AAM2023 Experiential Workshops

Experiential Workshops and Educational Tours at #AAM2023

Experiential Workshops and Educational Tours at the 2023 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo take place on pre- and post-conference days (May 18 and 22).
Ticket sales closed on May 12.

On this page: Learn about the Educational Tours, Treasure Box Tours, and Experiential Workshops with tickets still available to purchase.


Educational Tours offer attendees and their guests a great opportunity during #AAM2023 to explore museums and the communities they serve in a light and social atmosphere. Attendance is limited.

Creating a Cross-Sector Cultural Hub:
Educational Tour of Fort Collins

THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 9 am – 5 pm | $20/ticket
arrive for bus pickup FROM THE COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER BY 8:45 am

Spend the day in Fort Collins and fully immerse yourself in the unique cultural vibe that draws so many to this thriving arts and culture hub in Northern Colorado. From museums and music to public art and beer, this educational tour directly connects you with cultural conveners from the government and nonprofit sectors, businesses, and community agencies. Learn real-world examples of how the community centers arts and culture, how partnerships have been created over the years, and details on the creative infrastructure that drives this thriving, diverse cultural hub. Food and beverages are included, including the option for a beer tasting at a local brewery. Come ready to sample some of the best in Fort Collins’ arts and culture scene!

Bus pickup and drop-off are at the Colorado Convention Center (North Shuttle Drop-off/pickup, 14th and Stout Street corner)

Travel expected to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery for a private tour and other local sites including Old Town to view Art in Public Places, The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, The Music District, The Gardens on Spring Creek, and Odell Brewing Company, a nationally known local brewery that plays an integral role in supporting the cultural arts scene (optional tasting available).

Presenters: FCMoD Co-Executive Directors, Laura Valdez and Cheryl Donaldson-Moses

Mural Crawl with Museo de las Americas

Sold Out

THURSDAY, may 18 | 6 – 8 pm | $10/ticket

The Mural Crawl is a guided tour that will give guests the opportunity to experience some of the historical and important murals that make up the Arts District on Santa Fe. This tour is perfect for those looking to explore the Art District’s “off the beaten path” history and its ever-changing landscape. The tour begins with murals located at Museo de las Americas created by Denver’s own Emmanuel Martinez, one of the forefathers of the Chicano Muralist movement in Denver, and Karma Leigh, an influential contemporary Chicana artist. We will also visit the iconic Su Teatro, Denver’s premier hub for Chicano theater and home to some of the district’s most notable murals among others. We invite you to join us for this exciting mural crawl and an evening at Museo del las Americas, including a private reception and tour of the museum’s galleries.

Additional information: Tours are available at two timeslots, 6 pm and 6:30 pm. All tour attendees are invited to the reception and tour of the Museo de las Americas galleries at 7:30 pm. There is no bus pick-up or drop-off for this tour. Attendees are to meet at Museo de las Americas at their tour’s start time and should wear attire for walking a few city blocks.

Golden, Colorado:
“Where the West Still Lives” Heritage Tour

Sold Out

Monday, may 22 | 9 am – 5 pm | $20/ticket

Participants will have the opportunity to experience Golden, Colorado, a thriving town popular with tourists located just minutes from the Convention Center. Visits to unique museums will include learning sessions, touring on your own, and indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities. Spectacular vistas will thrill participants as they descend almost 1,700 feet into Golden from the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. Plenty of time in downtown Golden will allow participants to partake in scheduled opportunities at their own pace (Golden History Museum and Park, Foothills Art Center/Astor House adaptive re-use project), and seek out a favorite lunch location on their own. To cap off the event, an afternoon stop at the Colorado Railroad Museum will allow participants to catch a train ride and enjoy an afternoon cocktail reception before returning to Denver.

Travel is expected to the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, Golden History Museum & Park, Astor House historic site adaptive re-use (Foothills Art Center), and Colorado Railroad Museum (admission to all sites is included, expect to tour on your own). A map will be provided for attendees to select lunch on their own and a cocktail reception at the Colorado Railroad Museum is included at the tour’s end.

Bus pickup and drop-off are at the Colorado Convention Center (North Shuttle Drop-off/pickup, 14th and Stout Street corner)

Tour arrangements generously sponsored by Erco.


Treasure Box Tours is an independent operator in Denver offering two tours for AAM Annual Meeting attendees and their guests. Attendees must register for these tours directly through Treasure Box Tours.

Downtown Denver Walking Tour

Thursday, may 18 | 3 pm – 5 pm | $15/ticket

With his family’s history in Denver stretching back to the 1880s, local historian and author Shawn Snow will take you on a two-hour walking tour of downtown Denver.  From its earliest beginnings in gold and gambling to its modern incarnation as the hip LoDo district, downtown Denver has wonderfully beguiling stories to share.  Your guide knows everything there is to know about Denver’s history, its current development and its future course, so join us on this two-hour walking tour covering more than 160 years!  It’s all the basics you need to know, so don’t miss it!

Starts at the Big Blue Bear just outside the Colorado Convention Center, near the intersection of Stout and 14th Streets. Please be sure to wear good walking shoes, have a water bottle and appropriate clothing for the weather. This tour will run rain, snow or shine!

Register for this tour

Experiential Workshops

Join an Experiential Workshop to see local museums in action and enjoy a great field trip as part of your #AAM2023 experience. Experiential Workshops are available to registered #AAM2023 attendees only. All experiential workshops are $10/ticket, attendance is limited, and transportation is not provided.

The Ute STEM Project: Sharing Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Museums at History Colorado Center

THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 9 AM – 12 PM

From 2016-2022, History Colorado partnered with the three Ute Tribes, archaeologists, and ethnobotanists to explore the connections between Ute Traditional Ecological Knowledge and western science, technology, engineering, and math.

This project, funded by the National Science Foundation, resulted in collaborative fieldwork with Ute elders and Ute youth; museum exhibits and ethnobotany gardens; and a hands-on education program shared with 100+ partners across Colorado.

During the session we will explore strategies for sharing traditional ecological knowledge through museum exhibits and programs, including lessons learned for museum-tribal collaboration; how tribal consultation and evaluation informed exhibit and program development; and feedback from education partners. The workshop will include activities where participants can create a roadmap for beginning or strengthening their own collaborations and programs.

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203. Enter at the main entrance located on Broadway.

Presenters: Liz Cook, Ute STEM Principal Investigator | Carly Jones, Ute STEM K-12 Education Coordinator | Shannon Voirol, Ute STEM Project Manager

The Grand Pod-Slam
at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

MONDAY, MAY 22 | 10 AM – 12 PM

This live podcast “competition” brings together some of your favorite museum podcasters to create a live event that is part poetry slam, part live broadcast, and part experimental workshop. The event begins with a brief history of podcasting, both in and out of the museum, presented by Sarah Wambold and follows with a “pod-slam” of 5-7 mini-podcasts from a range of museums presented live on stage back-to-back, complete with hosts, guests, and fanfare, hosted in the style of a friendly competition. After the last podcast, the “winner” of the pod-slam will be chosen via audience applause and awarded a comically large handmade trophy. The podcast hosts will be invited back to the stage for a rapid-fire question and answer from the audience.

Additional information/museum requirements: Attendees should arrive at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s performance space located at MCA Denver at the Holiday Theater located at 2644 W. 32nd Avenue.

Art & Healthy Aging:
Sample Denver Art Museum Creative Aging Programs


THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 10:30 AM – 12 PM

Explore the relationship between art and healthy aging by experiencing the Denver Art Museum’s creative aging programs designed for adults 55+.  Join DAM staff and guest teachers in the galleries to sample three programs: 
Art and About: A tour designed for visitors with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care partners. With a specially trained guide, experience and discuss art together. 
Drop-In Drawing: Fun and informal creative art sessions for all ranges of drawing experience. With an artist as your guide, find creative inspiration in the galleries. 
Mindful Looking: Slow down and spend time with a single work of art. Discover overlooked details, pose questions, and explore ideas together as we linger, look, and connect.  

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver, CO 80204. Meet at the Martin Building Entrance.

Presenters: Danielle Schulz, Senior Manager, Lifelong Learning and Accessibility | Molly Medakovich, Teaching Specialist | Lindsey Miller, Lifelong Learning and Accessibility Coordinator | Anna Kaye, teaching artist | Marty Corren, volunteer

Presenters: Sarah Baie, Director of Programming, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver | Sarah Wambold, Executive Producer, Metropolitan Museum of Art | Jeff Martin, Online Communications Manager, Philbrook Museum of Art
In conversation with the American Museum of Natural History (SciCafe podcast) and Buffalo History Museum (Buffalo History Museum podcast)

Growing Up in Museums:
Early Learning at the Clyfford Still Museum

Sold Out

THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 9:30 – 11:15 aM

The Clyfford Still Museum is invested in supporting young children in developmentally appropriate experiences that center around early literacy, brain growth, social-emotional skills and development, and creativity. Workshop attendees will experience two signature programs: Art Crawl and Create Playdate. Art Crawl and Create Playdate were conceptualized in response to the need for meaningful, early learning programming in Denver. See for yourself how these early encounters build connections to art and community and foster joy and curiosity. Museum staff will provide participants with handouts containing practical strategies for infant and early childhood programming and relevant research. Total session time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Art Crawl is designed for caregivers with infants from newborns through age 14 months. Part tour, part mixer, CSM educators lead families in a crawl through the galleries in each monthly thematic session. Each Art Crawl session includes community building, and guided art-looking. Create Playdate is an early-childhood program at the Denver Art Museum for families with children ages 3-6. Create Playdate offers a range of experiences within the museum, affirming a sense of belonging and agency within the space. Each Create Playdate event includes story times, artmaking, and an in-gallery activity.

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 1250 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204. Participants will enter through the front door of the Museum. Following the session at the Clyfford Still Museum, we will lead participants to the Denver Art Museum next door.

Presenters: Nicole Cromartie, Director of Education & Programs | Lisa Roll Moore, Sr Educator and Early Childhood Specialist

Reinterpreting Collections
at the Denver Art Museum

Sold Out

THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 10 AM – 12 PM

When reinstalling our permanent collection galleries, how did we look at our objects in new ways? What stories did we tell that haven’t been told in our galleries before? Whose perspectives did we include? What objects did we completely reinterpret? Meet curators, interpretive specialists, and project managers for an in-depth tour and look behind the scenes at our newly reinstalled galleries. Discuss the tactics used, successes, and challenges to date. 

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver, CO 80204. Meet at the Martin Building Entrance.

Presenters: Heather Nielsen, Chief Learning and Engagement Officer | Stefania VanDyke, Associate Director, Interpretive Engagement, | Danielle Stephens, Senior Interpretive Specialist | Manuel Ferreira, Interpretive Specialist | Lauren Thompson, Senior Interpretive Specialist | Victoria Lyall, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Art of the Ancient Americas | Dakota Hoska, Assistant Curator of Native Arts | JR Henneman, Curator of Western American Art and Director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art

Collaborate. Integrate. Elevate.
at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus


THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 1 – 3 PM

The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus brings together the local art community to create extraordinary experiences that champion the joy and wonder of childhood. The Museum is excited to share two of these experiences with the attendees of the AAM conference; Adventure Forest and Bloom, a playful space for early learning.

Adventure Forest is a truly unique climbing structure. Standing 3 ½ stories high and stretching 500 ft, it is filled with opportunities for big body play like rope swings, daring climbs, a glass bridge, and a 70-foot slide. But the true magic of Adventure Forest comes from a collaboration with artist Wes Bruce, who transformed the structure with his ethereal, narrative-based artwork.

Bloom, currently under construction, promises to change the way our visitors and colleagues envision informal early childhood education. Once completed, Bloom will encompass a 2,500 sq ft space, making it the largest interior exhibit in the Museum. We incorporated the latest research on different types of play to develop this whimsical, nature-inspired space that will nurture the imaginations of young and old with beautiful and playful details developed in collaboration with local Colorado artists.

Participants of this workshop will tour these unique experiences and learn techniques to develop original outcomes by tapping the power of creative mindsets through the adoption of iterative design approaches.

This workshop requires a high degree of curiosity, a sense of humor, climbing ability, and zipping and sliding knowledge, in addition to overcoming a fear of heights.

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver CO 80211. Adventure Forest requires climbing, crawling, crouching, and other physically demanding activities. There is also uneven terrain and variable grade changes at the base of the structure that may be a challenge for some guests. Specific experiential features within Adventure Forest include ladders, steps, handholds, zip lines, and ever-increasing elevation changes. Participants should be prepared to experience these features and dynamics while wearing clothing and shoes that support physical activity.

Presenters: Mike Yankovich, President/CEO | Kerr Atter, Director of Exhibits | Lara Meyer, Sr. Manager of Public Programs | Marifer Seanez, Early Childhood Programs Manager

Community at the Center: Turning Co-Created Visions into Experiences at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Sold Out

THURSDAY, MAY 18 | 1:30 – 4:30 PM

Through the lens of the Museum’s Community Collaboration Spectrum*, participants will follow a team of Museum employees through the design process for three large-scale experiences – the Curiosity Cruiser mobile museum, the Space Odyssey exhibition, and a natural play space located just outside the Museum’s doors. The workshop will focus on opportunities that we’ve used to create an expansive and inclusive design process, lessons learned in working with community and external partners at all levels, and an opportunity to explore each experience. The participant experience will also emphasize several different methods, styles, and opportunities for community collaboration that can be right-sized for the capacities of any project or institution. This workshop aligns closely with the conference theme “Social & Community Impact” in offering a place to share and reflect on community engagement in research and design, now and in the future.

*The Community Collaboration Spectrum is a museum-specific model adapted from a national model of community engagement published by the Center for Disease Control.

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80205. Participants will enter through the Museum’s staff and volunteer entrance – a single door to the left of the main entrance and near the flagpole.

Presenters: Eleanor Hill, PhD, Evaluation Researcher | Julia Spalding-Beegles, Director of Experiences & Partnerships | Tina Martinez, Director of Experience & Partnerships | Jacqueline Altreuter, Director of Volunteer Engagement

Interdisciplinary Bilingual Interpretation:
Art Meets Science at Denver Botanic Gardens

Sold Out

MONDAY, MAY 22 | 9 AM – 12 PM

Connecting with conference themes of People and Planet, this workshop shares how an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental team at Denver Botanic Gardens works to engage and serve visitors through bilingual interpretation. Hear how the Gardens’ Learning Engagement Framework from its Interpretive Master Plan allows for multiple focus areas and how messages are honed and shared in both English and Spanish with various audiences through interpretive signage, social media, tours, science chats, outreach programs, and more.

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at Freyer – Newman Center for Science, Art & Education, 1085 York Street, Denver, CO 80206. Attendees enter the main doors of the building.

Presenters: Dr. Jennifer Neale, Director of Research & Conservation | Lisa M.W. Eldred, Director of Exhibitions, Art & Learning Engagement | Vanessa Callahan, Learning Engagement Coordinator (public engagement) | Rachel V. Murray, Interpretation & Evaluation Specialist | Teresa Rudesyle, Learning Engagement Coordinator (Spanish Language) | Margo Yousse, Collections Assistant, Natural History Collections

It’s Complicated! (Part II): A Workshop Developing Complex Approaches to Museum Collections
at Denver Art Museum

Sold Out

MONDAY, MAY 22 | 10 – 11:30 aM

Elaine Heumann Gurian and James Volkert will co-facilitate this workshop that explores the idea that museums can provide exhibition outcomes in the areas of social/contemporary context, culturally specific points of view, and reveal conflicting histories with the visitor acknowledging the complexity of many matters. This workshop will explore these complexities using objects from the Denver Art Museum collection and a framework being developed by Gurian and Volkert. Participants will be divided into working groups that look at selected objects and diagram exhibition outcomes. A pre-requisite for this workshop is to attend the conference session given by workshop presenters.

Participants will understand that museums engender the following in visitors:

· Issues surrounding any object are complicated.
· Visitors have their own interests and prejudices, and exhibition techniques can enlarge the visitors’ view while accepting their current and unknown internalized position. The museum curation will not “tell” the visitor the “preferred” position.
· Because of the plethora of “study” material made available, each visitor may (and hopefully will) develop empathy for another person’s choice or interest, even if oppositional to their own.
· A new evidence/idea may be encountered by the individual visitor to be reflected on later.
· No visitor feels attacked, lectured to, or disenfranchised by the language and ideas presented.
· When presented with controversy, it is hoped that each visitor will think that the display was fairly presented. While the individual may have taken a personal position, they have understood that the contrary position had elements of usefulness or did not necessitate overt confrontation. “It’s Complicated” is a desired outcome.

Additional information/museum requirements: The museum is located at 100 W 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver, CO 80204. Meet at the Martin Building Entrance.

Presenters: Elaine Heumann Gurian, Senior Museum Consultant and James Volkert, Exhibition Associates. Supported by Denver Art Museum, Interpretive Engagement Team.