Professional Development

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By Kate Skelly
Dr. Julie K. Stein, Executive Director of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture received the 2015 WMA Director’s Chair Award. Julie has been an invaluable leader to the Western Museums Association, and has served as a WMA Treasurer and President. In this interview, Julie shares her thoughts about leadership in the field and the future of museums.
What do you think your...
By Alexa Beaman
In preparing to present as a part of the panel “Defining Leadership Across Generational Divides” at the Western Museums Association 2015 Annual Meeting, I reflected on moderator James Burns’ question of how established leaders can work together with emerging leaders to build a stronger profession and stronger institutions. And with that I also thought, how could I provide insight...

WATCH 2015 VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
 
The Western Museums Association (WMA) proudly announces the third installment of WestMusings | 10 Minute Museum Talks featuring innovative museum topics. Modeled after TED Talks, WestMusings is an unconference program of short, engaging presentations by forward-thinking museum leaders.
WestMusings is happening at the 2015 Annual Meeting during A Night in Nerdvana...
By Dawn Barraclough
Hosting the Western Museums Association (WMA) 2014 Annual Meeting was a great catalyst for the Las Vegas cultural community, bringing us together and into the future as a united force. It all began in 2012 when, with local museum consultant Art Wolf at the helm, Las Vegas museum directors met to prepare a bid to host the 2014 WMA Annual Meeting. This campaign included a...
By Lauren Valone
Design thinking is a big buzzword these days, and is being applied in both corporate and not-for-profit settings. However, it is much more than simply thinking like a designer might. Indeed, design thinking is about combining analytical and creative methods to arrive at innovative solutions. Dana Mitroff Silvers, former Head of Online Services at the San Francisco Museum of...
By Lauren Valone
James Tharp, Trustee, Telluride Historical Museum, former President of the Museum of Moab, and former Western Museums Association (WMA) Board Member, received the 2014 Director’s Chair Award. He is a passionate board member, always eager to learn more of the museum field, and has been involved with WMA for many years.
Aldona Jonaitis, Director of the University of Alaska Museum...
By Dr. Jennifer Kramer
On April 7, 2015 I participated in an author panel discussion called “Writing about First Nations” as part of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia’s Read Local BC campaign. I am an associate professor in the department of anthropology and one of the curators responsible for the Pacific Northwest collections at the Museum of Anthropology at the University...
Providing scholarships is a vital component of the WMA’s mission—and we need your help!
The WMA Annual Meeting features a Silent Auction in the Exhibit Hall and a spirited Live Auction during an Evening Event. Proceeds from the auctions directly fund the Wanda Chin Scholarship program, which helps to subsidize participation in the Annual Meeting for professionals who might otherwise not be able...
Countless museum professionals make invaluable contributions to the field. They accomplish personal and institutional goals, mentor their colleagues, and safegaurd the future of museums. However, they can go unrecognized for this important work.
The Western Museums Association (WMA) is accepting nominations for the 2015 Director’s Chair Award in recognition of these unsung heroes. The Director’s...
Museum exhibits can show visitors new perspectives, challenge commonly held notions, and bring people into new worlds. While museums have many important functions in their communities, the exhibits are the centerpieces of their educational work.
Do you know of an exhibit in 2014–2015 that challenged perceptions or progressed the scholarship of the American West? Nominate it for the 2015 Charles...

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