Program

AAM Virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo Program

All speakers will be announced in the coming days. This program is subject to change.

MuseumExpo Break

May 18, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CT

The MuseumExpo is going virtual too! Make connections, exchange ideas, and discover innovative products. It’s the best place to find cost- and time-saving solutions from dozens of exhibitors.

Trendswatch: A Glimpse of the (Post-pandemic) Future

May 18, 12:00 – 1:00 pm CT

Elizabeth Merritt, VP of Strategic Foresight and Founding Director of the Center for the Future of Museums, American Alliance of Museums

How will COVID-19 reshape the museum sector? Will museums of 2029 be significantly different than their pre-coronavirus kin? Join CFM director Elizabeth Merritt for a tour of potential post-pandemic futures, using this year’s forecasting report (TrendsWatch: The Future of Financial Sustainability) as a jumping-off point. As museums recover and rebuild, the ways they find to fund their operations will have a profound effect on their behavior. Now is a perfect time to stop and consider who values museums, and why, and how that funding aligns with the change museums want to make in the world.

Networking Break

May 18, 1:00 – 1:15 pm CT

Join us for a moderated chat during our networking break.

Complex Challenges, Unconventional Solutions: Finding Opportunity in Crisis

May 18, 1:15– 2:15 pm CT

Micah Parzen, San Diego Museum of Man; Sarah Pharaon, Dialogic Consulting; Norman Burns, Conner Prairie; Christy Coleman, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

In her recent article, “The Pandemic is a Portal,” Arundhati Roy writes, “Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.” Join us as four experienced museum leaders share how they are in the process imagining another world, both for their own institutions and for the field, and how they are fighting for it. Taken together, their stories will shine a light on how—within the midst of all this pain and suffering—we find ourselves at a critically important crossroads in the museum field, and a collective opportunity to emerge as a better version of ourselves.

COVID-19 and Museums: A Briefing with Johns Hopkins Experts

May 18, 2:30 – 3:30 pm CT

Experts from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine who are at the forefront of the COVID-19 outbreak will shed light on the current state of the virus, its progression, and the public health considerations and challenges facing museums upon reopening and in a post COVID-19 world.

MuseumExpo Break

May 18, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

The MuseumExpo is going virtual too! Make connections, exchange ideas, and discover innovative products. It’s the best place to find cost- and time-saving solutions from dozens of exhibitors.

Wrap Up & Virtual Happy Hour

May 18, 4:30 – 5:00 pm CT

Grab your beverage of choice and toast to the end of the #AAMvirtual kick-off day!

Program generously supported by

Logo for Microsoft

In Conversation: Prominent Foundations Discuss the Future of Philanthropy

June 2, 10:00am – 11:30am CT

Geoffrey Banks, MacArthur Foundation; Emil Kang, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Margaret Morton, Ford Foundation; Victoria Rogers, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

As part of our general session programming on June 2nd, join Representatives from the Ford Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore how museums can contribute to a prosperous, just and equitable future as society struggles with intractable social, environmental and economic problems. What priorities and issues are most important to the funders of museums today and into the future. How will philanthropy become more equitable and inclusive and how will this affect the funding for all types of museums?

General sessions generously supported by

A Time for Digital Clarity

June 1, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

As we write our future histories of museum technology, this – now – will be remembered as the moment everything changed. At a time of crisis, museums are making decisive turns towards digital in their structure, workforce, and communications. But how well are we understanding these unprecedented challenges, and leading this accelerated decision-making? Bringing together thought leaders from different sectors, this panel will explore how we can learn from our past, not just to inform this present, but shape our digital future.

Lessons in Equity from Culturally Specific Museums

June 1, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

Many culturally specific museums are committed to providing space, a consistent platform, and an authentic voice for people of color. However, as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) dialogues increase, these institutions have largely been left out of the conversations. This panel focuses on DEI lessons from culturally specific museums centered on people of color.

Rapid Response Exhibitions: An Insider’s Perspective

June 1, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

From police brutality to the family separation crisis, museums have used rapid response exhibitions to address current events and engage with their communities. This session will discuss the challenges and benefits of implementing rapid response exhibitions on controversial topics.

The 6Ps of Experience Design / Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis

June 1, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

Peter Linett will present a session about the new Culture Track study, “Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis.” He will discuss the data they are collecting and what they are learning so far. This session is hosted by the Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE) and the Public Relations and Marketing Network (PRAM).

Facing Change: Lessons on Launching DEAI Programming for Museum Boards

June 1, 2 – 3pm CT

Thinking about how to engage your board around issues related to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI)? This session will share lessons from Facing Change, AAM’s unprecedented national initiative to build inclusive cultures and diversify museum boards and leadership. Learn more about why boards are critical to lasting DEAI work, the common misconceptions to avoid, what preparation might be needed before you start, who you need to engage in the process, and what considerations you and your museum should think through to maximize impact.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Providing Engaging Experiences at a Distance

June 1, 2 – 3pm CT

Discover how distance learning can help museums increase their reach. Join small group discussions led by professionals from a variety of institutions to talk about developing content, infrastructure requirements, marketing, and making museums more accessible.

60 Ideas in 60 Minutes: Sizzling Ideas in Audience Engagement and Inclusion

June 1, 2 – 3 pm CT

A new twist on an old favorite! Join the PR and Marketing (PRAM) professional network, Visitor Experience Group (VEX), and International Audience Engagement Network for a fast-paced session highlighting fresh ideas in audience engagement from organizations large and small.

The Great Pivot: Transitioning from In-Person to Virtual Fundraising Events at your Museum

June 1, 2 – 3 pm CT

Museum development professionals are canceling in-person fundraising events as impacts of COVID-19 continue to have deep ripple effects across the globe. It’s an uneasy time from a nonprofit fundraising perspective, especially when so many organizations receive large portions of their annual revenues from annual events such as galas. If you’re thinking about creating a virtual fundraising opportunity, come hear practical tips and learnings from museum fundraising professionals on how they pivoted to successful virtual fundraising events that helped their organizations keep revenue flowing in an era of social distancing.

Planning for Success: Fundraising Management in a Changing Museum World

June 1, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

In the new normal world of leadership transitions, shrinking traditional revenue streams, and metric-driven donors, building a fundraising management plan can leverage your institution’s resources and connections. Learn what should be in your fundraising management toolkit and how to put it together.

Considering AR or VR? Learn What We Learned from Our Projects and Visitors!

June 1, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

Embarking on an augmented or virtual reality project can be daunting. Learn what to watch out for, account for, and steer toward so you can avoid (or at least prepare for) problems that may arise when producing visitor- and staff-friendly AR and VR projects.

Building Bridges while Fighting Racism and Xenophobia 

June 1, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

What is the role of museums in both condemning and fighting racism and xenophobia? What shifts in narratives and collective work have and need to take place during times of crisis and heightened public fear? How do we continue to build bridges, empathy, and solidarity when many of us are trying to take care of ourselves, our families and loved ones, colleagues, and institutions? In this session, museum leaders will share their perspectives on the critical importance of museums in the fight against hate while continuing to build bridges with each other and across differences. 

Re-envisioning the Role of the Independent Museum Professional

June 1, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

What kinds of support do museums of different sizes and scopes need right now? How can independent museum professionals help? This moderated discussion features museum leaders talking about their current and anticipated needs in the coming months as they consider strategies for reopening, recalibrating, and recovering in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. For example, what kinds of training, special expertise, facilitation, business modeling, design, coaching, or other services will be most needed? How can IMPs support institutions and their staff in ways that help build capacity and sustainability for the long term? What kinds of partnerships between IMPs and in-house museum staff might emerge?

Is That Hung White? Revisiting Issues of Race and Inclusion in Exhibitions

June 2, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

In 2019, we got real and vulnerable about the consequences stemming from the lack of diversity and representation within the museum exhibition field. We celebrated organizations and initiatives working to change the landscape and the conversation. This year, we double down. How are conversations and actions changing around these issues, if at all?

Measuring Social Impact for Financial Sustainability

June 2, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

This session will unpack one museum’s journey to articulate and measure their social impact. Participants will analyze and discuss the implications of adopting a theory of change, and the potential for this work to attract new kinds of support and contribute to the financial sustainability of their organization.

Engagement Strategies During Times of Low (or no) Attendance

June 2, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

This session looks at how museums can engage with their audience during times of low, no, or altered (e.g. outdoor only) attendance. We will focus on three major ideas: audience outreach and engagement through digital and virtual means; a crash course on digitization and digital preservation policy as a way of engaging your audience through sharing collections; and an abbreviated guide to hosting awesome outdoor events to put your audience at ease (and allow them physical distance). The discussion, hosted by the Historic Houses and Sites Network, will look at the challenges and opportunities involved through the lens of historic sites, a mainstay of the museum landscape that provide educational experiences for all ages.

Museum-Goers & The Pandemic: New Research

June 2, 2 – 3 pm CT

How can we best serve our communities when our museums are closed, and what do our audiences need while physical distancing? Museums are struggling financially. Do audiences know, and are they willing to support us? When we reopen, what will visitors want us to do to make them feel safe and comfortable? To provide museums with definitive answers, Wilkening Consulting is conducting ongoing qualitative research with museum-goers and snap polling the broader U.S. population to assess attitudes toward museums, their value, and their support. Learn more about how these findings can inform how you engage your audience virtually and how to reopen with museum-goers’ interests top of mind.

Let’s Make a Match: Museum Volunteers

June 2, 2 – 3 pm CT

Learn how an effective application process prevents onboarding volunteers who are not a good fit for your institution. Real-life examples will demonstrate how such processes reduce turnover, save time, and strengthen partnerships by setting expectations and allowing potential volunteers to opt out of a bad match.

Advocating for Museums During Times of Crisis

June 2, 2 – 3 pm CT

In times of crisis, advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels becomes of radical importance in making the case for support for museums. AAM makes it easy by providing the tools and resources you need to be effective. Whether you are new to advocacy or a seasoned expert, a museum professional or a board member, this session will help you build your skills and understanding of your critical role in advocating for the museum field. Join us for a timely and important conversation with leaders and practitioners sharing their year-round and urgent advocacy insights and experiences.

Navigating Emerging Best Practices and Your Professional Identity After Furloughs and Layoffs

June 2, 2 – 3 pm CT

Talk with your fellow LGBTQIA+ colleagues about how best practices are shifting with the changing field and the different ways your personal/professional identity is affected by shutdowns, layoffs, and furloughs. This session is hosted by the LGBTQIA+ Alliance.

Managing Your Museum Career through COVID-19

June 2, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered unprecedented layoffs and furloughs across the globe, including in the museum field. While museums are beginning to reopen, uncertainty about the future remains high. How can individuals—whether currently employed, recently laid off, or just beginning their careers—position themselves for career growth and advancement in the months and years to come? Join experts from Koya Leadership Partners and museum colleagues for an empowering discussion about managing your career during a crisis.

Pivoting Your Programming: Virtual and Other Unique Options for Small Museums

June 2, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

Learn more about how small museums are continuing to connect with their audiences, even when COVID-19 forces museums to shut their doors. This session is hosted by Small Museum Administrators Committee.

Three Models for Bridging Wellness and Museums

June 2, 3:30 – 4:30 pm CT

Museums are bridging into and out of health and wellness spaces. Gain a theoretical base, practical framework, and tools, while exploring three models of wellness initiatives at museums or inside wellness facilities. Learn about creating robust experiences and funding requirements.

Changing Expectations, Changing Experiences: Cultural Audiences in the Post-pandemic World

June 3, 10 – 11 am CT

Audience attitudes towards culture—including basic assumptions about what constitutes a cultural experience; the evolution in cultural spaces, programs, and events; and their implications for interaction—are radically changing. The unprecedented experience of the COVID-19 crisis will impact what audiences want, need, and even fear in the “new normal” world. What do museums need to know to successfully navigate this new frontier? In this panel, leading practitioners and experts examine these shifts as they discuss the Culture Track: Culture and Community in a Time of Crisis study currently underway, along with emerging new practices.

Museum Boards: Ethics, Transparency, and Public Scrutiny

June 3, 10 – 11 am CT

This session will address the recent controversies surrounding museum trustees who have been the target of public protests due to their personal and professional interests often considered to be unethical, immoral, and contrary to the museum’s values and responsibilities. Our panelists will discuss how museums balance the financial necessities of creating powerful boards with the desire for museums to have more social relevance, diversity, transparency, and public participation. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the issues and learn strategies for board development, ethical fundraising, and crisis prevention, while adhering to our missions.

Join the Conversation: Creative Aging and the Future of Museums

June 3, 10 – 11 am CT

How can museums embrace the ‘Aging Revolution’ with purpose and intentionality? Learn from four museums that are developing programs for older adults with the aim of creating connections, increasing well-being, decreasing social isolation, and offering new pathways for learning.

60 Ideas in 60 Minutes: Be the Change You Wish to See

June 3, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

Museum professionals must understand fundraising to create and sustain value for their communities. Using a fast-paced, popular game-show format, a panel of development and membership experts will share ideas that apply to museums of any size or subject. Active participation is encouraged, and the audience always wins!

The Future of Museum Evaluation after COVID-19

June 3, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the ways we conduct research and evaluation? Join evaluators in discussing this question and thinking about how we may need to change our data collection efforts at our museums after our doors reopen. The session is hosted by Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation.

The Role of the Board in Times of Crisis

June 3, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

As the world responds to the impacts of COVID-19, many museums are faced with the challenge to simultaneously serve their communities while also trying to ensure their own future. Leaders from BoardSource and the Nonprofit Finance Fund will engage in conversation about the role of nonprofit boards in a crisis and how boards and executives can work together on critical strategy and business planning during these times.

Stepping Up As Museums Closed Down: Digital-Engagement in the Age of COVID

June 3, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

When museums closed their doors as COVID-19 advanced, digital-engagement teams found all eyes on them like never before: internally, externally, and to a degree that sparked both challenge and opportunity. The job became not just to show off the museum, but to be the museum—to digitally open all that was closed; to serve audiences that were hungrier than ever for content, connection, and even comfort; and to constantly respond to evolving institutional priorities and audience needs. Join the California Academy of Sciences and other institutions’ DE teams for a discussion of the triumphs that made it all worthwhile, the experiments we’d rather forget, and how lessons learned from all of it may impact future work.

Conversations with Curators: Mentors and Mentees

June 4, 10 – 11 am CT

This informal open conversation brings together curators at all levels of experience, focusing on mentoring younger and emerging professionals, seeking advice from more senior curators, and networking with curatorial peers working in a range of disciplines, locations, and museum types. This session is being hosted by Curators Committee.

From On-site to Virtual, Overnight: Museum Internships During COVID-19

June 4, 10 – 11 am CT

The COVID-19 crisis is changing the entire museum landscape—including museum internships! Virtual internships have become commonplace almost overnight. Join members of the Museum Studies Network, museum practitioners who have managed virtual internships, and virtual interns as we explore approaches for this new form of professional training. This session is being hosted by Museum Studies Network.

EdCom Awards and Business Meeting

June 4, 10 – 11 am CT

Announcement and recognition of the 2019 EdCom Award Recipients, and briefing about newly revised EdCom operating guidelines. This event is being hosted by Education Committee.

Small Museum Boot Camp

June 4, 10 – 11 am CT

Small Museum Boot Camps help staff, volunteers, and board members stay up to date on best practices from the field and learn new skills along the way. This session is being hosted by Small Museum Administrators Committee.

Conversations on Sustainability and Resilience for Museums

June 4, 10 – 11 am CT

COVID-19 has given a clear picture of the impact we as humans have on the environment. Museums have an important role to play as they look to rebuild and re-establish their place in a post COVID society. As we all look to emerge from this crisis and rebuild our lives and institutions, it is important to remember that the need for Sustainability and Resilience has not diminished. They are in fact core principles that can and should be used to build back stronger. This discussion is being hosted by Environment & Climate Network.

The PSA of the Future: Reimagining Creativity Workshop

June 4, 10 – 11 am CT

Join the Independent Museum Professionals Network as it hosts Poster House, the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to posters, and Isometric Studio in a thought-provoking and creative workshop. Following a brief history of the public service announcement, participants will be introduced to elements of poster design, have the opportunity to exchange ideas about the subject matter, and finally design their own posters in response to COVID-19. No design skills required, only a creative spirit! 

Connecting to Collections: Historic Automobiles & Historic Sites

June 4, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm CT

Many historic sites have at least one vehicle at their museum. This session will focus on caring for historic automobiles in the collection, how to properly care for them, and how to prepare them for display and public exhibit. It will also include how to contextualize their interpretation at historic sites, providing a unique connection with visitors while interpreting the incredible history of the automobile on the global landscape and built environment. This discussion is being hosted by Historic Houses and Sites Network.

Building Community Across Museum Studies Programs

June 4, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm CT

In 2019, MSN relaunched with a new mission and a new name. Just over a year later, we find ourselves and our field in a moment of profound change. Join museum studies faculty from programs around the country for an informal facilitated discussion of ways to build community across programs as we learn from and support each other during the COVID-19 crisis. This discussion is being hosted by Museum Studies Network.

Virtual Petting Zoo

June 4, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm CT

The Virtual Petting Zoo allows participants to discover how to effectively use new and existing technologies and principles to shape the museum industry. This live session will offer expertise on Distance Learning, Digital Literacy, Open GLAM and Universal Design in four short presentations designed to provide an overview of strategies and best practices for work within the sector. Learn how cultural institutions can utilize distance learning platforms; how to use information and communication technologies effectively; how opening up collections and metadata benefits our community and those we serve; and how to integrate principles of accessibility to create a better product for all users. This session is being hosted by Media & Technology.

Small Museum Boot Camp: Audience and Community Engagement

June 4, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm CT

Small Museum Boot Camps help staff, volunteers, and board members stay up to date on best practices from the field and learn new skills along the way. This session is being hosted by Small Museum Administrators Committee.

Excellence in Exhibition Competition winners

June 4, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm CT

Join us to celebrate the winners of AAM’s 32nd Annual Excellence in Exhibitions Competition! A panel of four judges selected two overall winners and seven special achievement awards from a field of 39 entries. Join us to see the winning projects, hear from the judges and the winners, and have a look at all of the marvelous entries. This event is being hosted by NAME.

Methods and Tools for Collecting Data in an Online Environment

June 4, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

Join a discussion with evaluators about ways that you can collect data to understand online audiences. Discussion leaders will share tools and tricks that they have used and also hope to learn from the participants about ways that they have collected data online as well. This discussion is being hosted by Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation.

Dimensions of Curation Competing Values Model: Tool for Crisis Curating

June 4, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

The Dimension of Curation Competing Values Model recently featured in Museum (Love, Villeneuve, & Burns, 2020) is a tool to assist curators during crisis times such as our current pandemic. After briefly introducing the full model, the discussants will focus on positioning inclusive, collaborative, community-based curating for action using digital strategies that promote transformative and social change. Curators, educators, directors, and exhibition makers will be encouraged to participate in critical discussion during this session focused on practical strategies and recent initiatives. This session is being hosted by Curators Committee.

The New General Facilities Report

June 4, 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT

Come learn about the new General Facilities Report and what it means for loans and exhibitions. The General Facilities Report, the standard form for museums looking to borrow and lend art, artifacts, and specimens, has been updated. Discover the changes and what it means for your institution. This session is being hosted by Collections Stewardship Network.

Beyond Exhibits & Programs: A CARE Training on Using Data for any Decision

June 4, 1:45 – 2:45 pm CT

Even now with most of our museums closed, it is important to use data to help us inform our decision making. Hear from evaluators about data sources that you may already have that can help you make decisions about your work in a post-COVID world. This session is being hosted by Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation.

Learning from Each Other: Inspiring Community Engagement Journeys

June 4, 1:45 – 2:45 pm CT

Communities change. Museums change. Working together, they find meaning and relevance. Learn about ways to build new relationships and redefine interactions that are diverse, dynamic and purposeful. Engaging examples include using artifacts to empower creativity and inclusion; creating programs that build dialogue; and finding connections. Consider how community-based institutions raise questions about authority, community and provenance. This session is being hosted by Curators Committee.

Fundraising in the COVID-19 Environment

June 4, 1:45 – 2:45 pm CT

This webinar will provide strategies and resources for generating contributed income in the COVID-19 environment. This session is being hosted by Development and Membership.

Beyond Exhibits & Programs: A CARE Training on Using Data for any Decision

June 4, 1:45 – 2:45 pm CT

Even now with most of our museums closed, it is important to use data to help us inform our decision making. Hear from evaluators about data sources that you may already have that can help you make decisions about your work in a post-COVID world. This session is being hosted by Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation.

NAME Networking Event

June 4, 1:45 – 2:45 pm CT

Meet the incoming NAME Leadership Team and hear about our latest initiatives. Building from the NAME Luncheon format, we will include plenty of time for networking. This networking event is being hosted by National Association of Museum Exhibitions (NAME).

Trials and Tribulations of Working from Home

June 4, 1:45 – 2:45 pm CT

Whether you’re new to working from home or an old hand, it has unique challenges and rewards. Share stories of working from home and discover strategies from independent museum professionals experienced in collaborating and communicating from a distance. Possible conversation topics: What’s an unexpected benefit of working from home? What’s your best video conference beauty tip?

Education Core Documents Task Force

June 4, 3 – 4 pm CT

Session description coming soon.

Collecting COVID-19

June 4, 3 – 4 pm CT

Documenting significant history while living in a pandemic. The Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of collecting objects, ephemera and materiel in the time of crisis. We will review best practices, safety measures, look at museums who are collecting and how communities can/are involved and what you can do to document your local/regional history. This session is being hosted by Curators Committee.

Ask the Historic House Doctor

June 4, 3 – 4 pm CT

The HHSN board is here to answer questions about facilities, board/staff issues, preservation and programming. You may submit questions in advance to HHSN@aam-us.org. This discussion is being hosted by Historic Houses and Sites Network.

ICOM-US Hot Topics

June 4, 3 – 4 pm CT

What challenges do you share with your international colleagues? shifts in demographics and national leadership, destruction of cultural and natural heritage, increasing socioeconomic disparity impact the sustainability of museums worldwide. How are these issues amplified through the current pandemic? Join members of the ICOM‐US Board as they discuss issues raised at the 2019 ICOM general conference, and current perspectives shared by international colleagues. This session is hosted by ICOM-US.

LGBTQ+ Alliance Networking Social

June 4, 3 – 4 pm CT

Join the LGBTQ+ Alliance and network with other LGBTQIA+ museum professionals. This networking event is hosted by LGBTQ+ Alliance.

What’s Next? Independent Museum Professionals Talk

June 4, 3 – 4 pm CT

Connect with fellow independent museum professionals to discuss questions concerning the changing professional landscape resulting from the current public health crisis. How are you adapting your skills, learning new ones, and growing your business? You’ll have the opportunity to share, learn, and connect with other participants throughout the session. Both experienced and recent IMPs are encouraged to attend.

Concurrent Sessions generously supported by