Virtual & In-Person Sessions

This year’s conference takes place virtually on Wednesday, July 24, and in-person in Columbus, OH, on July 31-August 3. The virtual day includes an opening session in the morning and four concurrent sessions in the afternoon. In-person sessions will take place August 1-2 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

Thank you to our session track sponsors!

  • Collections Stewardship – Prism Specialties
  • Exhibitions – Boss Display
  • Leadership & Operations – Friesens
  • Marketing & Social Media – FORM
  • Museums 101 – 1909 Digital

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

Displaying 1 – 25 of 57

Amplifying Indigenous Voices: A Case Study from the Haha Wakpadan / Bassett Creek Oral History Project

Learn how to plan a successful oral history project in partnership with Indigenous communities and lead The Way Forward to going beyond land acknowledgement statements. Participants will explore a case study from Minnesota and receive a handout with resources, examples, and a template to sketch out their own project ideas.


Crystal Boyd, Valley Community Presbyterian Church, and John Crippen, Hennepin History Museum

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward: Conversations on Museum Career Inclusion and Accessibility

In this session members of a mid-size art museum in Ohio share challenges and progress made with efforts to develop and implement new programming and career opportunities inspired by community conversations centered on inclusivity and our strategic plan. Three exploratory studies will be examined, setting the stage for audience discussion.


Dr. Shannon Peck-Bartle, Dayton Art Institute; Bryan Smith, Dayton Art Institute; and Jamaal Durr, Dayton Art Institute

NASA STEAM Kits – A Novel Revenue Stream though Partnerships with Governmental Agencies: A Way Forward from COVID-19

COSI and NASA present an inside look at the Learning Lunchbox STEAM kit program with a case study on the Space-themed kits developed and distributed in partnership with NASA. Attendees will gain insight on pursuing programs that cut across museum professions and show outcomes of programs centered on partnerships.


Dr. Elizabeth Marchio, Center of Science and Industry (COSI); Dr. Gary Timko, Center for Research and Evaluation (CRE) at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI); Meredith Kotter, Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

Championing the Less Visible: Fundraising for Collections Care

Through a moderated conversation about the Ohio History Connection’s new Collections Care Center, panelists will share the various ways the organization attempted to build relationships with state officials, leverage existing resources and partnerships, and develop new avenues of funding to build a state-of-the-art collections facility.


Becky Odom, Ohio History Connection; Megan Wood, Ohio History Connection; Ann Ruege, Ohio History Connection; Todd Topper, Minnesota Historical Society

Connecting with University Students and Academic Programs

Wondering how your museum can develop relationships with university students and academic programs that result in much-needed assistance and an influx of new ideas while also providing experience to the next generation of museum professionals? In this presentation, you will learn best practices for connecting with universities and managing interns.


Prof. Megan Pellegrino, Walsh University/Hoover Historical Center

Improving Access and Inclusion at Cultural Institutions

Join Dr. De’Andrea Matthews, National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional (NDCCDP), for Improving Access and Inclusion at Cultural Institutions, where she will provide relevant examples and resources on how museums can become more welcoming and inclusive for all.


De’Andrea Matthews, Detroit Zoological Society

Improving Collections Care with CAP

Looking to improve your museum’s collections care but don’t know where to begin? The Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program can help you identify your most critical needs. Learn more and hear from past participants how turning to outside consultants might benefit your museum.


Tiffani Emig, Foundation for Advancement in Conservation; Stephanie Petcavage, Akron Art Museum; and Tammi Shrum, Historic Zoar Village

Do You Live Here? Historic Building Interpretation for Elementary School Students

This session focuses on elements of the creation and implementation of field trip programing for historic sites with special emphasis on interpreting historic buildings for students. Session participants can expect to learn about incorporating experiential learning, training staff to give engaging tours that meet state education standards, and scheduling strategies.


Sammy Nelson, Ramsey County Historical Society/Gibbs Farm, and Janie Bender, Ramsey County Historical Society/Gibbs Farm

Move Your Museum Forward Through NEH: Funding Opportunities in the Divisions of Preservation and Access and Public Programs

Interested in funding to preserve and make accessible your institution’s humanities collections, conduct evaluation, or engage your audiences with new exhibitions and programming? Attend this session about grants in NEH’s Divisions of Preservation and Access and Public Programs, highlighting new programs and refreshing your knowledge on existing ones.


Jill Austin, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Jacquelyn Clements, National Endowment for the Humanities

Creating Safe Spaces: Preventing & De-escalating Conflict with Staff and Visitors

Are you concerned about conflict within your institution? Would you like to prepare your staff with strategies and training to de-escalate these situations? Join Eric Dougal and HUB International to learn to minimize the risk of aggression, de-escalate conflicts, and protect your staff and patrons in these challenging new times.


Eric Dougal, HUB International, and Jim Chisholm, Senior Risk Consultant, Organizational Resilience I Risk Services at HUB International

Facilitating DEAI Conversations at Your Museum

How do we continue to move our DEAI efforts forward? A powerful method is peer-to-peer conversations. These conversations are easy to facilitate, can be done a low cost, utilize existing meeting structures, and can help to move individual and institutional DEAI efforts forward. Come see how!


Joe Imholte, The Bakken Museum; Hannah Mason-Macklin, Columbus Museum of Art; and Demetrios Vital, Science Museum of Minnesota

Collaboration and Consideration: Program Development through an Evaluative Lens

This session presents a museum’s journey in developing, launching, and supporting programs for older adults through the Vitality Arts project. The project’s in-house and external evaluators will describe their collaborative work, share top-line evaluation results, and engage attendees in discussion on the merits of developing programs through an evaluative lens.


Rita Deedrick, Deedrick Consulting, and Alyssa Carr, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Getting Visitors in the Door: Perceptions and Expectations as Related to Visitation of Informal STEM Learning Institutions

Presenters will share findings from a study that asked over 3,000 diverse respondents to rate their perceptions and expectations of different types of informal STEM learning institutions. Learn about how expectations and perceptions relate to potential audiences’ visitation and consider ways to apply these findings to marketing institutions’ offerings.


Laura Weiss, COSI’s Center for Research & Evaluation, and Joe Heimlich, COSI’s Center for Research & Evaluation

Building the Dream: A Case Study in Designing a Collections Care Center for Diverse Collections

Through a case study of the Ohio History Connection’s new Collections Care Center, Curators Becky Odom and Dave Dyer will share best practices for caring for natural history and history collections in a mixed-use environment in ways that maximize space usage, stretch funding, and ensure long-term preservation.


Dr. Becky Odom, Ohio History Connection, and Dave Dyer, Ohio History Connection

AIM HIGH: forging new partnerships to reimagine traveling exhibit business model

Finding new ways to earn revenue is key to overcoming the challenges of limited budgets, staff capacity and unpredictable disruptions to established organizational systems. This session will identify ways to leverage existing exhibit content in creative ways and look beyond traditional methods to do so.


Anne Fullenkamp, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and Ed Liskey, SITES

Disaster preparedness – Emerging Risk -What are you doing to prepare for it.

We live in an ever-changing world that has seen an increasing amount of natural disasters, a global pandemic, social unrest, and an increased role of technology in our museum. In this session, you’ll learn about the risk management framework to help your institution identify and prepare for those risks.


Stacy Button, Distinguished, Fine Art & Collectibles; Patrick Drummond, Distinguished, Fine Art & Collectibles; and Eric Dougal, HUB

Building a Leadership Board

Join a lively, interactive discussion about how museums can learn from the pandemic and better sustain their futures by preparing their boards of directors for the next great disruption. The panel will share simple steps to raise board expectations and create a performance culture in a museum board.


Charles Katzenmeyer, Field Museum; Jessimi Jones, Springfield Museum of Art; Emily Alonso-Taub, COSI; and Charles Hyde, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Emotional Intelligent Leadership: Influence with Integrity

True influence relies on relationships, respect, building consensus, collaboration, courage, and resilience. To build a stronger future for museums, we must focus on these human-centered leadership skills. Learn about emotional intelligence, hear a case study of applying this model and walk away with resources to help you influence with integrity.


Jeremiah Myers, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Jennifer DePrizio, DePrizio Leadership Group

Ask a 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.


Christy Kincaid, Kalamazoo Valley Museum; Leslie Ory Lewellen, Minneapolis Institute of Art; Christine McNulty, Naper Settlement; and Robin Goodman, The Gund Gallery at Kenyon

Re-Engaging Your Donors – Post-Pandemic Fundraising for Small Museums

Most museums finding their way forward need robust philanthropic support to do so, and the philanthropic landscape is evolving again. Learn from a seasoned leader that has successfully adapted fundraising strategies before, during, and after the pandemic while living through the uprising of 2020 and its aftershocks.


Chad Roberts, Ramsey County Historical Society

Decisions with Data from Basic Statistics to Unique Uses

Using data to make decisions for your institution is critical to success. Focusing on the basics and special projects, this will be an opportunity to think about data and its importance on many levels for professionals in many settings.


Jessica Spiess, Historic Madison Inc., and Amanda Kepner, Columbus Museum of Art

Charting a Path or Getting Back on Track: AASLH’s STEPS Program

The STEPS self-assessment program is an accessible, low-cost way for small and mid-sized museums and sites to prioritize their needs and focus their efforts to make incremental steps towards stability and growth. Learn about how this program can help your organization chart a sustainable path to the future and bring order to confusion, and hear from local participants on how they use the program to set achievable goals and standards for their work.


Aja Bain, American Association for State and Local History, and Cyndi Sweet, Iowa Museum Association

“I Stole a Butthole Surfers Tape. Exhibit Was Phenomenal”: Setbacks and Successes of the Growing Up X Rec Room Space

What happens when you fill an exhibit space with vintage items and let visitors touch…everything? This session explores the development, implementation, and lessons learned from the immersive “rec room” space of the Illinois State Museum’s recent Growing Up X exhibition. Might the “rec room” model work at your museum?


Erika Holst, Illinois State Museum, and Amanda Bryden, Illinois State Museum

Charting Paths: Co-Creating the Future of Education in Museums

Explore the collaboration between the Ohio History Connection and Tribal representatives as they co-create education resources highlighting tribal sovereignty, culture, and deep ancestral connections. This session provides insights into relationship-building with Tribal representatives and co-creation best practices. Join us in this journey of empowerment through collaborative storytelling and education.


Carla Mello, Ohio History Connection; Trevor Rhodes, Ohio History Connection; and Dr. Amber Annis, Minnesota Historical Society

The Importance of Better Communication Between Front Line and Administrative Museum Staff in the Post-Covid World

Are you a dissatisfied front line museum worker? Are you a museum administrator confused about why your front line staff is dissatisfied? Come learn about the importance of communication between front line and administrative museum staff in creating a better environment for staff and visitors.


Rachel Burns-Watson, Columbus Museum of Art and Kelton House Museum and Garden