Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, July 26

There are three types of registration for this year’s conference – Virtual Only, Virtual + Single Day, and Virtual + In-Person. No matter which one you selected, you may purchase tickets for add-ons like pre-conference tours, pre-conference workshops, and evening events.

Collections Storage Box Making Workshop 

Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Ticket: $10
Capacity: 10 **SOLD OUT**

Interested in learning how to make custom boxes for collection items? Using objects from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s collection, work with collections staff as they demonstrate how to create a custom archival box for objects. Participants will also be given our “how to” guides for box making which they can take home and use for their own collection.

Materials and supplies for this workshop are generously provided by Hollinger Metal Edge, the Museums Studies program at IUPUI, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

TIP: During registration, add on the pre-conference tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum taking place at 3:00-5:00 p.m. for an afternoon of Indy 500-themed activities!


  • Roxine Dunbar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. The Museum is located inside the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval between Turns 1 and 2. Enter the grounds via Gate 2, the four-lane tunnel 1/4 -mile east of the 16th Street and Crawfordsville Rd. roundabout. Enter this address in your GPS: 4750 W 16th St., Speedway, IN 46224. Parking at the Museum is free.

Writing Effective Labels: How to keep your visitors reading! 

Location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Classroom 103

Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 25 **SOLD OUT**

In a world of information overload, writing attention-grabbing, concise, powerful labels that deliver an exhibit’s messages is more important than ever – but no easy task! This workshop introduces guidelines, tools, tips, and tricks backed by audience research to write labels that grab your audience’s attention and keep them reading.

This workshop will introduce you to the framework used by exhibit developers at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to write clear and effective content that communicates an exhibit’s key messages to visitors. You will also have the opportunity to see their label principles in action in the museum’s galleries.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Identifying the target audience
  • Label hierarchy
  • The importance of a strong header
  • Word count and why it matters
  • Choosing a reading level to meet your audience’s needs
  • How to leverage graphic design to highlight key words and phrases
  • Evaluating labels with visitors

Choose this workshop to:

  • gather tips for writing engaging label copy applicable to all types of museum experiences and target audiences
  • learn how to communicate ideas simply and concisely for intergenerational audiences
  • practice the skills and tips you learn in a hands-on label writing exercise


  • Stephanie Eddleman, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • Melissa Pederson, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • Dom Oletti, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. The Children’s Museum is a 10-12-minute drive from the Crowne Plaza. Please arrive between 12:45-1:00 p.m. and meet in the museum’s Welcome Center. Free parking garage is available, accessed from the left side of Illinois St. just north of 30th St.  Garage is connected to the museum by a Skywalk.  All visitors are encouraged to use the Skywalk to cross Illinois Street to avoid traffic on the busy street.  Click here to view accessibility information.

Racial Equity Workshop and Crispus Attucks Museum Tour 

Location: Crispus Attucks Museum
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Ticket: $20
Capacity: 30

In 2015, the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Office of Multicultural Education evolved into the IPS Racial Equity Office. The district partnered with the Racial Equity Institute to provide training and guidance to staff and teachers as they embarked on the journey of challenging and shifting their knowledge, attitudes, mindsets, belief systems, and instruction. 

During this workshop-tour combo, gain a better understanding of the work of the Indianapolis Public Schools Racial Equity Office to address systemic racism and its impact on educational excellence. Immediately following the workshop, explore the Crispus Attucks Museum on a guided tour to learn about the history of racism in Indianapolis Public Schools and the chain of events that led to the formation of the Crispus Attucks High School.


  • Dr. Patricia Payne, director, Racial Equity Office and Crispus Attucks Museum, Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Robert Chester, museum curator, Crispus Attucks Museum


  • 1:00 p.m. – Arrival, Crispus Attucks Museum/High School
  • 1:00-2:00/2:30 p.m. – Racial Equity Workshop
  • 2:30-3:30/4:00 p.m. – Guided tour of the Crispus Attucks Museum

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. Free parking available in the Crispus Attucks High School/Museum lot on 12th street, about at 10-12-minute ride from the Crowne Plaza. Enter through door 13.

Indiana State Library Tour and Wet Salvage Disaster Response Training Course

Location: Indiana State Library and Indiana Historical Society

Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 10 **SOLD OUT**

Spend the afternoon at the Indiana State Library and Indiana Historical Society during this conservation-focused workshop-tour combo program. Take a peek inside the State Library’s beautiful public spaces, historic stacks, and conservation lab during a 45-minute tour with their chief conservator, Seth Irwin. Learn about conservation projects currently underway and on the horizon. Then stroll across the street to the Indiana Historical Society’s conservation lab for a hands-on training course led by Nicole Grabow from the Midwest Art Conservation Center.

During the workshop, participants will be introduced to salvage protocols for wet collections materials. Gain confidence in preparing for disaster response at your institution, and learn tools you can share with your colleagues back home. Come prepared to get your hands dirty!

Choose this workshop to:

  • learn specific techniques for collections recovery
  • gain confidence in salvaging collections and disaster planning
  • learn how to share your training with staff and coworkers at your museum


  • Nicole Grabow, Midwest Art Conservation Center


  • 1:45-2:00 p.m. – Arrival, Ohio Street Entrance, Indiana State Library
  • 2:00-2:45 p.m. – Tour with Indiana State Library staff member
  • 2:45-3:00 p.m. – Walk to Indiana Historical Society
  • 3:00-3:15 p.m. – Tour of 2nd floor Indiana Historical Society conservation lab
  • 3:15-5:00 p.m. – Workshop, 1st floor, Indiana Historical Society 

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. The Indiana State Library and Indiana Historical Society are a 5-minute ride and 15-minute walk from the Crowne Plaza.

Telling a Story with Your Data: Transforming Findings to Action and Centering the Visitor Voice 

Location: Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 20 **SOLD OUT**

Learn how to effectively collect and interpret visitor data in order to make informed decisions for your museum. Discover free user-friendly resources that will help make meaning of your data and allow you to transform findings into action. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data and data questions.

Choose this workshop to:

  • become familiar with the field of visitor studies
  • be able to identify key methods of data collection
  • become familiar with available tools and resources
  • learn how to analyze and interpret data they work with or would like to collect
  • practice using data interpretation tools, and build familiarity with data visualization


  • Lindsay Maldonado, Northeastern Illinois University
  • Jason Allen, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
  • Michelle Lentzner, J. Sickler Consulting

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. Please arrive between 2:45-3:00 p.m. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is an 8-10-minute drive from the Crowne Plaza. Parking is available along Delaware Street and in the small lot off Talbot Street. This site is fully accessible.