Monday, September 10

Day 1: Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Parkway, Minneapolis

9:00am - 9:30am: Check -in & Registration

Enjoy coffee and pastries and connect with colleagues

9: 30 am : Welcome, Overview of MAM, Benefits of Membership


10:00am - 10:45am: Flash Talks Round 1

Using Touch-Screen Interfaces to Re-interpret Classic Wildlife Dioramas

Dioramas were devised with the intent to create a contemplative experience for visitors, and build an affinity toward nature. When used with a skilled interpreter, they are also effective tools in developing observational skills and conveying ecological knowledge. But to contemporary visitors without a guide, they are often seen as passive and outdated windows into scenes that are better experienced through other media or by direct experience with nature. Can new technology be used to improve visitor engagement with dioramas without compromising their aesthetic appeal? Hear about a prototype project, funded by the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program, and how the findings of an evaluation were applied in the new Bell Museum.

Presenter: Don Luce, Curator of Exhibits, Bell Museum


Lessons Learned: Somalis+Minnesota Exhibit

In June 2018, the Minnesota History Center opened SOMALIS + MINNESOTA, an exhibit developed in partnership with the Somali Museum of Minnesota. Through this project our team learned a great deal about community collaboration, cultural similarities and differences, trust, honesty, and logistics. We’ll present highlights from our team debrief in this session.

Presenters: Kate Roberts, Senior Exhibit Developer, Minnesota Historical Society and Lisa Friedlander, Exhibit Project Specialist, Minnesota Historical Society


Artifacts + App=Caregiver Connection

Museum resources spark connection between care partners and people with dementia in this new free app launching from the Minnesota Historical Society and the National Museums Liverpool. Come hear how the app was designed, how the objects were tested, and what makes a great conversation starter in your own museum.

Presenter: Maren Levad, Accessibility Specialist, Minnesota Historical Society


Where the Heck are the Logins, Who Does This, Is There a Policy for that?

Transitional planning - sometimes we’re just not ready, or we think we’re ready until something happens. This presentation looks at how to prepare for transitions – including what information needs to be passed on, to whom, how, and when. You don’t want to find out the staff member that just left was the only one that knew the login for your Facebook account – or everyone and their brother has keys to the building and you’re still locked out – or your only program manager just went into labor and you’re in the middle of a grant. What information is critical to your day-to-day operations? Is it stored on a floppy disk? Who has access – and who knows where it is? What information is needed to conduct your business in the short-term (6 months)? How is information passed on –real or ideal? Do you have policy(s) in place to address key personnel transitions? When was the last time you looked at this? This presentation includes key points and sample policies. You’ll come away with ideas and tools that help you manage transitions and secure the transfer of information.

Presenter: Kathleen Klehr, Executive Director, Scott County Historical Society


10:45am - 11:00am: Break

Stretch your legs and check out the vendor tables


11:00am - 12:15pm: Keynote and Q&A with Laura Zabel

Laura Zabel is the executive director of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. She is a frequent speaker on arts and community development at convenings such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, Urban Land Institute and Americans for the Arts.

 She will address our conference theme, "Moving Forward Together," as she shares her experiences coordinating statewide arts and community development initiatives with Springboard, and relate some ideas to help big museums and small work together to realize industry wide goals and standards of practice. You can find her at

12:15pm - 1:30pm: Lunch on your own


1:30pm - 2:00pm: MAM Annual Meeting and Board Elections


2:00pm - 3:15pm: Flash Talks Round 2  

Leaving to Learn: Museum/School Partnerships

Education is on the verge of a major shift. More and more, there is dissatisfaction and pushback against traditional school models, seat-time, and the emphasis on rote testing. More and more students, teachers and schools across the country are seeking ways to go beyond the traditional learning model, to push boundaries, and bring creative, student-centered and driven learning to the fore. In this prototype partnership, the Carver County Historical Society and Waconia ISD #110 propose the creation of real-world, non-classroom, practical, educational opportunities for students.

Presenters: Heidi Gould, Curator of Education and Exhibits, Carver County Historical Society and (co-presented with ISD #110 staff)


Hands-on, Minds-on: The Touch and See Lab Experience

“What is that?” is a common question asked by visitors while exploring the Touch and See Room at the Bell Museum. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Touch and See Room was one of the first of its kind, providing a tactile, exploratory space for visitors that “broke the glass,” allowing the people to engage directly with specimens and museum collections. Throughout the decades, the Touch and See Room continues to push thinking and generate inquiry as visitors engage with scientific specimens, objects and use tools. Fifty years later and now in a new home at the Bell Museum’s new building on the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus, Touch and See continues to evolve and shape the visitors experience. From the physical space to the integration of new content areas, activities and experiences, we’ll share best practices and the value of exploratory, sensory spaces as a successful model to engage all museum visitors.

Presenters: Shoghig Berberian, Associate Director of Education and Lifelong Learning, Bell Museum and Jennifer Menken, Education Collections Manager, Bell Museum


Embracing Instagram for Audience Engagement

The eight best ways to engage with prospective visitors and fans using Instagram. Examples and newest Instagram platform features will be shared.

Presenter:  Jane Pederson, Marketing Manager, Glensheen Mansion


Making Friends with Fraught Narratives

Contemporary consciousness demands museums and cultural institutions expand the kinds of narratives that we share. Last winter, The James J. Hill House housed The Battle of New Ulm, by Anton Gag, which was removed from the State Capital amidst controversy. This provided an opportunity to explore how to best provide a safe space for guests to develop a holistic understanding of the painting, the battle from the 1862 U.S. – Dakotah War the painting represents, and to encourage guests to share their own thoughts and experiences as facilitated by interpreters. In this session, we’ll discuss how training and lessons learned throughout this experience allow us to successfully insert fraught narratives in programming.

Presenter: Christine Herbaly, Historic Sites Manager, The James J. Hill House/Alexander Ramsey House

Museums as Community Spaces

Museums typically are rarely thought of as fun community spaces. More often, the word boring is more regularly associated with them. Learn how the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth is changing the way museums are thought of, and how that has created a new sense of relevance in the community and brought more revenue to the bottom line.

Presenter: Dan Hartman, Director, Glensheen Mansion

3:15pm - 4:00pm: Break

Explore Weisman Art Museum and Vendor Tables


4:00pm - 7:00pm: Dinner on your own

Reception: Bell Museum of Natural History, 2088 Larpenteur Avenue

West, St. Paul


7:00pm - 10:00pm: Enjoy networking with museum colleagues and exploring the newly 

reopened Bell Museum all while enjoying cocktails and appetizers.

Tuesday, September 11

Day 2: Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Boulevard West, St. Paul

9:30am - 10:00am: Check in

Breakfast on your own, come fed and caffeinated


10: 00am 10:45: Flash Talks Round 3

Room One:

Do you have the Rights Stuff? MDL, DPLA, and

Learn about the Minnesota Digital Library’s recent collaborations with their contributors to implement standardized rights statements and how accurate assignment of copyright is important to encouraging use.

Presenter: Molly Huber, MDL Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Digital Library


10 Things to Consider When Starting a Collections Inventory

Have a collection in need of a good inventory? Planning a collection digitization project? Come learn the tricks and tips from Inga Theissen from the American Swedish Institute and Heather Hoagland from Hennepin History Museum.

Presenters: Inga Theissen, Collections Manager, American Swedish Institute and Heather Hoagland, Collections Manager, Hennepin History Museum


Conducting a Museum Intellectual Property Audit

Museums create and use intellectual property in every aspect of their organizations on a daily basis -- from collections management to marketing and development. While issues arising from the intellectual property aspects of museum collections are generally understood, the management of intellectual property in relation to other aspects of museum practice are often given much less attention. In this presentation, veteran intellectual property and museum law attorney Walt Lehmann will describe the process of conducting a museum-wide intellectual property audit, and what and where to look for potential issues involving the use of the museum's intellectual property, as well as practical steps for avoiding liability for using the intellectual property of others.

Presenter: Walter G. Lehmann, Managing Partner, Lehmann PLC


Room Two:

Buzz Lab: teens as innovators, community leaders, and change-agents

This presentation will focus on the ideation, evolution, and impact of Buzz Lab, a paid teen internship in art and science for area (Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo) teens at Plains Art Museum. Buzz Lab and the Pollinator Garden at the Plains Art Museum were envisioned by artist Christine Baeumler as a collaborative public art, ecology, and youth engagement project. Buzz Lab is an annual and competitive program that engages teens in learning, teaching, creating, sustaining and advocating for the livelihood of pollinators in a healthy ecosystem. It is cross-disciplinary, competitive, and a reflection of the diverse backgrounds and perspectives that encompass the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community.

Presenters: Netha Cloeter, Director of Education and Social Engagement, Plains Art Museum and Christine Baeumler, Artist and Associate Professor, University of Minnesota

Seeking Absent Voices

Hidden MN stories revealed! How? Why? What does it matter? Based on real examples of histories recently revealed, come learn how unearthing missing stories can benefit your institution. Plus take away tools to seek such voices in your own community.

Presenters: Nicole Foss, Planner and Historian, 106 Group and Steve Boyd-Smith, Creative Director, 106 Group


Leadership Roles Without PhDs?

Leadership Roles, at Better World Museum, are formed and fostered with community members who exhibit life experience, interest, identity, dedication, and passion. These "life-lived" qualities have proven to equate the necessary qualifications for the first official year of Better World Museum. Ultimately, we find that our Leadership Roles cultivate deeply positive impact on the Leaders, for the Museum, and in the Community, which may be seen in examples antidotes, and data presented during this presentation. Some of our Leaders include: the Director of Tween Education, a "Maker-Maven," a Partner in Diversity & Mentorship, a Skateboarder-in-Residence, and a 13 year old specialist in nitrates, Director of Science of Garden One.

Presenter: Paige Dansinger, Founding Director, Better World Museum


10:45am - 11:45am: Break


11:15am - 11:45am: Pick up Box Lunch


11:30am - 12:00pm: Buses Leave for Workshops

St. Paul Campus Crawl: bus will leave at 11:30 and participants can eat their lunch from 12-12:30 onsite.

Mia, Walking Tour: participants will eat lunch on the bus


12:30pm - 2:00pm: Workshops

St. Paul Campus Crawl

University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus - meet at Goldstein Museum of Design

As we “move forward together,” the University of Minnesota’s Saint Paul Campus poses an interesting model of cultural collaboration on a big campus. Join Lin Nelson-Mayson of the Goldstein Museum of Design for a tour of linked, but independent cultural organizations that deliver great, mission-driven work that’s united through the University of Minnesota and innovative partnerships. Tour stops include the Goldstein Museum of Design, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Bee Center and the Raptor Center. Includes behind-the-scenes access and real world examples of mutually beneficial partnerships. Tour is limited to 25 participants.

12:00 lunch at McNeal Hall
12:30 meet at GMD's Gallery 241, McNeal Hall - tour exhibition, Research Center
1:00 meet Conservatory representative, walk to Conservatory
1:15 tour Conservatory
1:45 meet Raptor Center representative, walk to Raptor Center
2:00 tour Raptor Center
2:30 conference ends - buses will bring participants back to the Minnesota History Center


Digital Storytelling

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Digital storytelling can include text, video, audio, hyperlinks and other media shared using web applications, touchscreens, social media or apps. Narratives delivered on digital platforms can connect visitors with compelling stories. Learn about free and low-cost tools that can help you deliver content to your museum's audience that will fuel curiosity and highlight your collection. Workshop Participants will gain familiarity with a new, free open source digital storytelling tool as they take it for a test drive by composing their own stories with guidance from the Mia team. Workshop is limited to 25 participants.

 Storytelling workshop requires basic computer skills (although even experienced software developers may benefit from seeing the open-source tool and user interface designs).

Free to MAM Conference Attendees. Please bring your own laptop.


Digital Photography

Minneapolis Institute of Art

During this hands on workshop, we'll focus on practical photographic and lighting techniques to create digital images for museum promotion and reporting purposes. Topics covered may include composition and lighting, as well as newer methods of digital capture (such as 3D imaging). Guests will get a behind-the-scenes tour of Mia's photography studio, explore techniques and software for editing photos, and touch on best practices for storing and cataloguing digital photography. Workshop is limited to 10 participants.

Digital photography workshop attendees will get the most from the experience if they are familiar with digital cameras and post-production software such as Photoshop.

Free to MAM Conference Attendees.


Walking Tour

University Grove, St. Paul

Tour this unique neighborhood of architect designed homes adjacent to the University of Minnesota's Saint Paul campus. Truly an "architectural time capsule," University Grove's homes represent local architecture spanning approximately the late 1920s and up to today, and feature designs by local legends including Ralph Rapson and Close Architects. Tour participants can join the tour via a shuttle courtesy of the Minnesota Transportation Museum. Guests will walk up to about one mile through the neighborhood on even terrain. Workshop is limited to 30 participants.


2:00pm: Buses return workshop participants back to Minnesota History Center and conference concludes.


Transportation Provided by the Minnesota Transportation Museum


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