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2023 Annual Conference Schedule

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  • 2023 Conference Schedule

Program available

The program is now available with descriptions and logistics for all the sessions and events for the 2023 Annual Conference.

Read the program

All events at Open Space Studios, unless otherwise noted.

Register for the conference now



Sunday, September 10

   All pre-conference events must be selected when you register for the conference.
 2:00-4:00 pm  Pre-conference workshop: Bending the rules for greater accommodation.
Hands-on workshop focused on how to plan and implement a project starting and finishing with accessibility and inclusion. Deschutes Historical Museum.

3:00-4:00 pm

 SOLD OUT. Pre-conference activity: Historical walking tour of downtown Bend, Deschutes  Historical Museum .

 3:00-6:00 pm
 Registration. Deschutes Historical Museum.
5:00 - 8:00 pm  Meet up and no-host dinnerWorthy Brewing, 495 NE Bellevue Dr, Bend


 Monday, September 11
7:00-8:00 am 

Morning walk along the river. Meet in front of Commons Cafe, downtown Bend.

 8:00-9:00 am

Registration, breakfast, networking, silent auction. Open Space Event Studios.

9:00-9:15 am

OMA Welcome, conference updates, logistics

 9:15-9:30 am
 Performance: Elizabeth Woody, poet and visual artist.
 9:30-10:15 am
Keynote speaker: Kenny Adams, Executive Director of The Father 's Group in Bend, OR.
 10:15-10:30 am
 Break
10:30 am-12:00 pm

Conversations with funders

Join this roundtable of state, local, and private funders to learn about and discuss funding opportunities in Oregon. Participants will learn about different grants and programs in Oregon, and how to access these funding opportunities for cultural organizations.

Presenters: Aili Schreiner, Oregon Cultural Trust; additional presenters from other funders TBD.

 12:00 -12:45 pm

Hosted lunch 

 12:45-2:00 pm

 Concurrent sessions

Session 1A – Highways through time

No, really…a highway is being built right through the middle of a historic Deschutes County homestead. ODOT's "Bend-North Corridor" project to realign and improve an over-congested portion of Highway 97 through Bend required finding a new home for the historic Nels Anderson house. In addition to having the home relocated, part of ODOT's "mitigation plan" is partnering with the Deschutes County Museum to develop an exhibit featuring the story of Nels and Lillian Anderson and several other homesteading families in the area. For the historical society, presenting that story enables a conversation about the success and failures of early 20th century homesteading and irrigation in Deschutes County as a once thriving dairy lies forgotten under a highway.

Presenters: Rebekah Averette, Deschutes County Museum; Kelly Cannon-Miller, Deschutes County Museum; Larissa Rudnicki, Oregon Department of Transportation

Session 1B – Catalyze your community through arts and culture

A Creative & Cultural District is a mixed-use area in a community where there is a high concentration of arts and cultural facilities and events. The district reflects the community’s unique cultural heritage, showcases the region’s arts and culture, increases social engagement, and positions the community as a cultural tourism destination. In this interactive session, participants will explore the impact of arts and culture on local economies throughout Oregon and what communities are currently doing to build arts and culture into the core of their identities. You’ll learn how to create an inspiring vision for your community and how to build an inclusive coalition to champion this work locally.

Presenter: Liora Sponko, Oregon Arts Commission

 2:00-2:15 pm
 Break
 2:15-3:30 pm

 Concurrent sessions

Session 2A – Welcoming diverse presenters

Diversifying public programs is as complex as the diverse communities we seek to reach. From remote outreach and onsite welcome to the administrative process, institutions and cultural experts face communications challenges and differing values that can make or break the experience. Culture keepers of various backgrounds share their experiences delivering public programs alongside the venues that hired them, followed by a Q&A.

Presenters: Emily Hartlerode-West, Oregon Folklife Network; Brigette McConville,Warm Springs; Antonio Huerta, Comunidad y Herencia Cultural

Session 2B – Finding aids first: Organizing collections as a first step towards increasing access

Collection level finding aids, in common use at libraries and archives, can be a useful tool for museums. A finding aid broadly describes a collection and helps to physically organize materials, is useful in planning exhibits and grant proposals and can serve as the first step in larger projects. Most importantly, a finding aid can be an easy and quick way to make content publicly available. The presenters will describe the value of collection finding aids, demonstrate how they are put together, and explore Oregon Heritage resources that can help with project planning and implementation. During this participatory session attendees will develop a template finding aid for their museum.

Presenters: Maureen Battistella, Southern Oregon University; Dorothy Cotton, Phoenix Historical Society and Museum; Eva Guggemos, Pacific University; Cam Amabile, Oregon Heritage

 3:30-3:45 pm
 Break
3:45-5:00 pm
Concurrent sessions

Session 3A –Confronting a problematic legacy: Re-imagining the Bush House Museum

As caretakers of the Bush House Museum (BHM), the Salem Art Association (SAA) has a special responsibility to look closely at the historical record and, when evidence of oppression or racism comes to light, to acknowledge wrongdoings in an honest and upfront manner. To this end, Matthew Boulay and Tammy Jo Wilson have initiated an effort to clearly and unequivocally condemn Asahel Bush’s racist words and actions. And yet, simply condemning past racism is not enough. At SAA, we believe in the power of art to not only educate, entertain, delight, and dazzle, but to simultaneously interrogate, stimulate, and challenge. With these goals in mind, the SAA/BHM team is re-imagining exhibitions and programming at BHM by placing contemporary art in a historical setting. In their talk, Boulay and Wilson will share some of the history surrounding Asahel Bush and describe the team's current efforts to expand the curatorial vision of this extraordinary house museum.

Presenters: Matthew Boulay, and Tammy Jo Wilson, Salem Art Association and Bush House Museum

Session 3B - Prioritizing new audiences: Utilizing collections in senior enrichment programs

This presentation and interactive session will address the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s journey with its Senior Enrichment Programs as the museum works to reach audiences that cannot physically visit our facility. We’ll share how we utilize artifacts from the museum’s collection that aren’t normally on display, and describe our experience sharing memories—and making memories—with this previously underserved audience. The audience will participate by sharing resources and brainstorming ideas and ways to connect with their own communities.

Presenters: Julia Triezenberg and Meg Glazier-Anderson, Columbia River Maritime Museum

5:30-7:30 pm  A Night(cap) at the Museum. Reception at the High Desert Museum. Wear your favorite hat! Hosted wine, beer and drinks. CafĂ© open for food purchase. Carpooling recommended.


 Tuesday, September 12
 7:00-8:00 am
Morning walk, Pilot Butte.
7:30-8:30 am  Registration, breakfast, Silent Auction, poster viewing
 8:30-9:30 am OMA news and updates - Annual members meeting, all conference attendees welcome. Learn what OMA has been up to and hear updates about membership, finances and more. Network with OMA board members and other OMA members. Find out how to get more involved.
 9:30-10:00 am
 Break. Poster viewing. Silent Auction closes at 9:45. Pay for and pick up winning bids.
 7:30-11:30 am

 Poster session

Poster: The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is a national program that started over 90 years ago. It offers fabulous opportunities to students who are serious about pursuing art and writing, and is open to students throughout Oregon. Museums hold a unique position in being able to reach students and support opportunities for them. Come learn about the awards program and opportunities to host it in regions throughout the state.

Presenter: Jessica Hougen, Benton County Historical Society

Poster: Engaging students at Linfield Anthropology Museum

The Linfield Anthropology Museum in McMinnville "bends the rules" as a unique, student-led institution--the only museum of its kind in Oregon. This poster presentation will discuss the benefits of opening up small museum collections for research with an emphasis on undergraduate opportunities. Research conducted by a current student on rare artifacts from Cameroon will be discussed as an example of how discoveries are being made by having the museum operate in the uncommon way that it does.

Presenter: Ian Thomson, Student, Linfield University

 10:00-11:15 am

 Concurrent sessions

Session 4A – Collections management for rogues: Sometimes the wrong way is the only way

Collections care is a highly specialized field requiring education and a generous budget to do correctly. So where does that leave smaller museums with a large backlog and no professional staff? The presenters are collections workers who have fudged the rules, cut corners, and still gotten the job done. We begin with the premise that half- or quarter-measures are better than no measures at all. At the end, we will troubleshoot attendees’ collections conundrums.

Presenters: Silvie Andrews, Gresham Historical Society; Kathleen Sligar, Oregon Military Museum; Helen Fedchak, Oregon Historical Society

Session 4B – Classroom visits: Bringing your museum into the classroom

Classroom visits can increase accessibility to content and expand museum's engagement with students. This workshop will provide museum professionals with guidance for how to bring your museum’s content into classrooms. Topics that will be discussed include the following: school district and teacher outreach; communication with classroom teachers; curriculum development; and staff training and recruitment. Attendees will be given materials to review and discuss, case studies of different classrooms to determine how to effectively develop programming, and an opportunity to ask questions.

Presenter: Andrew Duden, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

 11:15-11:30 am
 Break. Poster viewing. Pay for and pick up Silent Auction items.
11:30 am -12:45 pm
Concurrent sessions

Session 5A - In over our heads: Building interactives on a budget for small museums

Creating exhibits is hard. Creating them from scratch on a limited budget is even harder. Learn from three different perspectives how to create exhibits on a budget. The Albany Regional Museum recently redesigned their entire exhibition space, from concept designs to interactives and more. As they talk through their DIY trials and errors, learn how you can build interactives like talking picture frames, turning text panels, and sliding magnifiers. Gritt will demonstrate in a step-by-step process how to effectively and sustainably create budget-friendly rotating “from the vault” exhibits utilizing frontline staff and volunteers. The Independence Heritage Museum moved locations and reopened in April 2022. Within six months, the museum’s 5,000 sq. ft. exhibit space was conceptualized, designed, and built on a $15,000 budget with only two staff members and a handful of volunteers. From these presentations, attendees will experience exhibit interactives, receive a hands-on lesson on how to build a free-standing wall and other exhibit props, and learn how to best incorporate nontraditional staff in creating exhibits.

Presenters: Amy Bozorth and Clara Scillian Kennedy, Albany Regional Museum; Jennifer Gritt, Historian/Independent Museum Professional; Natascha Adams, Independence Heritage Museum

Session 5B - Relationship building: Collecting cultural memory at EugPride! 2023

Lane County History Museum and Springfield History Museum discuss strategies for museums in striving to be actively relevant, responsive, and valuable community resources, with the goal of creating collections that better reflect and involve our communities. In this session they will share their efforts to collect photographs and stories of the LGBTQ+ community in Lane County as part of a four-organization collaboration.

Presenters: Allison Fischer-Olson and Jennifer Yeh, Lane County History Museum; Madeline McGraw and Mindy Linder, Springfield History Museum

 12:45-1:00 pm
 Closing
 1:00-2:30 pm
 No-host networking lunch (optional). Midtown Yacht Club, Bend (food cart pod)


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8604, Portland, OR 97207
Contact: connect@oregonmuseums.org 
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