2022 Concurrent Sessions
Highlighted sessions have slides attached to their descriptions below.
October 11, 11:00 am
Read Full Descriptions for Block 1
October 11, 1:45 pm
Read Full Descriptions for Block 2
October 11, 3:00 pm
Read Full Descriptions for Block 3
Block 1: Tuesday, October 11, 11:00 am
Fire and EMS Protection at Historic Sites, Programs, and Events
Patrick McKay, Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm; Brian Jaeschke, Mackinac State Historic Parks; Jared Yax, Tri-Cities Historical Museum
Museums have unique collections, buildings, and sites – are we protecting them from fire? Are your tours, programs, and events EMS safe? Proper planning, strong collaborations, and clear communication with local police/fire/EMS agencies ensures that you are always ready and always safe. Don’t simply rely on your security system and first aid kit.
Navigating Genuine Community Engagement and Partnership: A Case Study from Flint
Geoff Woodcox, Sloan Museum of Discovery and Longway Planetarium; Jerome Threlkeld, Sloan Museum of Discovery and Longway Planetarium
Like all friendships, meaningful engagement with your community is based upon trust, respect, and sincerity. The Sloan Museum of Discovery recently navigated the process of forming genuine fellowship with members of the Flint community whose input and perspective had never previously been sought, taking those interactions from a place of distrust to a place of trust and mutual respect. As part of this session, hear about one instance of relationship-building from the staff who lived it and interactively strategize how you would navigate engaging in a theoretical new community partnership at your institution.
IMLS Grants: Tips and Techniques for Success
Christopher J. Reich, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Learn about museum funding programs available from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as special initiatives supporting learning, community engagement, collections care and management, professional development, and more. Session attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and will learn more about the pathway to craft a successful application for funding.
Reading Mackinac's Historic Landscape
Kyle Bagnall, Mackinac State Historic Parks
Present-day Mackinac Island has been shaped by natural and human forces for millennia. Ancient wave action, rock quarrying, military and civilian settlement, surveying, lumbering, hunting and the introduction of exotic species are just some of the factors which have formed the landscape visitors enjoy today. This session will explore the development of modern Mackinac Island, utilizing written accounts, maps, photographs, field observation, and modern technology. Similar sources, techniques and perspectives can easily be transferred to your site, helping visitors gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of any landscape.
This session will be complimented by a post-conference walking tour, in which participants will visit sites across Mackinac Island. During this excursion, historic maps, photographs, and written descriptions will help bring new perspectives to the modern landscape. Participation in the conference session is not required for the post-conference tour.
Block 2: Tuesday, October 11, 1:45 pmRecontextualizing Objects for the 21st Century: Models for Action and Change
Anna Minnebo, Saugatuck-Douglas History Center; Lisa Plank, Lowell Area Historical Museum; Andrea Melvin, Grand Rapids Public Museum
This panel explores the ways three diverse institutions have dealt with complicated objects and the challenges and possibilities in re-contextualizing them. Each example—WWII-era Japanese “Good Luck” Flags, a West Michigan roadside “totem pole” sign, and the Lowell Showboat—raise questions about how to care for historical objects and how to interpret them to a 21st century community and audience.
Schooling the Museum: Co-Curation with Local 5th-12th Grade Students
Kate Crosby, Tri-Cities Historical Museum; Erin Pilarski, Tri-Cities Historical Museum; Jen Vos, Calvin University
At the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven, MI, Exhibits Curator Kate Crosby, Assistant Exhibits Curator Jen Vos, and Education Curator Erin Pilarski worked with two 5th grade classes at a local intermediate school to co-curate the first exhibition in a new series called "Classroom Curators." The session will analyze and discuss how the co-curation process worked with local educators and students, lessons learned, and next steps for future "Classroom Curators" exhibits.
Strengthening Relationships: Connecting the Dots with Donors
Michelle Walk, Mackinac State Historic Parks; Brittany Williams, Mackinac State Historic ParksDonor stewardship is a key component to membership development and fundraising. Whether you wear many hats or are part of a membership or development department this session will delve into things you can do to help donors feel valued which leads to more loyal members and donors. We will discuss topics from how you maintain your database to how often and what you communicate to your donors. There will be plenty of time allotted for questions and discussion.
Time Management and Productivity Tools
Julie Cook, Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
Want to increase your productivity at work? Looking for ways to better manage your time and projects? Come hear from members of the MMA Productivity and Time Management community as they share their favorite tools and resources that have proven successful for organizing both work and home projects.
Don't Lick Your Collections: How to Handle Hazardous Material in CollectionsBlock 3: Tuesday, October 11, 3:00 pm
Brian S. Jaeschke, Mackinac State Historic Park; Sarah Humes, Grand Rapids Public Museum; Christy Kincaid, Air Zoo; Angela Riedel, Michigan History Center
Museum collections contain many different types of materials and chemicals which can pose a danger to other collections, museum professionals and first responders. Knowledge of the materials and chemicals that are in your collection is vital to provide safety for your staff, first responders and your collection. Learn how to identify, handle and properly store and/or dispose of various hazardous materials such as arsenic, radium, picric acid and pharmaceuticals while connecting with local fire/public safety departments to build a mutually beneficial relationship.The Future is Now: Using AI Technology to Study Visitor Behavior
Michelle Stempien, Holland Museum; Loren Stevens, Holland Museum; Charles Elwood, Holland Museum
Searching for a more efficient way to study patron dwell time in your galleries? Learn how the Holland Museum partnered with SolisMatica, a local tech company experimenting with Microsoft Edge AI technology and the Azure Percept camera to track visitor movement throughout our history gallery. What did we learn about our visitors’ interests and what we will do with that information as the museum develops a new interpretive plan?
As Good As It Gets: Board Service as Professional Development
Jason Dake, Michigan Museums Association; Caitlyn Perry Dial, Ph.D, Brighton Area Historical Society; Matthew Jaber Stiffler, Ph.D, Michigan Humanities Council
Are you seeking a strong network of leaders in and around your field? Are you looking for a unique professional development experience with day-to-day practical benefits and long-term impact? Are you hoping to one day crack the code on transparent, effective, and empathetic leadership? Then you should join a board! (No, really, join a board!) This session will present three real-life stories of successful and fulfilling board experiences, offer advice and resources on how to kickstart your board service journey, and provide ample time for participants to share their perspectives and experiences.