Hey there, blogosphere! It’s been a while. Pretty busy spring over here: I’ve been gainfully and happily employed as a program coordinator for the Leadership Programs division at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since January, and have been on travel for the bulk of April already. Two weeks ago I came back from my first trip to Museums and the Web bursting with enthusiasm about the state of the field right now and the amazing colleagues with whom we share it, and tonight I’m packing for my third trip to the American Association of Museums’ Annual Meeting. This will be my first trip as a real live museum employee: my first year I was a grad student and last year I was an “Independent Museum Professional,” but my USHMM business cards just arrived in my mailbox this afternoon, so I guess I’m legit now.
What brings me to AAM this year? Well, this year I’m presenting two very exciting sessions: one is an idea lounge where my friend and fellow EdCom digital outreach coordinator Tim Rhue II and I will be leading an informal conversation on the future of museum education, and the other is a panel session about how museum educators use social media in our craft. I’ll also be drumming up support for EdCom’s work and presenting the MUSE award for excellence in education technology, so my dance card is pretty full before I even get to Minneapolis.
The other thing that has kept me coming back to AAM these last few years is the caliber of conversation that goes on in sessions, in the halls, on the Expo floor, over beers and burgers, on the dance floor at the opening party. We work with some truly astounding people who bring passion and ingenuity to the diverse business of museums, and over the four days of the conference we continually bump into one another, furthering the ideas that germinate over the course of the year between and allowing them to take root for the year ahead.
With that in mind, come find me at the conference so we can chat. Tell me your hopes for the future of the field. Tell me why you came to Minneapolis, what you’re hoping to find there, what we can accomplish once we’re all back home. I’ll be on the backchannel throughout the conference, too, so feel free to tweet at me and we can make plans.
Here’s where I’ll be looking for good conversation:
Saturday, April 27:
Anywhere. I arrive at MSP bright and early tomorrow!
Sunday, April 28:
1:30 pm, the bookstore: Nina Simon’s informal participatory history meet-up
2:45 pm, Hall 3: Beyond Digitization: the question of online collections sparked interesting philosophical discussions at Museums and the Web, so this session should be similarly thought-provoking
4:15 pm: Hopping among sessions on narrative, challenging conversations, and emerging museums professionals who are building creative communities through technology.
6:00 pm, Hilton Minneapolis Ballroom: Grab a glass of champagne and join us for the MUSE awards! I’ll be cabbing it quickly from there to the . . .
6:00 pm, Mill City Museum: EdCom opening reception and awards ceremony, where we’ll reflect on the year gone by and get excited for the . . .
9:00 pm, Minneapolis Institute of the Arts: AAM opening party. Bring your dancing shoes and boogie down.
Monday, April 30
So many excellent sessions! This year’s general session looks brilliant–we’ll be joined by three storytellers from The Moth, along with Ford Bell himself and a representative from Target, who’s helping sponsor this year’s conference. I’ll also be at the ALGC luncheon, and I hope to catch you all around the Expo or at the Marketplace of Ideas later that day.
Tuesday, May 1
9:00 am, 205 C/D: My colleagues from the Holocaust Museum are presenting on the “Bringing the Lessons Home” youth leadership program. Come help cheer them on!
10:45 am, M100 G: Having started out at a small European museum, I’m excited to see what else we can learn from them.
12:15 pm, Hilton – Marquette Ballrooms: The ever-popular, ever-delicious EdCom luncheon.
4:00 pm: Set up, prep, and presentation: The 21st Century Museum Educator (for the virtual conference). You can follow the conversation on Twitter using #21stME. Again, I’ll be high-tailing it from there to . . .
5:15 pm, 204 A/B: The Future of Museum Education. Our unconference-style session is set up for audience-driven conversation, so your attendance and ideas will make the discussion richer.
7:00 pm: Museum-Ed Kegger. For serious. Do join us.
Wednesday, May 2
10:45 am, M100 I: The 21st Century Museum Educator. I’ll be talking with Tony Pennay, Mark Fitzpatrick, and Amy Heibel about how social media and social museums enhance and enrich the work of educators and experience of audiences in our museums.
It’s a busy week, so rest up on the plane. Excited to see you all there!