These are probably questions you are asking yourself as you get ready for this year’s conference. Those MMA members not currently involved with history museums may not be familiar with the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH). Since registration opens this week for the MMA-AASLH 2016 joint conference in Detroit, the communications team and I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to AASLH and explain a bit about the conference this year.
AASLH is a national organization for state and local history professionals and was officially founded in 1940 (you can read the story here). Today, the organization has 6,000 institutional and individual members and provides a variety of services to a wide array of history organizations, from small historic house museums to large state historical societies. I have personally benefited from printed materials made available by the organization, webinars, networking, and last year I attended my first AASLH conference; I was not disappointed.
I am excited about the possibilities that this year’s joint conference brings! Our members will have the opportunity to network with museum professionals from across the country. Individuals at the forefront of museum theory and practice will be in attendance. The resources at AASLH’s disposal have allowed them to bring in top-notch keynote speakers, create events (such as local museum tours in Detroit, to the Henry Ford, and a day trip to visit history institutions in Flint), and offer special lunches and breakfasts for members involved in a various affinity groups (I’m a member of the historic house museum affinity group, for example). Additionally, many of the conference sessions are just as applicable to non-history museums; we’ll have more on this in the weeks to come. Overall, AASLH has the ability to put together a larger and more far-reaching conference and our members will be able to benefit from this experience.
Logistically speaking, there are a few things to get out of the way. The conference is September 14-17 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. More conference details can be found here on MMA’s website. You do not need to be an AASLH member to register, but you do need an MMA membership to receive the member rate. If you are a current member, you will receive a special code in your inbox soon to help you register at the discounted rate. AASLH does not include any meals in the conference registration price; all extra tours, events, meals, etc. are a la carte style and can be added on when you pay for your registration. MMA will still have its own events throughout the conference (awards lunch, gathering space, and pub crawl), which, again, we will share with you as the conference approaches. Something new can be intimidating, but I hope that as you hear more about the upcoming conference you will become just as excited as I am! MMA will still have a strong presence at the conference and we can’t wait to see you!
Whaley Historic House Museum
MMA Conference Communications Team