See you in Detroit!

August 16, 2016 3:32 PM | Anonymous member

For the past twelve weeks, the MMA Communications Team has blogged about the details of this year’s conference, from sessions and workshops to scholarships and networking. We were tasked with convincing YOU, our MMA membership, that you don’t want to miss our joint conference with AASLH next month in Detroit.

Maybe the hustle and bustle of museum life has kept you so busy that you forgot to register. If so, don’t worry—there’s still time! You have just a few days left (until August 19) to sign up on AASLH’s website. MMA members will get the AASLH member rate, and should have already received an email with a registration code. If not, contact Lisa at

But perhaps you’re still undecided. If so, let us convince you. Here are some of the many ways attending this year’s conference will benefit YOU:

The Sessions:
This year’s conference offers something for everyone, with 65 fantastic sessions from which to choose. Several of these were specifically designed by-and-for MMA members to meet the needs of our varied membership base.

If you want:

Then look for:

  • Examples of effective community engagement strategies or STEM programming
  • Connecting with Great Lakes Maritime Heritage through Participation, Partnerships, and Publicity

    Educators from Michigan's Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and maritime archaeologists will share concrete examples of their team’s successes engaging audiences with interactive participation, inclusive partnerships, and innovative publicity.
  • Help with fundraising
  • Making the Most of Your Local Resources: Reimagining NEH Support for Small and Local Organizations
  • Revitalize Your Museum with IMLS Funding
  • Working with Foundations, which will give you the tools you need to build relationships with foundations in your community and state.
  • Creative ways to provide meaningful experiences for visitors
  • In Sounds from Over and Out, where you’ll learn techniques to use sound as a visitor engagement strategy.
  • The Power of Museum Theater to Engage Audiences, where participants will learn how museum theater can make the past relevant and stimulate dialogue.
  • Sessions applicable to art museums
  • Art│History: Crossing Disciplinary Borders to Make an Exhibition
  • Creating Connection through Creative Expression, which dives into an initiative led by Arts Midwest and Metropolitan Group to build public will for the arts by connecting it with people’s deeply-held values.

These sessions are explored further in the preliminary conference program, identified by the MMA logo .

The Hands-on Opportunities: Workshops and Labs

Attend a conference workshop to gain hands-on experience and learn practical skills. Eight workshops are offered this year, two of which will be conducted by Michigan museums.

Unlocking Innovation: Design Thinking in Museums, hosted by the Grand Rapids Art Museum, will explore their approach to using human-centered in a great many aspects of their work—and show you how you can, too!

Connecting with Art: Continuing the Classroom, Evolving Teaching Practices at the DIA will share methods and strategies employed by the Detroit Institute of Arts to better attract and engage students. This workshop is actually a lab, so it has the added bonus of taking participants away from the conference center and into the galleries of the DIA!

MMA Workshop at the Michigan Historical Center

The Networking:

The MMA Engagement and Events teams have put their heads together to create spaces and events where MMA members can meet and connect.

Check out the MMA lounge, located in the atrium outside the exhibitor’s hall on Thursday and Friday. This will be the perfect place to catch up with other MMA members and chat about your conference experiences. Here, members can pick up a pin from Lisa that features the MMA logo. This visual identifier will help you find other MMA members in the crowd, and spark conversation with professionals from out-of-state about all of the exciting work done by Michigan museums. Members can also pick up pins at either of the events on Wednesday or Thursday evening.

Keeping with tradition, we will host the annual MMA Pub Crawl on Thursday. Participants will meet in the conference hotel bar and receive a map directing them to several pubs around Downtown Detroit where MMA members will be stationed. This free, informal event is a great way to get to know other professionals!

At the Awards Luncheon on Friday at noon, we will celebrate all of the hard work done by Michigan museums last year, and administer the President’s Award, the MMA Volunteer Award, and the Peninsula’s Prize. You can register for this paid event when you register for the conference. Immediately following the Awards Luncheon is the Annual Business Meeting, free for all MMA members.

2014 Conference, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

And finally, attend for the memories
. Conferences are time to learn, connect, and share---and it is not often that we have the chance to do that with hundreds of museum professionals from all over the country right here in our own state. I encourage you to take the opportunity while it’s here next month in the Motor City.

See you there!

Melanie Parker
MMA Communications Team

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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