Pre-Conference Workshops

Conference workshops are in-depth professional development opportunities created for museum professionals by their peers in the field or the museum service industry. These workshops are hosted offsite by local museums and organizations, providing an additional opportunity to explore and get inspired.

Registration fees range from $35-50 per person. Space is limited. Pre-registration is recommended. Seats may not be available during onsite registration.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Development 101: The Museum Leader’s Guide to Practical Fundraising (Development and Finance)

Today’s museum leaders need proven fundraising skills that not only sustain their organization’s mission, but also realize their strategic goals and future vision. Most learn these skills on the job, coupled with other unrelated responsibilities. Explore practical ways to dedicate the appropriate amount of time to fundraising, with the right prospects, to elevate your organization’s fundraising program.

Facilitated by Jenny Burch, Knight Ridge Consulting

Location: American Writers Museum (1 mile north of the Hilton Chicago. Transportation not included.)

Cost: $50


9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Exhibit Insights: Illinois Holocaust Museum Take a Stand Center (Exhibit Planning and Innovation)

Endorsed by the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME)

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie has just opened a new 4,000 square foot permanent exhibition – the Take a Stand Center – that uses state of the art technology to bring the stories of survivors and social justice leaders to life. This pre-conference program provides an opportunity to explore the new exhibition with peers, experience the groundbreaking interactive, holographic technology from USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony program as a visitor, participate in a moderated critique of the experience, and hear from staff who worked on the project during a brief presentation and Q&A session. IHMEC’s Take a Stand team will share behind-the-scenes information on the planning and oral history collection process and provide background information on the technology.

Facilitated by Cynthia Torp, Solid Light, Inc. and NAME Southeast Regional Rep, and Elizabeth Chilton, Executive Director, Paint Creek Center for the Arts

Presenters include Shoshana Buchholz-Miller, Vice President of Education and Exhibitions, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (IHMEC); and Kia Hays, Program Manager, Dimensions in Testimony at USC Shoah Foundation.

Location: IL Holocaust Museum and Education Center (1 hour North of Hilton Chicago, Transportation Provided)

Cost: $50


9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Prototyping for Effective Exhibits (Exhibit Planning and Innovation)

Prototyping is a means for modeling and testing exhibit elements to ensure they function as intended and are relevant and accessible to their intended audiences. The Prototyping for Effective Exhibits workshop will provide information on how prototyping can vary based on project types and stages of planning and design.  Presenters will share examples from past projects at various stages of planning (ideation to the final product) and reflect on methods used. Presenters will then facilitate a hands-on session, during which attendees will create and test prototypes with small teams. Attendees will have a 30-minute lunch break.

Facilitated by Charity Counts, Association of Midwest Museums

Presenters include Cathy Hamaker, exhibit developer, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Tricia O’Connor, content developer, Solid Light, Inc.; Kevin Snow, creative director, Luci Creative; Nathan Combs, senior project manager/fabricator, Ravenswood Studio; and Orilla Fetro, Adler Planetarium

Location: Adler Planetarium (1.5 miles from the Hilton Chicago. Transportation not included.)

Cost: $50


11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

How to Handle What Can’t Be Handled (Collections Care and Management)

Have you ever been asked to care for or display objects without touching them? Jeff Stafford has spent his career working on projects with unique constraints. During this seminar, attendees will participate in a presentation followed by a Q&A discussion related to packing, handling and shipping “difficult to handle” artworks.  Jeff will share examples of some particularly challenging projects involving tar, bronze, glitter, glass, textiles, unstable mixed media installations, etc. and the solutions developed for safe handling and shipping of those works.  Attendees will be able to see examples of the materials used in U.S. Art Company projects, and engage in a discussion about particular challenges they may have encountered with collections and exhibits at their own museums. Includes a light lunch provided by U.S. Art and a tour of their 115,000 sq.ft. Chicago facility. Transportation is provided.

Jeff Stafford has been the Special Projects Manager for the Mid-West Region for U.S. Art Company since 2014, and has 20 years of experience handling art for a wide range of museums, private collectors and corporate clients in the Chicago area, focusing on complicated installations, rigging and large institutional collection relocation.

Facilitated by Jeff Stafford, Special Projects Manager, Mid-West Region, U.S. Art Company

Location: U.S. Art Company Chicago Facility (20 minutes from Hilton Chicago, Transportation Provided)

Cost: $35

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Building and Testing Mobile Apps with Beacon Technology (Exhibit Planning and Innovation)

Experience this historic lakefront mansion and museum and enjoy a hands-on experience creating mobile content and a mobile app! The workshop will include a presentation from museum staff about the museum and some of their challenges and solutions for content delivery. Attendees will have time to explore the museum while using the museum’s beacon-based mobile app. Following the tour, team members from Encurate Mobile Technology will present the typical steps for building an app, including a discussion of considerations for developing beacon-powered apps in small museums and historic homes. Presenters will share lessons learned from experimenting and testing beacon technology in a compact museum environment.

In the hands-on portion of the workshop, Encurate will lead attendees through the a step-by-step process of creating content and operating a content management system (CMS) for a mobile app. Participants will use hardware and software provided by Encurate.

Facilitated by Nancy Harmon, Encurate Mobile Technology

Location: International Museum of Surgical Science (4 miles north of the Hilton Chicago, Transportation Provided by Encurate Mobile Technology)

Cost: $35


12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

American Sources: Using Artworks and Objects as Primary Sources (Interpretation and Programs)

This workshop models an approach for using works of art and historic objects as primary sources to address critical skills in analytical thinking, inquiry, and visual literacy. Through democratic facilitation processes, learners can establish and pursue their own lines of inquiry and deepen their understanding of the past.

Facilitated by Kristin Enright and Jack Gruszczynski, Art Institute of Chicago

Location: Art Institute of Chicago (5 blocks north of the Hilton Chicago. Transportation not included.)

Cost: $35


12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Museum Accessibility Toolkit (Audience Development and Community Engagement)

The Museum Accessibility Toolkit will give museum and cultural workers the tools to create more accessible spaces. Through hands-on exercises in label and social narrative writing, attendees will leave with the resources to make their institutions more accessible and accommodating.

Facilitated by Courtney Sass, British International School and Sandy Guttman, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Location: Chicago Design Museum (1 mile North of the Hilton Chicago. Transportation not included.)

Cost: $35