Connect at AAM 2024

Networking & Experiential Workshops at AAM 2024

Whether you’re new to the field or have been a museum pro for decades, you can find your people at AAM 2024. Reconnect with old colleagues and make new friends in experiential workshops, networking lunches, evening parties, and more. Use the schedule below to plan out your time in Baltimore.

(photo at left: Maya Wilson, Social Media Manager, The Peale)

Schedule of Networking Events & Experiential Workshops

Tickets can be purchased during the registration process. If you have already registered and would like to add tickets to your existing registration, visit the Attendee Service Center.

🎟️ = ticketed event | ⬇️ = click for more information

Experiential Workshops

Imprint Series

Pre-conference

Thursday,
May 16

9 am – 4 pm
Imprint Series 🎟️

Center for the Future of Museums Workshop: Diving into the Future of Repatriation, Restitution, and Reparations 🎟️⬇️

This full-day workshop, part of the current AAM Next Horizon of Museum Practice project, will provide training on foresight techniques and the opportunity to help reshape museum practice around voluntary repatriation, restitution, and reparations. In the morning, participants will be introduced to the Three Horizon framework, creating scenarios, and backcasting paths to preferred futures. In the afternoon, they will hear from authors developing scenarios around the next horizon of museum practice, and work with them to build out these ideas. Includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Times vary
Experiential Workshops (on-site at Baltimore museums) 🎟️

4 – 5:30 pm
Volunteer Recognition Reception (invite only)


Friday,
May 17

7 – 8 am

Morning Pilates & Wellness 🎟️⬇️

Start your day with Queen Myasia Ward for a restorative Pilates and wellness session and practice a series of balancing, centering, and breathing techniques.

First-Time Attendee Welcome ⬇️

Join other first-time Annual Meeting attendees for coffee and a presentation about how to get the most out of your AAM 2024 experience

7:30 – 8:30 am

Attendee Coffee Break

10 – 11:30 am

Neighborhub Meetups

12:30 – 2 pm

MuseumExpo Networking Reception
CEO/Director’s Lunch 🎟️
Volunteer Managers Networking Lunch (hosted by AAMV) 🎟️

6 – 8 pm

CEO/Director’s Reception at the Baltimore Museum of Art 🎟️

7 – 10 pm

Connect Networking Event 🎟️ ⬇️

All aboard! Let the B&O Railroad Museum be your networking conductor as you connect with colleagues and expand your professional community. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and activities as you spend the evening with colleagues and new friends.


Saturday,
May 18

7 – 8 am

Morning Pilates & Wellness 🎟️⬇️

Start your day with Queen Myasia Ward for a restorative Pilates and wellness session and practice a series of balancing, centering, and breathing techniques.

9:30 – 10 am

MuseumExpo Coffee Break

1:00 – 2 pm

Networking Lunches 🎟️ ⬇️

Connect with museum professionals at our Networking Lunch, designed to foster meaningful relationships across disciplines, regions, career stages, and affinity groups. Enjoy themed rooms with identifiable tables for focused discussions, complemented by a box lunch included with your ticket. This welcoming environment is perfect for enriching discussions and forging lasting professional relationships within your field.

4:20 – 5:30 pm
MuseumExpo Closing Happy Hour and Networking Reception
Neighborhub Meetups

Times vary
Evening Experiential Workshops (on-site at Baltimore museums) 🎟️


Sunday,
May 19

12:00 – 1:30 pm

Speakers Series Networking Lunches 🎟️
Buffet lunch is included.
Choose from:

AI & Exhibitions: Keeping Pace with Rapid Tech ⬇️

Join us for a dynamic networking opportunity featuring a speaker exploring emerging trends at the intersection of exhibitions, media, and technology. Connect with fellow professionals in the museum sector for solution-sharing and valuable industry perspectives.
Audrey Kim is the founder and curator of the Misalignment Museum. The Misalignment Museum features thought-provoking and playful interactive art made with Artificial Intelligence. The museum’s mission is to increase knowledge and understanding of AI technology and be a space to reflect on its potential for both destruction and good. Since opening in San Francisco in 2023, the museum has welcomed thousands of visitors worldwide, including elementary to university students, teachers, Prime Ministers, and technology leaders. It has been featured in nearly every global publication and has gone viral with over 70 million social media views. In 2024-2025, the Misalignment Museum will conduct a 12-city pop-up tour to bring its exhibits to museums nationwide. 

Fundraising from a Position of Strength ⬇️

The philanthropic landscape is evolving, driven by visionary individuals and organizations that are pioneering innovative models for community development, emphasizing care, wellness, and sustainable impact. Gain insight into the pivotal role of individual and organizational well-being in crafting highly effective philanthropic strategies and cultivating a culture for lasting impact. Connect with fellow professionals in the museum sector for solution sharing and expand perspectives to drive financial success.
Melissa Cowley Wolf is the Director of the Arts Funders Forum, an advocacy, media, and research platform designed to increase private support for the arts and develop new models of impact-driven financial support for the cultural sector.

The Future of Museum Education ⬇️

Join Elizabeth Merritt, AAM’s VP of Strategic Foresight and Director of the Center for the Future of Museums, for a lively exploration of the future of education, in conversation with two very special guests. This event offers a platform for professionals to connect and exchange innovative ideas in museum education. Participate in lively discussions and build valuable connections in a dynamic setting. Buffet lunch is included.
Elizabeth Merritt is Founding Director of AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums—a think-tank and research & development lab for the museum field. She is the author of the Alliance’s annual TrendsWatch report, and writes and speaks prolifically on the trends shaping the future of nonprofit organizations.
Gabrielle Wyrick is the Chief Curator and Director of Audience Engagement at the New Children’s Museum in San Diego, CA.
Ayana Jamieson, PhD is an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly Pomona, a mythologist, and depth psychologist. She is a CPP alumna with a B. A. in Theatre. She is the founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, a global community founded in 2011, committed to highlighting Octavia Butler’s life and work while creating new works inspired by Butler’s legacy. 

Harnessing the Power of Objects to Foster Health and Well-being ⬇️

How can museum objects contribute to the health journeys of museum staff and visitors? Presenters will share experiences from their museum and medical center/medical school partnership, exploring the broader implications of object-based experiences and the application of narrative medicine techniques to museum settings to advance health, well-being, perspective-taking, and decompression.
Lisa Abia Smith is the Director of Education at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Lisa’s presentation will focus on exploring the lived experiences of others through narrative storytelling to foster well-being, and its implications for museum curatorial and collections practices.

7 – 10 pm

AAM Party 🎟️ ⬇️

Celebrate the conclusion of AAM 2024 with old and new connections alike at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum! Gather with your peers for a fun filled night of dancing, music, food, drinks and more from the professionals of play.


Post-conference

Monday,
May 20


Experiential Workshops

Be the First to Experience National Aquarium Harbor Wetland! [SOLD OUT]

Thursday, May 16, 2024, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM | $10
The National Aquarium: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Be the first to explore the National Aquarium Harbor Wetland on a hard hat tour of our floating wetlands experience set to open in June 2024. This innovative experience includes over 10,000SF of constructed wetlands and a public access dock system. A demonstration of educational conservation programming unique to this experience will be included.

Visionary Wonderland: Guided Tour of the American Visionary Art Museum

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM | $10
American Visionary Art Museum: 800 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230
Get inspired at the National Museum for Self-Taught and Intuitive Artistry! Experience a guided tour of AVAM’s blinged-out campus, and stay to shop at Sideshow, our world-famous museum gift shop.

Prince George’s County Civil Rights Trail

12:30 PM – 3:30 PM | $10
Laurel Historical Society: 817 Main Street, Laurel, MD 20707 
Join several partners from a consortium of history organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and their work following the awarding of an NPS African American Civil Rights Grant. This tour occurs in Laurel, Maryland, a small historic mill town on the Patuxent River with a complex history of racialized segregation. The tour will include the historical context of Laurel’s settlement and racial residential patterns, a discussion of the segregation and city-led desegregation of the local pool, and a conversation with parishioners of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in the Black neighborhood of The Grove. Transportation and light snacks will be provided. Restrooms will be available at both stops. Light walking.

Reinstalling Asian and Islamic Art Collections: Inclusion, Accessibility, and Community [SOLD OUT]

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM | $10
The Walters Art Museum: 10 W Centre St Baltimore, MD 21201
In 2023, the Walters Art Museum reinstalled their Asian and Islamic art collections, the culmination of several years of collaborations with colleagues across departments and with external advisors to ensure that inclusion, accessibility, and community are at the forefront. During the project’s development, museum staff invited an accessibility consultant to provide input on exhibition design and worked with several community members—including an Islamic Art Advisory Committee and a College Student Advisory Group—who shared their perspectives in planning meetings and through community labels and media in the galleries. In this program, you will tour the galleries with museum staff then join a discussion about the processes, successes, and challenges of this landmark project.

Being Human: Museum-based Learning for Medical Professionals [SOLD OUT]

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | $10
Baltimore Museum of Art: 10 Art Museum Drive Baltimore, MD 21218
What does it mean to flourish as a healthcare professional? The Baltimore Museum of Art is a partner with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a museum-based course that focuses on the well-being of those preparing to serve patients. In this workshop, participants will take part in in-gallery sessions that are part of the elective. Facilitated debrief will focus on the ways in which these activities support deepened self-reflection for medical students. There will be time for discussion about how museum/medical school partnerships can be developed at participants’ institutions.

Being Human: Museum-based Learning for Medical Professionals [ADDITIONAL TIME ADDED]

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | $10
Baltimore Museum of Art: 10 Art Museum Drive Baltimore, MD 21218
What does it mean to flourish as a healthcare professional? The Baltimore Museum of Art is a partner with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a museum-based course that focuses on the well-being of those preparing to serve patients. In this workshop, participants will take part in in-gallery sessions that are part of the elective. Facilitated debrief will focus on the ways in which these activities support deepened self-reflection for medical students. There will be time for discussion about how museum/medical school partnerships can be developed at participants’ institutions.

Whose Story Are We Telling? [SOLD OUT]

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM | $10
Mount Clare Museum and Homewood Museum: 1500 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230
Not just focused on teacups and silver (of course you’ll still see some teacups and silver), we’ve made long overdue changes to the focus of the tours at Mount Clare Museum and Homewood Museum. In the past the lifestyles and families of the wealthy elite who lived in these houses were the story. That narrow interpretation is no longer wanted or acceptable. So, how are these spaces being interpreted today? How are they engaging the communities they serve? And what are the internal and external challenges they’ve faced? Board the provided shuttle and enjoy an exciting tour of two of Baltimore’s sites. Snacks will be provided, and a reception will close the day.

Hands-On and Hands-Off: An Inside Look at Planning Intergenerational Tactile Spaces [SOLD OUT]

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | $10
Baltimore Museum of Art: 10 Art Museum Drive Baltimore, MD 21218
In December 2023, the Baltimore Museum of Art reopened the Joseph Education Center, a 5,625-square-foot space and invited visitors to touch nearly everything. Featuring 3 commissioned artist interactives that allow visitors to touch the art, 36 discovery drawers with multisensory content, and twice as much space for artmaking and visitor response, the Center represents a dramatic shift in tactile interpretation and accessibility at the Museum. Join the team that led the project development and its implementation to learn from what was successful, what they would do differently, and how the Education Center has been integrated into the work of the Education and Interpretation division as well as the Museum. This dynamic tour will encourage people to engage with the Center and offer an insider’s view to help inform planning of similar hands-on projects.

BROMO Art Walk

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM | $10
Maryland Center for History and Culture: 610 Park Ave. Baltimore, MD 21201
Immerse yourself in the creative energy of the Baltimore Bromo Arts District! Prepare to be captivated as you venture to over 30 creative venues and experience the work of more than 100 artists during a night filled with live performances, exhibits and open studios. This self-guided tour promises a night to remember.
Participants should arrive at the Maryland Center for History and Culture located at 610 Park Ave. Parking in our parking lot is provided on a first come, first serve basis and is located on Monument Street between Park Ave. and Howard St. Please enter through glass doors either on Park Ave or in parking lot. Check-in for AAM members will be in the Lobby. Maps of ArtWalk will be provided. Participants should arrange dinner before or include a stop during the tour. A local summer treat will be provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture to AAM attendees

Mural Walk with Gaia

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM | $20
Open Works: 1400 Greenmount Ave Baltimore,MD 21202
Explore the more than 25 murals that define Station North and Greenmount West with the local artist and curator, Gaia. Meet your group at the maker space, Open Works (ample nearby parking) and be ready to learn about the industrial history of the neighborhood and subsequent revitalization efforts that have transformed the oldest arts district in the country. Learn about various practices and approaches to engaging the public with art and the intersection with public policy. The walk will conclude at a local bar for evening drinks (not included), where Gaia will be available for questions and further discussion.

Building the Participatory Museum [SOLD OUT]

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM | $25
Jewish Museum of Maryland: 15 Lloyd St, Baltimore, MD 21202
The Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM) is at a moment of significant change, we are currently taking major steps to growing the JMM from a 20th-century museum to a 21st-century one. The JMM team, in partnership with Quinn Evans Architects, invite conference attendees for a hard hat tour of the museum during active capital redevelopment of our public areas.This unique workshop will incorporate a presentation by the museum leadership and our architect partners to discuss the visioning and creative processes. We will explore how the lessons of the past few years have informed JMM museal practice, including an increased turn towards digital engagement opportunities and thus our capital design needs. Following, attendees will tour the construction area to preview key elements including an audio/video studio, with adjacent multimedia gallery.Light refreshments will be provided following the tour.

Baltimore Street Museum: A Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Community Collaboration

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM | $25
The Peale: 225 Holliday St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Get a guided tour of the Baltimore Street Museum project, which was inspired by AAM and other cultural events coming to Baltimore in 2024. Hear how The Peale and Quatrefoil joined forces with local area museums, community organizations, artists, and other creators to develop connected cultural experiences in public spaces that bring visitors to Baltimore’s attractions and neighborhoods. We’ll share our learnings and tips on how your organization can forge alliances and partnerships with neighborhood groups and culture keepers of all sorts. This is also a forum for workshop participants to share their own projects and observations of museums’ “beyond the walls” outreach initiatives elsewhere. A cocktail hour will conclude our evening.

Tackling Storage, Growth & Wellness: Exploring Collections Move at the Maryland Museum of Military History

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM | $25
Maryland Museum of Military History: 219 29th Division St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Discuss issues around creating, solving, and discovering storage solutions options for collection needs and staff considerations during a tour of the museum’s new storage areas. Topics include acquisition and instillation of high-density storage units in a historic building, security, emergency preparedness considerations, general collection and archive move, as well as planning for staff workstations and needs – including adequate accommodations for a service dog.Light tidbits and refreshments will immediately follow as we continue to discuss and socialize.

What Does It Mean to Be a Community Museum?

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | $10
The Peale: 225 Holliday St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Staff and partners of The Peale will discuss the organization’s recent relaunch as Baltimore’s Community Museum, asking what it means to play this role in the current local and national cultural ecosystem. We’ll highlight what we think makes a community museum distinct from other kinds of museums, and also what learnings, approaches, practices from The Peale’s experience as a community museum might be adopted by museums of all kinds to increase engagement, relevance, and belonging for their communities. Topics will include The Peale’s shared leadership structure, Lab, workforce development program in exhibition preparation and the historic preservation trades, Community Activation Team (CAT), and examples of community-driven programming. Participants will hear from community partners who have produced recent programs at The Peale, and will be able to visit the current exhibitions* at The Peale. Everyone will also be invited to share their community museum experiences and insights, and enjoy refreshments along with the conversation. Light refreshments will immediately follow.

National Aquarium’s Exhibit Fabrication Studios at the Animal Care and Rescue Center: Design with Animals in Mind [SOLD OUT]

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | $10  
The National Aquarium: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Join National Aquarium staff for a tour of our innovative Animal Care and Rescue Center (ACRC). In 2018, the National Aquarium opened ACRC in Baltimore’s historic Jonestown neighborhood a few blocks from the Inner Harbor. From comprehensive animal care and rehabilitation for up to 5,000 animals to the production of 15,000 gallons of saltwater monthly, the ACRC was constructed to allow guests to witness the Aquarium team’s extensive behind-the-scenes work through guided tours and classroom activities. You will have the opportunity to experience innovative educational strategies developed by our Tours team for revenue driving tours of this behind-the-scenes facility. Along with the animals and husbandry staff, the ACRC also houses the Aquarium’s in-house exhibit design and fabrication studio, where expert artists create functional, intricate habitats that meet the Aquarium’s high animal care standards while recreating environments that millions of Aquarium guests may otherwise never have the chance to experience in the wild. In this tour, you will meet the artists in their workshop while learning how the ACRC helps provide guests a unique and meaningful connection to the Aquarium’s mission.

National Aquarium Design: Past, Present, Future [SOLD OUT]

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | $10   
The National Aquarium: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202
Join us at National Aquarium to walk and talk about all things National Aquarium design. We’ll delve into National Aquarium’s iconic design “bones,” discuss lessons-learned from recent gallery renovations, and share future plans to upgrade the guest experience.

Quilts, Memories, & Mental Health: Exploring Materials and Therapy in the Maryland Center for History and Culture’s Textile Collection

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | $10
Maryland Center for History and Culture: 610 Park Ave. Baltimore, MD 21201
Dive into the intimate relationship quilters historically have had with their quilts, serving as a form of occupational therapy, evoking personal memories, sharing narratives, self-expression, and to connect with community. Join MCHC staff to take a behind-the-scenes deep dive into Abstract #1 by mixed media fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott (1916-2011), a Baltimore Album Quilt, and a Crazy Quilt in the MCHC collection.Participants will tour the MCHC exhibition Material & Memories and create their own textile art in the tradition of combining history, emotion, and memory. We will close our workshop with a guided quilt meditation.


Thursday, May 16

Imprint Series

Join us as we reflect on some of the pivotal movements that have shaped the US museum field over the past four decades, driving progress, inspiring promise, and nurturing aspirations. Influential leaders from these movements will engage in spirited conversations with the next generation of museum leaders, exploring the implications of these movements for museum practice and the work that lies ahead as we collectively chart a vision for the future. Tickets to the Imprint Series include all sessions below, lunch, and coffee breaks.

In 1984, AAM published Museums for a New Century, which presented the recommendations of a high-level Commission charged with studying and clarifying “the role of museums in American society, their obligations to preserve and interpret our cultural and natural heritage, and their responsibilities to an ever-broadening audience.”  In this session, a veteran museum leader who was a member of the Commission engages in reflection and conversation with two current museum leaders.  Learn about the report’s recommendations and how they imprinted museum trends, needs, and social responsibilities. How far have we come since 1984?  Where have we stalled? What might a new ‘museums for the next century’ report envision to advance our progress and relevancy?  

Moderator: Marsha L. Semmel, Museum Consultant, Arlington, VA
Panelists: Robert MacDonald, Director Emeritus, Museum of the City of New York
Melanie A. Adams, Interim Director, Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, Washington DC
Sam Moore, Director of Public History, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis
Mary Ellen Munley, Principal, MEM & Associates, Bennington, VT

Excellence and Equity (E&E), published in 1992, was a bold and profound manifesto, offering a concise roadmap for asserting the educational dimension of museums and a framework to help institutions evaluate their engagement with diverse audiences. Join practitioners at different stages of their careers as they reflect on this initiative’s influence and impact. As we confront continuing challenges and concerns, what underlying principles of E&E endure? Looking ahead, what must we do now to ensure a future for museums that continues to reflect the institutional aspirations and vision embodied in this initiative? 

Moderator:  Sonnet Takahisa, consultant, Arts Cultural Strategies, New York, NY
Panelists: Bonnie Pitman, distinguished visiting scholar in residence, University of Texas, Dallas
Elaine Heumann Gurian, consultant, Arlington, VA
nico w.okoro, independent arts consultant, curator, and educator, New Haven, CT

In 2001, as a direct outgrowth of Excellence and Equity, AAM convened a series of civic dialogues about how museums could build social capital and community wellbeing more intentionally. Over 700 community stakeholders participated in six locations around the US. The 2002 report and toolkit Mastering Civic Engagement: A Challenge to Museums captured the field’s struggles to be more relevant and responsive to community needs and posed questions about the challenges museums needed to address to move forward. In this session, discussants will reflect on the founding impulse for the initiative, its accomplishments, and aspirations for the future.

Moderator: Marjorie Schwarzer, retired professor, University of San Francisco  
Panelists: W. Richard West, Jr., founding director, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC
Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Deputy Director Emerita, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC
Mariah Berlanga-Shevchuk, Head of Public Engagement, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Portland, OR

The Social Work of Museums, written by Lois H. Silverman and published in 2010, examines museums through the lens of the social work profession and launched a worldwide movement that emphasizes an expanding role for museums as institutions of social service. What factors gave rise to this vision? How do museums today best engage human needs, strengthen relationships, empower people in diverse circumstances, and contribute to health and well-being? How do the legacies and realities of unjust and oppressive museum practices inform current approaches? What can museums learn from innovative social work in libraries and other community settings? Join a reflective conversation to understand the social work of museums past, present, and future.

Moderator: Ben Garcia, Executive Director, American LGBTQ+ Museum, New York, NY
Panelists: Lois H. Silverman, PhD, MSW, Professor, Public Scholar, and Director of Graduate Studies, Museum Studies at IU Indianapolis, IN
Lisa Harper Chang, MSW, former Community Project Director, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO
Patrick Lloyd, LMSW, Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, Austin, TX

In recent years, the US museum field has made progress in overcoming many diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) challenges. Yet, the field has much more work to do as we emerge from the shadows of our complicated shared past on issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities. In this session, join panelists who helped guide the AAM strategy on DEAI in the US museum field. Learn how previous AAM initiatives laid the groundwork for this important work and key programmatic activities that serve as its cornerstones. Engage in a conversation about how we can make significant strides in a new era of openness, inclusion, equity, and social justice.

Moderator: Grace Stewart, Director of Equity & Inclusion, American Alliance of Museums, Washington, DC
Panelists: Cecile Shellman, consultant, Cecile Shellman Consulting, Pittsburgh, PA
Dr. Rose Paquet, Co-Founder & Co-Director, The Incluseum
Dr. Tonya Matthews, President & CEO, International African American Museum, Charleston, SC
Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham, Executive Director, Museum Hue, Brooklyn, NY