop materials.

Poster (15 min): Please review poster submission guidelines and submit here.


Conference sessions will be divided into three tracks

  • Collections & Exhibitions
  • Education & Programming
  • Museum Operations (fundraising, marketing, board management, advocacy, etc.)


Session Guidelines

  1. Presentations should go beyond “show & tell” and provide the audience with current, theoretical, and practical information.
  2. Presentations should speak to a wide range of audiences. Be prepared to discuss applications for large/small museums, seasoned professionals/beginners, and museums of different disciplines.
  3. Presentation descriptions should be accurate. Do not twist titles/descriptions to fit the theme.
  4. All presentations need to be practical with regard to space, location, and time constraints.
  5. Presentation dates and times will be assigned by the program committee. If you require a specific date or time, let us know as soon as possible and we will try to accommodate you.
  6. All presentations are voluntary; we are unable to offer honoraria.
  7. Presenters are expected to register for the conference, and will be responsible for their own conference registration (but are eligible to apply for scholarships).
  8. Vendors are allowed to present a session, however the session is to remain neutral and in no way is your session to be an advertisement for your business.
  9. All presenters are responsible for providing handouts or other supplementary materials.
  10. Due to limits in space and time, submittal of a proposal does not guarantee that your presentation will be chosen for the conference. The Program Committee reserves the right to decline or recommend modifications to proposals in the interest of the conference and attendees.
  11. All session rooms will be equipped with a screen, projector, and computer. 
  12. Have an idea for a session, but aren’t sure how to proceed? Send us your name, institution, contact information, and a brief summary of your idea. We can help you find co-presenters and hone your concept into a full session!

Questions? Contact Ruth White, UMA Executive Assistant at or (202) 251-0549.

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