Program Perspectives: Get Ready for WMA 2013

By Steve Comba

With Registration now open for the Western Museums Association (WMA) 2013 Annual Meeting, we thought you might also want access to the Preliminary Program. The WMA Program Committee has been deciding on and preparing for the WMA 2013 sessions since January. Let me explain…


It was 9 degrees in Salt Lake, maybe, felt much colder,

IMG_2255 Wintery view from the hotel

when 20 brave-hearted souls waded strong-coffee bolder.
They had 75 session proposals, all worthy of note,
sequestered themselves like castaways on a boat.

‘Twas nearly 10 hours of work, till day one was done,
and not a single person faded, no one had run.
Round the table sat a symphony of good-humored pros
from just about every imaginable station within the museum, I suppose.

We called ourselves "shepherds," because of our action
to make each proposal succeed and gain traction.
Weighed options, added input, then watched the clock
as we gave each session our best, and boy, can we talk.

Imagine if you will, a sort of "Roundtable"
where, instead of landed gentry, sat real people, no fable.
Each opinion well versed and equally respected
at the end of the day, the votes were collected.

Using terms like "gap filling" and "session tracking,"
the Program Committee intends that no one find lacking,
a reason to learn or to connect with the like-minded,
or to explore some new place, go out, be far-sighted.

We met again, this time much less shivered
to dig through our work, a Program delivered.
Striving for balance, for clarity, and depth,
we hope our many members appreciate the breadth.

On a personal note, it has been such a pleasure
to sit round that table of so many of great measure.
Meals and drinks, filled with pints of mirth and merry
in a town like SLC where the opportunities for much never vary.


So to Art, Anne and Carrie, Clare and Irene,
working with you has been supreme.
To James and Jennifer, Jerry and Keni,
your diligence and concern will benefit many.
With Kurt, and Lorie, Louise (who will lead),
we crafted a program and did a good deed.
Margaret and Moya, Nathan and Paul,
were like long lost friends, who were not lost at all.
Sarah and Sean completed the table
where I sat with Steve Olsen, a man far more able.
Jason arranged us, made us all keep on time,
and even allowed me to publish this rhyme.

So when you see those colored ribbons attached to a name,
remember to say hello, because we're all the same.
Committed to sharing in order to crack wise
just don't ask what I mean by poundcakefrenchfries.

The Program Committee chose 50 sessions that are grouped into tracks including, business, careerpath/leadership, collections, visitor experience, technology, and community engagement. And like many of our roles at our institutions, these session tracks overlap. Read the WMA 2013 Preliminary Program now!

On behalf of the Program Committee, we look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City for WMA 2013. Early Bird registration is now open until July 31, 2013. REGISTER now and save!

Steve Comba is a WMA Board member and the Co-Chair of the Western Museums Association’s 2013 Program Committee. He is also the Assistant Director/Registrar of Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont, California.



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