Peace in the Streets: Violence Prevention Through the Arts
Sunday, May 7, 1:45-2:15 p.m.
This session will focus on violence prevention and mediation through in-school arts-based education programs. Participants will be introduced to several education programs that the Bronx Museum of the Arts has created to address local violence, including a series of anti-gun violence programs for middle and high school students. Participants will also learn how the museum has integrated Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed trust and team-building exercises into education programs ranging from elementary to adult.

Connecting Families to Complex Content in Museums
Sunday, May 7, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Sometimes there is hesitation when it comes to families visiting museums to explore exciting yet challenging content. Adults may wonder: Will I be able to support my child to process what they are experiencing? How will the museum handle sensitive and complex topics in a thoughtful and respectful way? When we entice families to enter into an artwork or a different time or place and learn together, experiences can be even richer. We will explore how museums and families can engage with multifaceted content together.

Researchers and Practitioners: Can We All Get Along?
Sunday, May 7, 4-5:15 p.m.
Interaction of researchers and practitioners-from mutual awareness to full-blown partnerships-may yield myriad benefits, such as applying research findings to design problems on one side and developing better research questions on the other. In this panel and audience discussion, we will consider benefits, challenges, and audience members’ positive and negative stories of museum research and practice informing one another. The session will be recorded for an article in Curator: The Museum Journal.

Innovation through Questioning: Towards a Culture of Inquiry
Sunday, May 7, 4-5:15 p.m.
Questioning drives all innovation. How might we cultivate a culture of inquiry for ourselves, our visitors, and the field? In this participatory workshop, you will practice tools presenters have used to promote inquiry and advance creative and critical thinking with children, coworkers, docents, and school teachers. Participants will leave with concrete tools to support questioning with a variety of audiences.

Linking Cultural Museums and Environmental Justice
Monday, May 8, 8:45-10 a.m.
The everyday challenges our communities face are increasingly linked to the environment, justice, and climate change. Cultural institutions struggle to connect with these issues, yet they have a unique ability to link community movements, scientists, and their past. Join the conversation about how environment, science, history, and justice are all linked in our institutions and communities.

Interpreting Oppression: An Uncomfortable Opportunity
Monday, May 8, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Panelists will discuss their work interpreting slavery, xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and mass incarceration with museumgoers, discussing the strange places this work takes them-from hosting conversations about Black Lives Matter while wearing 18th-century period clothing, to confronting anti-refugee rhetoric in real time, to unpacking white privilege within the context of America’s first penitentiary. Panelists will share how their own embodiment informs the stories they tell and the dialogue they shape to move visitors beyond resistance, disbelief, or guilt to empathy and social change.

Achieving Excellence: Conversations with EdCom Award Winners
Tuesday, May 9, 8:45-10 a.m.
Join host Claudia Ocello and Awards judges in EdCom’s Talk Show with 2017 award winners, representing excellence in leadership, community service, public education, programming, resources and innovation, sharing their stories and strategies for inclusive success and impact in the museum education field. The session will offer time for participants to ask questions and presenters to share ways to apply these lessons to their own career and work.

Radical Equity and Inclusion
Wednesday, May 10, 9:45-11 a.m.
Radical equity is the notion that organizations can practice ethical decision making that moves beyond the empty rhetoric of diversity by implementing just policies. Radical inclusion is the profound notion that art can invite others in, but also can and should move into other spaces of community and change-making. This session explores how cultural institutions are implementing radical equity work into their organizations and the ways in which that work affects their communities.

The Art of Observation: Museums and Medical Professionals
Sunday, May 7, 1-2:15 p.m.
Learn how museums are partnering with medical schools to engage professionals in observing, analyzing, and communicating about works of art to develop diagnostic skills, collaboration, and empathy. This session looks at a variety of programs offered by museums, including in-gallery programs that facilitate dialogue, sketching, writing, and other open-ended activities to build necessary skills.

Connecting the Public with Museum Researchers
Sunday, May 7, 1-2:15 p.m.
The scholarly pursuits happening within our museums are exciting, and maintaining a research staff offers many opportunities to the public. Museum funding models are changing, and so are visitors’ expectations for engagement in the processes and results of museum scholarship. Visitors want content to be relevant to their lives; they want to learn by doing and to see things they can’t see elsewhere. Hear about and help us imagine new and innovative ways to bring the work of museum scholars to the forefront of our visitors’ experiences.

Serving Those Who Served: Engaging Veterans in the Museum
Sunday, May 7, 1-2:15 p.m.
The transition to civilian life can be very challenging for military service members and their loved ones. Cultural institutions have a unique opportunity to serve as places of reflection, healing, and community building. Hear from representatives of art, history, and science museums and a statewide initiative on the variety of offerings created by and for veterans and the importance of involving this audience. Attendees will come away with concrete ideas of how to engage veterans in diverse cultural spaces and develop partnerships in training and programming.

Bring an AmeriCorps VISTA Member to Your Museum
Sunday, May 7, 1-2:15 p.m.
Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) is a federal anti-poverty program from AmeriCorps. Hosting a VISTA member can be an enriching and cost-effective way to grow your community network. Contributing writers for Science Centers, Museums, and AmeriCorps VISTA: A Guidebook” share lessons learned as a VISTA project director and a VISTA member. Explore what VISTA is and how projects are funded. Come prepared to delve into your institution’s needs, and together we’ll start framing a proposal to bring a VISTA member to your museum.”

We the People: Voices Heard
Sunday, May 7, 1-2:15 p.m.
As American museums collect, curate, and share expressions, how much should we enable engagement and identify discussion? Are museums equipped to navigate multiple channels of communication that facilitate civil (or uncivil) conversation? This session bridges the gap among unheard voices by presenting methods for community outreach and objective, accessible exhibit design. The panelists share how they represent the voices of those who feel unheard and foster dialogue that is missing from public spaces.

Transcending Boundaries: The New “Identity Museum”
Sunday, May 7, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Hybrid identities and changing definitions shift expectations surrounding museums about “a people.” For such institutions, the forces of change weigh heavily, and the opportunity for redefinition is exciting and urgent. This session addresses the need to transcend museum boundaries. It explores why new approaches are needed and how museums can navigate identity and identity politics. Ultimately it asks: how can we transcend definitions of a “museum” to realize new potential, and how does this lesson apply to museum interpretation on the whole?

Exhibition for All: Accessibility in Planning and Development
Tuesday, May 9, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
To make an exhibition truly inclusive for all visitors, accessible design must be a cross-departmental and collaborative effort from the beginning. As a new institution with millions of visitors, the 9/11 Museum’s process for integrating accessibility into its exhibitions has evolved through trial and error. Using case studies and a lively group discussion, participants will learn how the museum overcame complications of space, a diversity of exhibition media, and logistical challenges. Participants will discover ideas they can apply in their own organizations.

Civic and Museum Engagement with Millennials
Sunday, May 7, 3:15-3:45 p.m.
Recognizing the importance of attracting and engaging diverse groups, the Levine Museum of the New South developed a 10-month sustained dialogue program for Millennials in Charlotte, North Carolina, an emerging immigrant gateway. The curriculum-co-created by museum staff, university evaluators, and 14 Millennial participants-explores the most pressing issues of the diversifying New South and ways participants can take action to increase access and/or inclusion within their spheres of influence. Examine how Millennials view dialogue and how they envision its role as a vehicle for social change.

Tech Tutorial: Technology Accessibility
Wednesday, May 10, 11:15-12:30 p.m.
Making content and exhibitions accessible is no longer a nice to have” it is a “must have,” but many museums don’t know where to start. In this session, we will show that you don’t have to be a web developer to use techniques and tools that identify and improve issues with the accessibility of your museum’s technology.”

Universal Design and Creating an Inclusive Museum Environment
Wednesday, May 10, 11:15-12:30 p.m.
As the National Park Service and its private partner CityArchRiver planned the expansion of the new Museum at the Arch in St. Louis, universal design principles were applied to the building and exhibit designs to create an inclusive and enabling museum environment. The underground museum posed significant environmental challenges, and universal design proposals were sometimes in conflict with historic preservation goals. This session will focus on the challenges, process, and solutions that led to a successful outcome.

Race and Experience: An Intersectional Dialogue
Wednesday, May 10, 11:15-12:30 p.m.
Four colleagues with different levels of professional and life experience talk frankly and respectfully about working on issues of diversity, equity, and justice in the museum field. With moderator Janeen Bryant, they discuss encountering race and racism as people of color and as white people, how these experiences have shaped their practice, differences in how newer and more senior professionals approach race and equity, and their shared commitment to this work. After a half-hour panel discussion, Bryant will ask attendees to continue this conversation.

Offering Low Tech Audience Engagement in a High Tech World
Wednesday, May 10, 9:45-11 a.m.
This session reflects on the challenges of balancing the use of technology with low-tech options, the pressures of museums to keep up with the latest digital technologies, and the potential innovations that exist outside of the digital sphere. Learn how four museums were intentional in their choices to engage visitors through low-tech experiences. The session will include significant audience evaluation findings showing visitor learning and a yearning for opportunities to unplug from the digital landscape in order to think, create, and reconnect.

The Emergence of the Edu-Curator
Wednesday, May 10, 9:45-11 a.m.
This session features current museum-based research and practice establishing the edu-curator as a new leader and collaborator in curatorial work. Following the publication of Visitor-Centered Exhibitions and Edu-Curation in Art Museums, presenters introduce key ideas and innovative practices developed by leaders in curatorial collaboration, visitor-centered interpretation, technology, evaluation strategies, and the training of emerging curators and educators. This interactive session encourages participants to learn from national and international museums.