WMA2015

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By Margaret Kadoyama
What does it mean to truly listen? And how does the answer to that question relate to our lives as museum professionals?
The theme of Western Museums Association 2015 Annual Meeting is Listen • Learn • Lead. It’s no coincidence that the first word in the theme is listen. Truly listening is at the core of our work with our internal and external communities. But what does this...
By Brenda Salguero
I grew up ashamed of who I was.
It wasn’t until recently I even realized that I had felt this way. That is the insidious nature of systemic racism—you never realize how much you hate yourself or even why.
Like all Americans, I grew up surrounded by a white dominant media, but the communities I lived in never reflected what I saw on TV. Additionally, the majority of my teachers...
By Lindsey Kouvaris
As museums, our charge is to care. We take possession of historical objects, cultural artifacts, and works of art. We commit to exhibiting them, caring for them, and preserving their place in history. And, we adopt institutional missions, collections policies, and collecting goals to help guide us through the process.
But, what about the objects that don’t seem to fit our...
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...
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...
What does it mean for museums and their staff to listen; to learn; and to lead? These three elements are inextricably related for museums, museum professionals, and the communities we serve. The act of listening affects a person’s and an institution’s ability to learn; learning in turn makes us stronger leaders in our institutions and in the museum field.
The Western Museums Association...
Professional conferences are a fantastic arena to learn and grow through attending sessions, networking with peers, and exposure to organizational, theoretical, and geographical perspectives. However, taking advantage of this type of opportunity often is a matter of finances.
The Western Museums Association (WMA) offers the Wanda Chin Scholarship to assist member’s financial needs and ultimately...

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