In past blog posts, we’ve talked a lot about MMA’s strong presence at this year’s joint conference with AASLH. Obviously, we’re pretty great, so it’s important to highlight where to find MMA throughout the week. But partnering with a large, national association like AASLH means that this year’s conference is going to be BIG. And sometimes, bigger IS better. In our case, it means that there are more sessions, more workshops, more tours… more of everything!
There really is something for EVERYONE at this year’s conference. Just check out the program. This bad boy is 44 glossy pages of great reasons to attend, so let’s take a look.
Detroit! Whether you’re a born and bred Detroiter, or a Yooper looking to experience what the city has to offer, you can’t beat the location. There’s been a lot of growth and change in the city and its museums. We talked about it at last year’s meeting in Ann Arbor, so this is a great opportunity to dig in and check it out first hand.
Page 6 – Not Just For Historians
AASLH gives a great breakdown of who attends the conference. Yes, with the American Association for State and Local History, you’re bound to bump into a historian or two. But you will also meet curators, educators, directors, administrators, social media managers, preservationists, and all kinds of other folks who work for and are passionate about museums. I’m willing to bet you fall in to one or more of these categories!
Page 7 – Hello Motown Fans!
If you grew up singing “Stop in the Name of Love” in the bathroom mirror (No? Just me?), then you won’t want to miss Mary Wilson’s talk on Friday. Think it o-over.
Page 11 – What’s your specialty?
The whole conference is one big networking opportunity, but for a more focused conversation, you can join up with an affinity group to discuss topics that are especially relevant to you. And most of them include food! Many of these meetings require advance registration, so be sure to sign up on your registration form.
Page 13 – Hi! It’s us!
Put a big Post-It note on page 13! As you can see, there will be TONS of opportunities to connect with your Michigan museums colleagues! The MMA lounge will be our hang-out on Thursday and Friday —you’re sure to see lots of us wearing our MMA pins there! There’s also the MMA Business Meeting and Awards luncheon on Friday (remember to register in advance for lunch), honoring several Michigan museum leaders and giving updates about our year-in-review. Finally, you won’t want to miss our “Choose Your Own Adventure” Pub Crawl on Thursday evening!
We’ve even made it easy for you to find the good stuff: just check for the MMA logo!
Pages 16-21 – Tours and Events
In addition to the 75(!) sessions offered, you can also find 13 tours, and 4 special events that meet your interests. You can familiarize yourself with the city of Detroit and its history, catch a *spooky* cemetery tour, or visit the many museums in the area. There’s also a 7am 5K Fun Run (#oxymoron) if you’re in to that sort of thing.
Pages 22-38 – Sessions and Workshops
That’s right. 16 pages of sessions and workshops to choose from! As you know, MMA hand-selected 8 sessions, a workshop, and a lab, that highlight the work of our Michigan colleagues and break away from the historical themes of the larger AASLH program (Just look for that MMA logo!). So whether your focus is science, art, history, archaeology, administration, community engagement, food history, collections management, grant funding, historic homes, LGBT issues, social justice, antiques trading, volunteers, foundations, digital collections, Latinos in museums, theatre, landscape preservation, music history, women in museums, evaluation methods, university partnerships, burlesque (yes, really), tattoos, or prison museums… we’ve got you covered.
Page 42 – Resources
We have worked with AASLH to make the conference easy and accessible for EVERYONE who wants to attend. Attention Students: While the deadlines for scholarships has passed, you still have the opportunity to offset your costs by volunteering onsite. By volunteering for 2 four-hour shifts, AASLH will cover your FULL conference registration. (P.S. Being a conference volunteer also makes a great resume line!)
Additionally, if you have any accessibility or dietary requests, we’re here to help! We don’t want anything to come between you and a fantastic conference experience. On your registration form, there’s a spot to let us know how we can help you attend the conference comfortably.
Something for EVERYONE!
So there you have it. Whether you are an art historian who wants to pack your schedule full of tours and events, a grad student focusing just on MMA sessions, or a museum educator inexplicably going for a 7am run, there is something available for EVERYONE at this year’s AASLH/MMA joint conference. And because you have no reason NOT to attend, we can’t wait to see you in Detroit!
Jessica Belcoure Marcetti
George A. Smathers Libraries
MMA Communications Team