2019 General Session Panelist - Phillip Thompson

General Session Panelist Cover Photo copy.jpg
Moderated by Scott Stulen, Director & President of the Philbrook Museum of Art, WMA's 2019 General Session Panelists will share their approaches to institutional change, digging deep into the ways museums can ENGAGE with their communities, staff, and other museums.
The 2019 panelists include
Maren Dougherty • Seema Rao • Adam Rozan • Phillip Thompson
To introduce you to the moderator and four panelists, we have asked them to answer a few of our questions.
Take a look to see what Phillip Thompson has to say:
PhillipThompson.jpgPhillip Thompson
Executive Director/Board President, Idaho Black History Museum
Phillip Thompson is a 6th Generation Idahoan, with a 20+ year Career in Information Technology. As the Former President of the Islamic Center of Boise (ICB), Thompson now serves as ICB's Director of Outreach and is the Board President & Director of the Idaho Black History Museum (IBHM). Thompson additionally serves on the Boise Police Chief's Community Advisory Panel, the Board of Directors City Club of Boise, and the Board of Directors Future Public School. Furthermore, he is a Boxing Coach and works with Parkinson's patients to delay the progression of disease through the physical activity of boxing, weight lifting, and exercise. His biggest accomplishment yet is being a proud father of his 8-year-old daughter, Zaida.
How did you get your start in museums?
Since my childhood, I have had a vested interest in what is now, the Idaho Black History Museum (IBHM). Orginally constructed as the St. Baptist Church in 1921, the building was built by my Great Great Grandfather, and I attended church there as a child. Years later, when IBHM was founded, I was a member on the board.
What is your favorite thing about working in the museum field?
The conversations I have with those who tend to frequent museums. I find them insightful and mind-expanding. Plus, being able to tell a story in the way of my choosing.
What do you think is the most pressing issue that museums are currently facing?
The most pressing issue is a change in the museum business model. Museums are becoming less dependent upon the goodwill of others, and museums have to find creative funding streams, without losing the integrity of the product they deliver.
Regarding community engagement, what do you think is the most important thing to keep front and center?
Relevance and practical application. Museums should appeal to both the young and to those that typically would not visit a museum by framing the subject in a way that reaches diverse populations.
What are some tips for museum professionals working with groups from outside the museum?
When working with outside groups, be sure to have clear, open, and direct communication. Also, make the arrangement mutually beneficial where it is not an act of charity, solely benefiting the museum.

Do you have any recommendations for attendees as they prepare for WMA 2019?
I recommend that you engage in open conversation with your fellow peers and attendees.



You can follow Phillip Thompson on:

LinkedIn: PhillipThompson

Register to attend WMA 2019 in Boise, ID, October 4-7th.
Member Early Bird Registration Deadline is August 2nd.
Not a member? Click here to become a WMA member today!



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Just want to see if you are a robot.