Pre-Conference Happenings at WMA 2022


This fall, WMA will welcome museum professionals as they arrive in Portland, Oregon for four days of learning and connecting at the 2022 Annual Meeting.

On Thursday, October 8th, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in pre-conference happenings throughout the day and come evening, attend the Opening Reception and the Opening Progressive Party in New Chinatown/Japantown. Hosted by unique and unforgettable Oregon institutions, the 2022 Pre-Conference Tours, Workshops, and events will be an immersive, entertaining, and unforgettable way to start the Annual Meeting.


Pre-Conference Tours

Attendees have the option to sign up for one of two Pre-Conference Tours:

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Behind the Scenes Tour

Attendees will tour OMSI’s exhibit production shop where their newest traveling exhibition, Wild Creativity, is being built and get the inside scoop on its development from Exhibit’s creative team. Also, see the dynamic Teen Tech Center, a free multi-media, technology-focused maker space for teens ages 13-18 that is off-limits to adults. Take a tour to explore a space made especially for teens.

$40 (includes transportation, museum admission, and a guided tour)

Pittock Mansion Tour

Completed in 1914, Pittock Mansion is a historic house museum that was originally the family home of Henry Pittock, owner of The Oregonian newspaper. Attendees will be welcomed and provided a brief overview of the Mansion’s history before beginning a self-guided tour of the house, including its period rooms and a temporary exhibit about Oregon's Black pioneers entitled, Black in Oregon, 1840-1870. They will also be free to explore the grounds and enjoy the breathtaking views of downtown Portland and the Cascade Mountains.

$40 (includes transportation, museum admission, and a self-guided tour)


Pre-Conference Workshops

In addition to the tours, attendees option to sign up to attend one of three Pre-Conference Workshops.

Moving Forward with Communities: Co-Creating More Meaningful and Equitable Experiences

Museums face barriers as they consider how to _move forward _in the context of the dual pandemics of COVID and racism. Utilizing community-centered design strategies, museums can improve visitor satisfaction and operationalize commitments to inclusive practices. Join us for a practical and engaging experience as you deeply understand the barriers you’re facing, identify problems within your systems, explore root causes through empathy interviews, and reimagine the experiences, practices, and policies that will meaningfully engage visitors.

The Moving Forward with Communities workshop will be presented by Julie Smith, Founder and Senior Improvement Advisor Community Design Partners, and moderated by Daniel Ramirez, PhD, Senior Improvement Advisor, Community Design Partners & Mary Kay Cunningham, Visitor Experience Specialist, Dialogue.

$25 (includes all materials)

Breaking Barriers: A Cultural Accessibility Project

Museums need to address disability and work to create exceedingly accessible spaces for people with disabilities. During this workshop, participants will learn how a state agency and non-profit teamed up to create accessibility training for cultural professionals across Utah. Participants will dive into some of the accessibility and accommodations content before working to identify deficiencies in their own spaces. Participants will leave having started an Accessibility Plan for their museum. We recommend 2+ participants/museum.

The presenters of Breaking Barriers include Jason Bowcutt, Community Programs & Performing Arts Manager, Utah Division of Arts & Museums; Gabriella Huggins, Executive Director, Art Access; Stan Clawson, Consultant Art Access; and moderator Michelle Mileham, Project Manager, Utah Division of Arts & Museums.

$25 (includes all materials)

CSI: Registrars Workshop

Each year, in conjunction with the Western Museums Association Annual Meeting, the Registrars Committee - Western Region organizes its members to volunteer their professional skills at a museum near where the meeting is being held. Join us for “CSI: Registrars” (Collections Services Initiative), an all-day event of giving back to our collections community!

Registration will be handled by Registrars Committee Western Region. To register for this workshop please visit For more information on participating or to submit your project for consideration, go to or contact RCWR Vice Chair Beth Sanders at


Pre-Conference Evening Events

Wrapping up the day of pre-conference events and to kick off the first evening in Portland, attendees are invited to attend the Opening Party and Opening Reception.

Opening Reception

Join your fellow WMA 2022 attendees for a FREE Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall at the Annual Meeting headquarters hotel, the Hilton Portland Downtown. Start your first evening in Portland enjoying appetizers, drinks, and conversing with colleagues and our corporate members.

Opening Progressive Party in New Chinatown/Japantown

WMA’s Annual Meeting attendees will take a progressive walking tour through Portland’s New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District to visit the neighborhood’s four cultural destinations: Lan Su Chinese Garden, Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Portland Chinatown Museum, and Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE). These intimate venues are rich in their respective heritages and reflect Portland’s oldest surviving historic neighborhood. When Portland incorporated in 1851, this ethnically diverse neighborhood was a hub of activity and the district was a haven for immigrants including Black, Greek, Jewish, Roma, Chinese, Japanese and Filipino.

Light bites and drinks will be served in OJMCHE’s auditorium.

$50 (includes appetizers, drinks, and transportation).


We warmly invite you to register for WMA 2022 and our selection of Pre-Conference happenings. Let’s experience Portland together!


Click Here to Register