Museum Association of Arizona


2014 MAA Annual Conference 

Flagstaff, AZ   May 1-2, 2014

 Mutual Engagement:  Museums and Communities





SECTION A: Thursday, May 1, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.


A1 Creating Museum Communities (Roundtable)

There are several museum professional groups in Arizona exchanging information and ideas:  Tucson, central Arizona, Cochise County, and most recently Pinal County.  Learn how these rural museums, historical societies, and cultural centers work together to strengthen communication and create potential for greater partnerships.

Berlin Loa (Casa Grande Valley Historical Society)

Vicki Berger (President, CAMA)

Laraine Daly Jones (Arizona Historical Society)

Annie Larkin (Bisbee Historical and Mining Museum) 


A2 Introduction to Interpretation and How to Give a Great Guided Tour

Visitors come to museums seeking both information and entertainment. How can you best meet their needs?  Museums collect objects with the intent of preserving them and teaching ideas through them. Interpretation not only connects visitors to the ideas but brings meaning to the objects. Guided tours are an excellent interpretive tool. Experienced tour guides will share their knowledge on what interpretation is, how to do it, and how to create a great guided tour.

Nicole Lober (Riordan Mansion SHP)

Kathy Farretta (Sedona Heritage Museum)


A3 Having Your Cake and Eating It Too: Sustainability Features as Visitor Amenity

Sustainability features at museum facilities not only benefit the environment, but can also enhance visitor and community experience. A museum can strengthen its mission by having a physical environment that best represents its ideals. In addition, membership and attendance can be boosted through focusing and enhancing visitor/customer experience. Participants will learn from experienced architects the types of sustainability features being incorporated into new and existing museum facilities.

Jesse Henson (Oculus Studio)

Lora Lakov (Oculus Studio)

James A Roberts (Roberts/Jones Associates)

Robert Breunig (Museum of Northern Arizona)



SECTION B: Thursday, May 1, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.


B1 Creating a Community Relevant Museum through Leadership, Development, and Education

How does a museum increase its relevance to its community? Hear from museum professionals working with collections, exhibits, volunteers, and development about

fostering mutual engagement  with various community institutions including schools,  American Indian tribes, veterans organizations, the State Legislature, businesses, chambers of commerce, local corporations, and foundations.    

Marcus Monenerkit (Heard Museum)

Joe Abodeely (Arizona Military Museum)

Victoria Sargent (ASU Museum Studies Graduate)

Celina Chiarello (Musical Instrument Museum) 


B2 Artist in Residence Programs

How do Artist in Residence (AiR) programs work? What goes into planning and executing a residency?  How do visual and performing arts residencies differ?  Looking at artist residency programs at the Grand Canyon National Park, Musical Instrument Museum, and a traditional art museum, participants will learn the challenges and benefits to presenting an Artist-in-Residence program at their institution. 

Rene Westbrook (Grand Canyon NP)

Sheila Kollasch (Phoenix Airport Museum

Daniel Allen (Musical Instrument Museum)


B3 Archival Repositories in Small Museums: Challenges and Solutions (Roundtable)

Small museums must preserve and provide access to their archives and collections, in part so that they remain vital to their communities. Prioritizing this critical function can be challenging, however, due to limited resources such as space, staffing, and budgets. Join four directors from small museums around the state for short presentations on their institutions, followed by a roundtable discussion where attendees can share their experiences, challenges, and strategies for archival success.

Ann-Mary Luzick (Old Trails Museums)
Sandy Carson (North Gila County Historical Society)

Linda Smith (Clarkdale Historical Society)

Berlin Loa (Casa Grande Valley Historical Society) 


B4  Creating Collaborations: Museums Working with Educational Institutions 

Learn about collaborations and professional development training for local schools, universities, and educators.  The session will highlight successful projects, discuss challenges, and illuminate the variety of ways that museums can collaborate with other educational organizations in their community.

Tiffani Righero (Chandler Museum)

Allison Stoltman (Arizona Museum of Natural History)

Allison Selzer (Phoenix Art Museum)


FIELD TRIPS: Thursday, May 1,  3:00 – 5:00 p.m

Tour of Museum of Northern Arizona Easton Collections Facility (limited to 20)

Opened in June 2009, the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Easton Collections Center is a state-of-the-art, 17,000 square foot facility housing the museum’s anthropological, biological, art, and archival collections.   Collections Manager Elaine Hughes and her staff will provide a tour, inside and out, of this Platinum LEED designated structure.


Tour of Lowell Observatory (limited to 30)

Lowell Observatory recently completed construction of an 8,000 square foot state-of-the-art collection center, which includes a library, collections repository, processing room, reading room and offices. It also features a lobby for exhibits that will highlight items from the Observatory’s collection of historic papers, artifacts, and glass plates. Participants will tour this new facility as well as the current storage facilities.


Walking Tour of Historic Flagstaff (limited to 20)

Join Pioneer Museum Curator Joe Meehan on an “engaging with the Flagstaff community” walking tour of historic downtown Flagstaff that will include sites related to its frontier history and Route 66, and a rest stop for coffee or beverage.


Tour of Riordan Mansion SHP (limited to 30)

Make a return visit to see main part of this Arts and Crafts style home featuring a rustic exterior of log-slab siding, volcanic stone arches, and hand-split wooden shingles. With forty rooms, over 13,000 square-feet of living area, and servant's quarters, it contains an exceptional collection of Craftsman furnishings with appointments by Edison, Stickley, Ellis, and Steinway.   One hour tours start at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The West House with the extensive exhibits will also be open from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.



SECTION C: Friday, May 2, 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.


C1Tools for Engaging Communities: Part I (Double Session)

Building on the conference keynote presentation, this workshop covers guidelines and steps for beginning your museum’s community engagement journey. We discuss who in the community to engage, how to plan an initial community gathering, and how to keep the momentum going. The workshop includes tools for facilitating community dialogue, components of successful partnerships and collaborations, and approaches to evaluating community engagement. Participants attending with a team of their colleagues, including directors, board members, and key management staff will maximize the tools and tips from this workshop.

Candace Matelic (Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa FE NM)


C2 On The Road: Sharing Collections Via Outgoing Loans

 Whether a museum is loaning items across town or across the globe, there are common challenges that must be addressed.  Learn the basics of outgoing loans, starting with strategies for setting an insurance value; packing and shipping; as well as making the decision to send a courier and what a first-time courier needs to know.

Kristen Caughlin (Heard Museum)

Kara Kelly (Museum of Northern Arizona)

Kristen Schmidt (U of A Museum of Art)


C3 Visitors, Surveys, Volunteers

Visitor studies, volunteer training, even volunteer studies. These are all ways that museums interact with two of the most dedicated segments of their communities: people who have demonstrated their involvement through visiting the museum and/or volunteering. This session will provide a brief introduction to undertaking surveys aimed at 1) improving visitor experience and 2) assessing volunteer experiences.

Nancy Cutler (Museum Education Consultant)

Andrea Smith (ASU Museum Studies)

Amanda Young (ASU Museum Studies)



SECTION D: Friday, May 2, 10:15 – 11:30 a.m

D1 Tools for Engaging Communities: Part II

See Part 1 (Session C1) 


D2 Putting Collections Online

Are you considering how to increase access to your museum collection using the Internet? In this session, hear various approaches to putting your collections online.    Additionally, find out how the Arizona Memory Project can help get your museum’s collection online. The panelists will discuss how they chose which objects would go online, how they funded their projects, how they dealt with copyright issues, and what they learned from the entire process.

Sharon Moore (Heard Museum)

Nate Meyers (Chandler Museum)

Betty Murphy (Heard Museum)

Richard Prouty (Arizona Memory Project)


D3 Building A Cultural Advocacy Community

Building on the success of the annual Arizona Arts Congress, which brings arts professionals to the State Capitol, representatives from the arts, museum, and archives communities will lead a discussion of how that effort can be expanded to benefit all cultural organizations in Arizona.

Catherine (Rusty) Foley (Arizona Citizens for the Arts)

Janice Klein (Museum Association of Arizona)

Brenda Thomson (Arizona Humanities)

Roger Lidman (Pueblo Grande Museum)



SECTION E: Friday, May 2, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.


E1 Collaborative Partnerships Between Museums and Communities

Non-profit organizations are more powerful community players when they effectively connect to resources and assets of the local community. Learn to identify and invest in community assets; connect your institution’s assets with the community; and strengthen projects, activities, and proposals through collaboration and partnership.

Berlin Loa (Casa Grande Valley Historical Society)

Jenica Notar (ASU Museum Studies)


E2 Care and Curation of Basketry

Museum stewardship of basketry involves handling, cataloging, labeling, and cleaning. It includes coping with bio-deterioration, mounts for storage and exhibition, photography, and condition reports.  Participants will learn and understand what it takes to care for basketry and how to engage community volunteers to aid in these efforts. Presenters will share their experience with the Woven Wonders Basketry Preservation Project at the Arizona State Museum. 

Nancy Odegaard (Arizona State Museum)

Krista Pack (Arizona State Museum)

Marilen Pool (Arizona State Museum)

Madeline Neiman (Arizona State Museum)

Gina Watkinson (Arizona State Museum)


E3 Using Oral Histories in Museums

Oral history is not just for research! Learn how museums have used oral histories as part of their exhibits, programs and visitor resource materials.    Discuss challenges in collecting and preserving oral histories as well as dealing with specific community concerns.

James Burns (Desert Caballeros Museum of Western Art)

Martina Dawley (Arizona State Museum)

Ann-Mary Lutzick (Old Trails Museum)

JJ Lamb (Vail Historic Preservation)

Susan Shaffer Nahmias (Interpretive Planning|Instructional Design)



SECTION F: Friday, May 2,  2:45-4:00 p.m.


F1 Exhibit Fast Pitch

Using the innovative format of “fast-pitch” funding presentations as a way to capture the attention of potential partners and donors, each participant will construct their own 10-minute proposal describing a new exhibit idea or research finding.  A panel of exhibition experts will offer advice and encouragement.

Liane Lambert (ASU Museum Studies)

Georgina Madrigal (ASU Museum Studies)

Jessica McIntosh (ASU Museum Studies)


F2 Care of Paintings (to 5:00 p.m.)

Learn what to consider while caring for paintings, whether you are establishing new procedures or making improvements to existing policies.  Topics will include environmental issues, such as temperature, relative humidity, and pollutants; as well as storage and display options; best practices for handling and transporting, and housekeeping procedures.  Participants will also learn practical care methods and be provided with guidelines to consider while working with a conservator.

Betsy Court (Balboa Art Conservation Center)


F3 Fundraising from the Other 80%

Most museum budgets are based on the 20/80 rule, that 80% comes from individual gifts, making these donors central to the institution’s well-being.  Learn about ways to develop long-term relationships with these VIPs and maximize their support.

Anne Wallace (Cave Creek Museum)

Paul Wetmore (Senior VP Investments, Merrill Lynch)








MUSEUM ASSOCIATION OF ARIZONA --  Building a Vital Museum Community

Museum Association of Arizona

P.O. Box 63902, Phoenix, Arizona 85082


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