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January 17, 2019
by Christy Ham
While this year’s theme of the WMA Annual Meeting was Inspire, community was a hot topic of discussion, and it was one that hit home for me. I am new to the museum field and did not quite know what to expect. My adventure into the world of museum professional started in the Fall of 2017 when I took on the newly-created position of Membership & Visitor Experience Supervisor at...
January 10, 2019
by Cara Gallo
After brushing the desert dust off myself, I was promptly anointed with enthusiasm by the splashy drive from Seattle airport – inspiration sparkled as we arrived at the glistening Murano Hotel. The streets aligned with trees of fiery tones illuminated through the shrouding fog, their autumnal hues and aromas began to feed this Jersey girl hankering for fall’s change – absent from my...
January 3, 2019
by Kristine Clark
While it wasn’t the first movie to do so, Night at the Museum (2006) helped popularize the imaginative concepts of nighttime magic and mayhem in the museum for current generations of museumgoers. In the movie, the museum comes to life because of a curse. In Tacoma, the museums came to life because of the WMA conference! With a packed program filling the daytime hours, Tacoma’s...
December 27, 2018
by Alannah DeBusk, Registrar, Sharlot Hall Museum
Whenever I think about what personally inspires me, I always reflect back on the wonderful museums I have visited and the incredible museum professionals I have met and worked with. And where inspiration and museums always collide is at the Western Museums Association’s Annual Meeting. It’s no wonder why the theme for this year’s meeting was...
December 20, 2018
by Meka Manchak
I started in the museum field in 2009. The Great Recession was in full-swing and museums—like a lot of industries--were not hiring. I interned, unpaid, for a full-year before catching a break and landing a full-time position working in exhibits at a history museum. I stayed at that museum for five years gaining experience, chasing new opportunities, and trying to learn as much as...
December 18, 2018

The new year brings an opportunity to make a fresh start and set the course for a happy and successful 2019. As the year winds down, it’s a great time to examine how we can make adjustments to the way we work.
Burnout is a problem in all sectors, and non-profit workers can be especially vulnerable to workplace fatigue. Many museum workers face expanding job responsibilities, long hours, and...
December 13, 2018
by Azha Simmons
Since my time as a graduate student I’ve enjoyed attending museum conferences and the Western Museums Association Annual Meeting is one of my favorites. My attendance at this conference was very special, because I recently graduated from my Museum Studies program from John F. Kennedy University. I was no longer attending the conference as a student, but as a new emerging museum...
December 6, 2018
by Christina Ayson
Attending academic conferences as a doctoral student can be a daunting experience. Navigating the various codes of etiquette, the theory driven panels, and networking amongst senior faculty from elite institutions is intimidating. I have often left these conferences more tired than invigorated. WMA was different; I felt inspired, challenged, and integral to the progression of...

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