When Your Collections Get In the Way
Tuesday, May 9, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Museums, and especially historic houses, have limited physical space but endless demands for increased programming. What happens when the demands of the event threatens the safety of the collection? Hear from three historic houses about how they balance successful events with collections care. From a holiday market that attracts thousands of visitors to themed tours to an actual battle reenactment that takes place inside the house, learn the tips and tricks that these sites have developed for increasing public engagement and access while also protecting the collection.

It’s Critical: Evaluating Museum Volunteers
Tuesday, May 9, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
In this session, attendees will learn of assessment methods at three museums, as well as a strategy of peer coaching intended to encourage reflection. Challenges explored will include how to address diverse opinions on evaluation (will the system that works for baby boomers be successful for Millennials?) and how to handle an evaluation that is less than glowing. Strategies discussed will be relevant to small and large museums, and attendees will have an opportunity to discuss issues facing their own programs.

Tech Tutorial: Mobile Tour Tools
Tuesday, May 9, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Want to create a mobile tour for your museum, but don’t have a large budget or know where to start? This tutorial will walk you through different platforms and tools you can use to create mobile tour experiences for your museum – no matter what your budget.

Effective Development and Fundraising for the Small Museum
Tuesday, May 9, 8:45-10 a.m.
This session is designed to provide practical advice to aid museum professionals in becoming more effective fundraisers, particularly those at smaller institutions with limited staff. It is appropriate for staff and volunteers from institutions regardless of size. Participants will learn about involving boards in fundraising, leveraging government grants, securing general operating funding in a climate that prioritizes program funding, effectively communicating value to key audiences (government, foundations, corporations, and individuals), organizing and prioritizing development work, and tips on stewardship, securing major gifts, annual fund, and membership.

Museums are for Everyone: Making Accessibility a Priority
Tuesday, May 9, 8:45-10 a.m.
Accessibility is increasingly becoming a priority at cultural institutions. Museums are responding by incorporating accessibility into planning and operations and creating accessibility-focused positions. In this session, presenters will share stories and tips on building an accessibility initiative from the ground up, gaining staff buy-in, and responding to the growth and needs of audiences with disabilities through staff training and programming. Participants will gain ideas to apply to institutions of all sizes and types and have opportunities to share experiences.

F*#L: The Other Four-Letter Word
Monday, May 8, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
In this session, four museum professionals will face their failures and encourage you to do the same. Instead of extolling failure’s virtues, they will confront the significant impact it can have on the individual, the institution, the community served, and the museum sector writ large. They will also explore how failure can be particularly challenging for smaller, less established, institutions, ultimately proposing how we might change this inequity.

Internships for Small Museums
Monday, May 8, 1:30-2:45 p.m.
While internships can help museums achieve their educational missions and develop the next generation of professionals, they also raise questions about diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. To engage in this field-wide conversation, this session considers how the issue of interns plays out in small museums, where resources may be scarce. How do discussions and best practices about ethics translate to on-the-ground practice in small museum environments? And what are the challenges and practical issues surrounding small museum internship programs at this particular moment in time?

One November Morning: Native American Exhibit Case Study
Monday, May 8, 9:30-10 a.m.
What happens when you make space for Native Americans to tell their stories in their own way? How can small museums engage with Native communities? What does a successful collaboration of large and small institutions look like? How do you prepare for sharing stories about an intensely traumatic subject like massacre? How do you measure the impact? This session presents a case study on “One November Morning,” a traveling exhibition created by Cheyenne and Arapaho artists to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864.

Challenges Facing Small Indigenous Museums in Nepal
Monday, May 8, 8:45-9:15 a.m.
The indigenous Tharu people of southern Nepal comprise 1.7 million populations and are one of the country’s largest ethnic groups. The government has struggled to acknowledge this group’s identity, cultural, and political rights as the country transitions from a monarchy to a democracy. Learn how, in this contested political environment, a small indigenous museum has played a crucial role in reaffirming Tharu identity and museum sustainability.

Innovative Tools to Improve Audience Engagement
Sunday, May 7, 4-5:15 p.m.
In this hands-on session, you will explore your museum’s key audiences, create a sample audience profile, build a detailed visitor experience map, and brainstorm innovative (and practical) ways to use these tools to effect change. These tools are relevant and scalable across museums of all sizes and covering any subject matter. We’ll set goals that range from reaching underserved communities to boosting earned revenue, and experienced panelists will offer ways to work across departmental lines to get there.

Effective Strategies for Donor Retention and Stewardship
Sunday, May 7, 4-5:15 p.m.
Putting effective strategies in place to retain and steward donors is critical to fundraising success. Three seasoned development professionals will discuss specific examples of their retention and stewardship strategies. Topics include using trustees and key staff (curators, conservators, educators) to best advantage, engaging first-year donors quickly, and looking carefully at events and programs already planned to identify stewardship potential-all for the purpose of boosting donor retention and contributed income. Panel members will also discuss evaluating results and refining and adjusting strategies accordingly.

Museum Rehab: Starting Over at the Osage Nation Museum
Sunday, May 7, 4-5:15 p.m.
The Osage Nation Museum transformed from an aging tribal museum to a dynamic institution leaping toward its ambitious (and achievable) goals. Building on its founding directive to preserve and interpret the Osage story, the museum re-emerged with mission-driven programming, exhibits, and an emphasis on modern practices all firmly rooted in newly created policies and procedures. This session will touch on strategies to overcome the impossible and reinvigorate the irrelevant while addressing issues and tactics specifically related to tribal and small museums and institutions.

Not “One Size”: Designing Interactives for S, M, or L Museums
Sunday, May 7, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
When it comes to developing and maintaining interactive exhibits, your museum’s annual attendance and operating budget are very real constraints. Veteran exhibit professionals will lead a workshop and sharing session about the realities of effectiveness, durability, and safety at different scales. A fun activity will help participants anticipate potential pitfalls, problem-solve based on others’ experiences, and learn how to adapt interactive techniques for their institutions.

Developing Garden Trail Tourism for Small and Large Museums
Sunday, May 7, 1-2:15 p.m.
Gardens and grounds offer respite, inspiration, and an antidote to the crazy pace of life. These experiences, along with educational programming, can relax the mind and elevate the spirit. This session will demonstrate how small and large museums and organizations can successfully collaborate to increase visibility, tourism, and visitation. The objective is to construct a loose collection of garden experiences under one externally facing message. Using Richmond, Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as examples.

Star Wars, Ai Weiwei and Navajo Shoe Games – Making Navajo Culture Relevant in the 21st Century
Tuesday, May 9, 8:45-10 a.m.
The Navajo Nation Museum staff have gone against the odds to accomplish incredible projects like dubbing Star Wars in Navajo and partnering Navajo artist Bert Benally with acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. In an effort to help boost our culture we tackled topics of language preservation, challenged what native art is, and reinforcing our traditions through programming. Find out how and why we chose to work on these projects. We hope you will be inspired to dream big.