Western Museums Association's Roadshow

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October 2021, rather than host our traditional Annual Meeting, WMA partnered with 4 state museum associations and a variety of partners to run small, safe, in-person pop-up museum professional development events in 4 different cities. Following local health and safety guidelines, these half-day experiences included learning and networking opportunities.

State museum associations are a crucial partner in WMA’s effort to help museum people reconnect, learn, and support one another in person once again. We were pleased to partner with Utah Museums Association, Museum Association of Arizona, California Association of Museums, and Washington Museum Association for each of these events.




A look back at the WMA Roadshow...

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"I was wonderfully overwhelmed by the intellect, compassion and enthusiasm of the fellow attendees, hosts and presenters. I am so proud to be in the company of museum professionals such as these!" – Roadshow Attendee


October 1, 2021

Event at Thanksgiving Point Institute with the Utah Museums Association

The WMA Roadshow kicked off it's series of month-long programming with a session on Removing Barriers Through Museums for All. Museums for All is a national visitation program created jointly by the Association of Children’s Museums and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Through Museums for All, those receiving food assistance through the SNAP benefits program can receive free or reduced admission to over 700 museums across the country. In this session, representatives from Utah museums that are participating in Museums for All shared their experiences participating in this program and discussed how their museums have been impacted.

After a Round Table on the dual pandemics, attendees participated in an Authentic Partnerships session during which they learned about two authentic partnerships between museums and indigenous people that demonstrated the nature of true collaboration, trust, and shared authority. Attendees learned about the development of the Boa Ogai exhibit at the Hyrum City Museum and the Diné Spiral Garden at Thanksgiving Point’s Farm Country and the processes and relationship-building that allowed these humans to create wonderful outcomes together.

Presenters included:

Marina Astin, Education Manager, Tracy Aviary

Diana Call, Executive Director, St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm

Laura St. Onge, VP of Development & Corporate Relations, Thanksgiving Point

Brad Parry, Vice Chairman, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation

Jami Van Huss, Director, Hyrum City Museum

Shakotah Billie, Running Strong 2021 Dreamstarter awardee

Diné Axel Estable, Curator of Curiosity/Director of Learning and Engagement, Thanksgiving Point Institute

Lorie Millward, VP of Possibilities, Thanksgiving Point Institute and VP of Programs and Innovation, WMA (Moderator)

Stephen Ashton, Director of Audience Research and Evaluation, Thanksgiving Point (Moderator)


October 6, 2021 

Event at Arizona Heritage Center with the Museum Association of Arizona

With the shift to virtual "everything" in the last 18 months, what have we learned and what do we still need to figure out? During this virtual event, museum professionals heard from colleagues on how they have pivoted to virtual programming and had the opportunity to share their own experiences. Other sessions included how to obtain revenue from online activities, the successes and failures of virtual events, and the challenges for continuing online while also returning to in-person programming in the future.


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"The WMA Roadshow was the safest event/interaction/gathering I have experienced during the pandemic. From requiring proof of vaccination, to well-spaced seating, they made it possible to meet in person again. There is no substitute for the kind of learning and connection that happens when people get together to co-create knowledge. Thank You!" – Roadshow Attendee


October 20, 2021 

Event at Oakland Museum of California with the California Association of Museums

Attendees were welcomed to the Oakland Museum of California with a special tour of the exhibition Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism. The tour was followed by a unique presentation and workshop in OMCA's James Moore Theater with museum educator and author Marjorie Schwarzer. Marjorie discussed her new American Alliance of Museums report Museums and Creative Aging: A Healthful Partnership and the role museums can play in the building of social connections, nurturing creative expression, and enhancing wellbeing for the aging of America. Marjorie and attendees were also joined by others who are creating meaningful experiences and supporting the creative aging movement.

Presenters included:

Joyce Gardella, Principal, Gardella & Associates

Karen Kienzle, Director, Palo Alto Art Center

Jessica McCracken, Director, Creative Spark, Front Porch

Marjorie Schwarzer, Author, Museums and Creative Aging: A Healthful Partnership

Katie Wade, Senior Director of Creative Engagement, Front Porch


October 27, 2021

Event at The Burke Museum with the Washington Museum Association

In the fourth and final event of the WMA Roadwhow, attendees participated in a variety of learning sessions and heard from an array of museum professionals from across Washington state. Festivus for the Rest Of Us was an un-workshop (Moderated by Seth Margolis from the Museum of Flight) where everyone swapped survivor stories, participated in an Airing of (COVID-19) Grievances, and reconnected after 18 months apart. Attendees took notes from Manny Cawaling (Executive Director, Inspire Washington) on resources for COVID-19 relief funding and Washington State legislative priorities related to pandemic recovery, and attendees heard from Allison Campbell (Heritage Outreach Manager, Washington State Historical Society) who presented on resources related to the upcoming America’s 250 celebration, as well as upcoming funding and advocacy opportunities.


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"Well worth the trip! The Roadshow was an excellent investment in my own learning and growth, full of smart, fun and compassionate thinkers and do-ers." – Roadshow Attendee


Thank you to our state association partners!

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Thank you to our Roadshow sponsors!

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