Virtual & In-Person Sessions

This year’s conference takes place virtually on Wednesday, July 19, and in-person in Indianapolis, IN, on July 26-29. The virtual day includes an opening session in the morning and four concurrent sessions in the afternoon. In-person sessions will take place July 27-28 at historic Union Station in downtown Indianapolis.

Thank you to our session track sponsors!

  • Fundraising & Revenue – Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates, Inc.
  • Leadership & Operations – Museum Search & Reference
  • Marketing & Social Media – FORM
  • Museums 101 – Distinguished Fine Art & Collectibles

Search virtual and in-person sessions, posters, and conversation stations.

Displaying 1 – 25 of 53

3D Scanning and Museum Collections: Collaboration and Applications of 3D Scanning and Printing

Using a suite of high-end 3D scanners, Indianapolis, Indiana-based company Connections XR will demonstrate the lifecycle of 3D objects. Presenters will showcase the process to 3D scan, and share outputs that include 3D viewer access, Virtual Reality, and 3D printing.


Jenny Johnson, IUPUI University Library; Derek Miller, Connections XR; Robert Chester, Crispus Attucks Museum; Hilary Fleck, Monroe County History Center

Speeding up to slow down: Union voices join the pit crew

Many museum workers are at their “braking” point and are choosing to unionize to gain traction in decision-making processes at their institutions. Find out why employees at two museums in the Twin Cities chose this strategy, what they hope it can achieve, and what they’ve learned along the way.


Gretchen Haupt, Science Museum of Minnesota Workers Union; Natalie Naranjo, Science Museum of Minnesota Workers Union; John Fulton, Minnesota Historical Society Staff Union

Braking Point Before Breaking Point: Making Virtual Programming More Sustainable

Three years into the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual programming has seen a boom and decline with changing audience needs and expectations. Join presenters for a collaborative session designed to connect you with others doing virtual programming and build solutions together and provide case studies in increasing internal collaboration and defining success.


Bethany Hrachovec, Indiana Historical Society; Ryan Shank, Conner Prairie

Curious about Contractors?: Working with Independent Museum Professionals 101

Are you curious about working with contractors? Join us to learn the basics about working with independent museum professionals (AKA IMPs!). Attend this interactive session to gain resources to address your institution’s IMP needs, find one, and learn some best practices to form a positive and equitable collaboration.


Tania Said, Tania Said Consulting; Julie Govert, Independent Exhibit Developer and Writer; Barbara Schafer, Schafer Grant and Project Management

Becoming an Antiracist Cultural Institution: Newfields' Path to Embracing and Promoting a Culture of Equity and Racial Justice

In the wake of COVID-19, societal unrest, and an unplanned leadership transition following a racially insensitive job posting, Newfields has pursued organizational healing through its commitment to integrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and access into all facets of the institution, resulting in a cultural shift within the organization.


Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, Newfields; Tascha Horowitz, Newfields; Shelley Selim, Newfields; Dr. Sean Huddleston, Martin University/Newfields Trustee

Gearing up for grants: funding opportunities in NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access

Interested in funding to preserve and make accessible your institution’s humanities collections? Attend this session to learn about grants in NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access. We will discuss grants related to collections care and preservation, with time for attendees to ask questions and discuss ideas with a program officer.


Dr. Jacquelyn Clements, National Endowment for the Humanities

Understanding IMLS Funding Opportunities for Museums

In this session, a program officer from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will provide an overview of grant programs to help you find the best fit for your project ideas among several IMLS funding opportunities. IMLS offers grants designed for smaller institutions; grants for projects that advance your institution’s strategic plan goals; and grants to support research, collaboration, and innovation that will advance the museum field.


Mark Feitl, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Putting the Community in the Driver’s Seat: Rethinking Our Approach to Co-Developing Inclusive Education Programs

Come share stories of community-museum partnerships! Discuss what happens when museums slow down and really listen to community aspirations, assets, and barriers. Learn about one museum’s approach to rethinking education programs with a community-first design process, supporting the development of a new way of thinking about inclusivity and belonging.


Jenny Flowers, DuPage Children’s Museum; Areli Morales, DuPage Children’s Museum; Nicole Burgess, DuPage Children’s Museum

Optimizing the Digital Donor Experience

How diverse are your digital fundraising efforts? Data has shown a huge increase in online giving as well as the importance of an excellent user experience to secure the gift and retain donors. Learn how to build a data-driven strategy for coordinating and optimizing your digital donation efforts.


Katelyn Gerber, FORM

Case studies in inclusive storytelling

While it has long been an ethical imperative for museums to create inclusive institutions, it is now essential for survival. Explore the way three midwestern historical institutions have sought to grapple with and where possible undo the historic exclusion of Latino communities from museum narratives.


Nicole Martinez-LeGrand, Indiana Historical Society; Kelly Lao, Putnam Museum; Daniel Gonzales, Indiana Historical Society

Continuing the Dialogue: Q&A and Discussion with panelists from the "Becoming an Antiracist Cultural Institution" virtual session

Members of leadership and staff at Newfields shared their path to embracing and promoting a culture of equity and racial justice as part of this year’s opening virtual session. Join them during this in-person session to carry the conversation forward and ask follow-up questions.


Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, Newfields; Tascha Horowitz, Newfields; Shelley Selim, Newfields; Dr. Sean Huddleston, Martin University/Newfields Trustee

Medicines, Chemicals, and Specimens, Oh My! Addressing Hazardous Chemical Collections Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration

There are hazards and dangers tucked away in all of our collections, and it is a challenge to know what to do with them. Through this presentation discover how a collaborative effort better informs hazardous collections care while also preparing emerging museum professionals for the unexpected challenges of the field.


Elise Daugherty, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana Medical History Museum; Dr. Mark Wilson, Purdue University; Sarah Halter, Executive Director, Indiana Medical History Museum

Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum Virtual Tour – Past, Present, and Future

A free virtual tour of the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum is now available from anywhere in the world. This session will focus on how the virtual tour was created and shared with the public including the funding, formatting, interpretive, and use decisions.


Jessica Spiess, Historic Madison Inc.

On the frontline of change: How FRONT International is bringing new audiences to contemporary art

Learn how FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art attracted thousands of visitors to museums across Northeast Ohio by developing an audience-first marketing campaign. This panel explores how FRONT experimented with content partnerships, leveraged owned and earned media, and established cross-promotional campaigns to grow new audiences for contemporary art.


Dr. Sarah Spinner Liska, FRONT Exhibition Co.; Fred Bidwell, FRONT Exhibition Co.; Janet Renner, FRONT Exhibition Co.

Growing with its Audience: Sensory-Friendly Programming for Teens and Adults

Although sensory-friendly programming for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and sensory processing disorder (SPD) has been steadily increasing, most is for children and families. Join Caroline Braden from The Henry Ford for insights on her institution’s program for teens/adults with ASD/SPD, including ideas for developing and implementing such programming.


Caroline Braden, The Henry Ford

Leveraging the Interactive Functionality Types tool to develop interactives that match exhibit tone, deliver focused content, and fit the budget

As we speed toward a post-covid exhibit model, is it time to tap the brakes and revisit how we think about interactivity? This session proposes new tools, called Interactive Functionality Types, that help us fit varied learning goals to varied budgets and audiences.


Melissa Pederson, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Cathy Hamaker, Leonid Production, LLC

Operationalize Your Strategic Plans: Budgeting Tips and Best Practices for the Twenty-first Century Museum

Planning is critical to the success of today’s museum. Learn how budgets serve as an important management tool to operationalize the museum’s plans.


Jim Croft, PhD, JW Croft Consulting Group

Repatriation is Just the First Lap: How Ethical Returns Can Be the Catalyst for Forward Momentum

Start your engines, repatriation is just the first lap. Using the example of Newfield’s recent repatriation to Kenya, this session will explore how ethical returns can be the catalyst for change and an opportunity to grapple with long overdue reconciliation of ethics, policy, and collection practices.


Robin Cooper, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields; Jennifer Rigsby, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

It’s Not Trench Warfare: Healthy & Productive Ways to Work with Entrenched Volunteers

Change is hard, and guiding volunteers through it can be even more difficult. This session will share strategies to identify volunteers resistant to change, evaluate potential responses, and achieve solutions balancing the needs of the organization, volunteer leader, and volunteers. Participants will leave ready to take healthy and productive action.


Kasey Zronek, Indiana Landmarks; Carol Noel, Conner Prairie; Esme Barniskis, The Nature Conservancy

Braking to Engage: Integrating Diverse Voices into Strategic Planning

Learn to create a strategic plan that incorporates input from multiple stakeholders, facilitates an open exchange of ideas, and makes it easy to synthesize that data into a plan with leadership buy-in. You’ll also learn to incorporate diverse voices, funding streams, and steps to make the plan flexible and realistic.


Angela White, Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates; Jasmin French, Eiteljorg Museum Board Member & Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

Moving the Needle: DEIA in Recruitment and Retention

Creating a sustainable workplace that is diverse, equitable and inclusive requires an ongoing, multi-faceted approach. This can mean disrupting the status quo and shifting gears in various ways. Moving the Needle: DEIA in Recruitment and Retention will explore some “quick wins” around awareness, sensitivity and accommodations.


Dr. De’Andrea Matthews, Detroit Zoological Society

Strengthen Your Institution with NEH Funding: A New Programs Overview and Perspectives on Applying from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

This session provides a refresher on NEH opportunities for museums large and small and introduce key new programs. An agency program officer will be joined by staff from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis who will reflect on NEH’s potential impacts on their projects and share tips on preparing grant applications.


Jill Austin, National Endowment for the Humanities; Amanda King, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Monica Ramsey, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

"In My Previous Life": Incorporating philosophies from previous experiences into museum management

You’ve are finally starting your career as a museum professional… Now what? Starting a new career doesn’t have to mean starting over. Learn how to incorporate experiences from your “previous life” into your new one so you don’t lose momentum as you turn that corner.


Matthew Walls, Conner Prairie; Leah Roggeman, Conner Prairie

Shifting the Lens: Upgrading Outdated Content

With the seismic changes that have occurred in our country since 2020, it is no longer acceptable for museums to present history from a “white man’s” perspective. How can we begin to address outdated exhibition, program, and interpretive content? Experienced museum professional Donna Braden presents practical strategies for content upgrades.


Donna Braden, The Henry Ford

Ask the Registrar: An Open Roundtable to Discuss Collection Conundrums, Quandaries, & Questions

From old loans to deaccessioning to collection care issues, and other legal and ethical issues nothing is off the table for this discussion with the Midwest community of collections professionals. You’ll gain practical knowledge and solutions along with gaining a wider network of collection peers.


Sarah Humes, Grand Rapids Public Museum; Christa Barleben, Newfields; Kaman Hillenburg, Evansville Museum