Digital Empowerment Project for Small Museums


WMA & Regional Museum Associations Announce the Digital Empowerment Pilot Project

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced a National Leadership Grant for Museums award of $259,920 for the Digital Empowerment - Technology and Digital Media Training for Small Museums project, a new collaborative, field-wide capacity-building effort. This pilot project will help small museums access best practices and build capacity in a range of museum technology and digital media subjects—from collections digitization to website and education resource development and discoverability to virtual engagement strategies—at no cost.

The Digital Empowerment for Small Museums pilot program will be led and managed by the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM) and will bring together the other five U.S. regional associations as collaborative partners: Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM), Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA), New England Museum Association (NEMA), Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC), and Western Museums Association (WMA). A technology consultant will offer expert guidance on the project with technology instructors and student technology fellows. This is the first time that this group will embark on a single nationwide action-oriented effort.

We are thankful for the generous support by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and honored to be working with our fellow regional museum associations to create a small museum specific digital literacy program,” said Jason B. Jones WMA Executive Director. “This grant comes at a time of tremendous need for small museums to develop and strengthen digital media practices, and supports WMA’s continued work to 'change the museum field through collaboration.' It is also a recognition of our leadership and innovative work to build the resilient museum field of the future.”

The Digital Empowerment for Small Museums will produce a series of ten digital media and technology modules featuring hands-on, step-by-step training sessions by museum technologists coupled with contextualizing introductory sessions featuring strategies used by peer museum practitioners. All live session recordings and supplementary resource toolkits will be organized in a publicly available Resource Hub website featuring an online community forum supported by student technology fellows.


Module topics:

April 2021 - Accessibility & Inclusion

May - Live Streaming

June - Managing Digitization Projects

July - Managing Website Projects

August - Virtual Exhibitions

September - Podcasts

October - Video Production Tools

November - Audiences & Analytics

December - Social Media

January 2022 - Digitizing 3D Collections


Previously Recorded Museum Learning Hub Webinars – Click to watch

Module 1 – Digital Accessibility: Intro Session: Get Inspired

Module 1 – Technical Workshop 1: Intro to Digital Accessibility and Inclusion

Module 1 – Technical Workshop 2: Live/Streamed Program Accessibility

Module 1 – Technical Workshop 3: Accessibility in Digital Collections

Module 2 – Live Streaming: Intro Session: Get Inspired

Module 2 – Technical Workshop 1: Intro to Live Streaming

Module 2 – Technical Workshop 2: Audience Participation in Live Streamed Programs

Module 2 – Technical Workshop 2: Live Streaming with Multi-Source Content

Module 3 – Managing Digitization Projects: Intro Session: Get Inspired

Module 3 – Technical Workshop 1: Digitization: Strategy and Purpose

Module 3 – Technical Workshop 2: How to Build a Digitization Project

Module 3 – Technical Workshop 3: Imaging Standards and Logistics in Digitization Projects

Module 4 – Managing Website Projects: Intro Session: Get Inspired

Module 4 – Technical Workshop 1: Plan for Success

Module 4 – Technical Workshop 2: Setting Content Priorities

Module 4 – Technical Workshop 3: Managing the Project

Module 5 – Virtual Exhibitions: Intro Session: Get Inspired

Module 5 – Technical Workshop 1: Strategies, Project Workflow and Efficient Design

Module 5 – Tech Workshop 2: Web-Based Curatorial Approaches

Module 5 – Tech Workshop 3: Exhibition Design in Virtual Environments

Module 6 – Podcasts: Get Inspired

Module 6 – Tech Workshop 1: Introduction to Podcasting from Museums




About the Institute of Museum and Library Services: The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Regional Museum Association Partners: The six regional museum associations are the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM), Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM), Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA), New England Museum Association (NEMA), Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC), and Western Museums Association (WMA)—collectively referred to as the Council of Regional Associations (CRA). All CRA members are 501(c)(3) non-profit professional service organizations providing educational programs for museums of varying types and sizes (majority small to mid-sized) in their region.
About the Western Museums Association: The Western Museums Association (WMA) is a nonprofit, membership organization dedicated to serving museums, museum professionals, and related institutions by providing vision, enrichment, intellectual challenge, as well as a forum for communication and interaction. Through training and educational programs, the WMA empowers the diverse museum community of the West to cultivate leadership and enable institutions to remain relevant in a dynamic world. To learn more, please visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
Read our blog post "Announcing the Museum Learning Hub! " HERE.
Read full IMLS announcement HERE.

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