Written by Wanda Chin Scholarship Recipient Amy Chaloupka
The last large public event I attended the weekend before the pandemic shut everything down in March 2020 was a painting symposium in Portland. So, it felt right returning to PDX for WMA’s annual meeting in October—my first large professional gathering in over two years.
Written by 2022 Wanda Chin Scholarship Recipient Jessica Hougen
This was the first conference I’ve been to since before the pandemic. The last one I went to was the California Association of Museums (CAM) in March 2020. That one was great, but weird. We all knew something was happening but we didn’t yet know the severity of the situation. It was business as usual, with plenty of hand sanitizer to go around.
Written by 2022 Wanda Chin Scholarship Recipient Ali Smurawa
I was near the tail-end of my first year as a full-time museum educator when I applied for the Wanda Chin scholarship. I knew that I wanted to (and needed to) attend a museum conference, but which one, and how? WMA’s theme Forward spoke to me, and as I sent off my application, I waited in anticipation for a reply. If awarded, then this was the conference that would set the bar for all future conferences because I had never attended one before.
Written by 2022 Wanda Chin Scholarship Recipient Jenna Canals
I can do this. One final affirmation in the mirror before Day 1 of my first conference. My heart is in my throat, my stomach is in my butt, and I’m flooded with equal parts excitement and apprehension. I’m out the door and on my way to the Opening Session and Keynote. I’ve missed most of the morning coffee but my 8 AM “Pep Talk with Self” ran a little late.
Fear-extinguishing elements in order of appearance: