Post by Julia Toro of the Detroit Institute of Arts and Samantha Engel of Dow Gardens
There are so many reasons to look forward to the 2017 MMA Conference in Lansing. From the thought provoking sessions to the keynote speakers, focusing my excitement on any one thing can be hard. Today, though, I want to talk about the conference tours. Tours give attendees the chance to explore other institutions, interact with staff, and gain behind the scenes access. These tours go beyond what you could do when visiting another institution on your own and the best part is that they are included in your conference registration! I’m especially excited for this year’s tours because of the variety. From libraries to the Michigan State Capitol, the tours have something for everyone!
Art enthusiasts will love tours of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, where they will be able to take a look at their newest exhibit, The Transported Man. The Lansing Art Gallery will also be offering a tour of their facility, along with a hands-on printmaking experience and a question and answer session with the staff. Finally, Saper Galleries will host a tour of their skylight-lit gallery space containing 1,500 works of art! Tour participants will get a look at their framing department.
Those looking for a bit more history in their tour will not be disappointed. The Capitol Area District Libraries Local History Room, Michigan’s Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall and Museum, and the Michigan History Museum’s Civil War Flags Exhibit are offering tours for the historians and history buffs in the group. These options offer great glimpses into this state’s rich past, archival collections and digital preservation, and the opportunity to see how other organizations carry out their missions.
We have something for science museum folks as well! Impression 5 Science Center will be hosting a tour in which participants will get to see their new youth maker space Think Tank! and learn about engagement for youth audiences. Additionally, the Michigan State University Horticulture Demonstration Gardens will challenge visitors to think about the history and importance of living collections while touring their 14 acre facility.
Finally, no trip to Lansing would be complete without opportunities to visit various aspects of our state government. Both the Michigan Hall of Justice and the Michigan State Capitol will be offering tours. Those choosing the Hall of Justice Tour will first walk through the Capitol Complex before visiting the Michigan State Supreme Court courtroom and Learning Center. Participants who decide to tour the Michigan State Capitol will see the rotunda, governor’s office, house and senate chambers, and the historic supreme court.
The 2017 conference has so many opportunities to experience Lansing and offers tour selections for everyone! With ten tours, it seems hard to pick just one! All tours take place on Wednesday, October 18 from 3-5. Click here to learn more. Pay attention to special instructions. For example, some will require comfortable shoes as they require more walking than others. Pick your favorite and have fun!
We look forward to seeing you in Lansing.
Julia Toro and Samantha Engel
MMA Communications Team