Montana Association of Museums

Like what we are doing? BUY US A DRINK!

Want to help? Buy us a drink! Donate the money that you would use to buy a coffee, beer or drink for one day to the Museums Association of Montana! All proceeds will go toward operating costs for this newsletter, the annual conference, National Advocacy Day, and the Helping Hands program for museums across the state. You can make this a single donation or recurring monthly!

Support Montana’s Museums!

News to Share

Participate in Oral History Project

341st Missile Wing Historian Dr. Troy A. Hallsell at Malmstrom AFB is recruiting individuals to participate in an oral history project that he is conducting in conjunction with the Montana State Historic Preservation Office. Hallsell is seeking to interview people who were associated with the missile fields between 1959 and 2017. This includes, but is not limited to, former Army Corps of Engineers, Boeing, or survey and construction personnel who built the missile fields; former operations, maintenance, and security forces personnel who worked in, maintained, or defended the missile alert facilities and launch facilities; contractors who deactivated the 564th Missile Squadron facilities around Conrad; and local residents who lived near or were affected by the Minuteman program. If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact Hallsell at (406) 731-7034 or for additional information.

Visit the new and improved MAM website!

We have been working hard to make our website and emails more user friendly for you to use! Please let us know what you think of the new site!

MonDak Christmas

Celebrating Danish Heritage

This year, the MonDak Heritage Center’s MonDak Christmas will be celebrating the Danish Heritage in our area on Sunday, December 15, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The community is invited to this free event where there will be:

  • Bake Sale
  • Photos with Santa
  • Make & Take Art Projects
  • Entertainment, and
  • The opportunity to purchase last minute gifts at the Gift Shop

This event is sponsored by H&R Block and Missouri River Realty.

Changes at the Yellowstone Historic Center

As you might have already heard, the Yellowstone Historic Center’s museum is getting a new name! “Yellowstone Historic Center Museum” is changing to “Museum of the Yellowstone.” But don’t worry! We are still the same organization that you know and love. We are currently in the process of changing the name, which means you might see “Museum of the Yellowstone” and the new logo in some places (business cards, Instagram, ) and you might still see “Yellowstone Historic Center Museum” in other places. If your business is promoting the museum on its website’s “things to do in West Yellowstone” section, now is the perfect time to change the name.

In addition to the new logo, another exciting change is the website! For several months, we have been transitioning away from the old website. You might have already been redirected to the new website from the old website. From now on, we encourage you to use when looking for information on upcoming events, reading the history of West Yellowstone, finding the museum’s hours, ordering the latest issue of the Yellowstone History Journal, renewing your membership, or donating to a special project. It’s all there!

Montana Arts Council

Looking for a statewide arts calendar? We’ve got you covered! Although State of the Arts and Lively Times no longer offer print versions of arts and exhibit calendars, you can still find that information online. Statewide Arts Calendar

National Museum Advocacy Days February 24-25,2020

Approximately three months from now, dozens of museum professionals and supporters will gather in the nation’s capital to visit legislators and make the case for museums. MAM is planning to send 2 representatives, Deb Mitchell and Tate Jones to attend Museums Advocacy Day. Recently the field has been successful in fending off threats to federal agencies supporting museums. It is important to speak for the value of museums over and again. Legislators may not realize how their decisions affect museums if they don’t hear directly from their constituents. Small Museums Associations are composed of VOTERS. Let’s make our collective voice heard.

From the Library of Congress

New Online: Suffrage, Civil War, Architecture Collections

Collections Include Records of National American Woman Suffrage Association, President Lincoln’s Private Secretary, Olmsted Associates Landscape Architectural Firm, Federal Monetary Policy

Researchers and students have gained access to seven newly digitized collections of manuscript materials from the Library of Congress, including records of one of the most important women’s suffrage organizations, the papers of President Abraham Lincoln’s personal secretary and collections on the history of federal monetary policy. The availability of these collections added more than 465,000 images to the Library’s already vast online resources.

Click here for more information

Montana Memory Project needs Volunteers!

Hello MMP friends,

The Montana Memory Project is seeking volunteers. Please see the linked announcement and flyer. Please share these documents. Someone in your community might be exactly who we need!


Ambassador Flyer

Ambassador Application

Grant Opportunities

Montana History Foundation Grants Applications due January 10

We’re almost one month in to our 2020 grant cycle! Grants up to $10,000 will be available for projects that help preserve and protect Montana’s history.

501(c)(3) nonprofits and tax-exempt governmental units can apply for funds to preserve buildings and cemeteries, conserve and exhibit artifacts, collect oral histories and more.  Funding details and the application link can be found here

Applications are due online by Friday, January 10, 2020. Contact Grants Manager Carissa Beckwith with any questions or to discuss your project before applying.  

Revitalizing Montana’s Rural Heritage (RMRH) Grant.

We want to be sure everyone knows about this NEW ONE-TIME-ONLY grant program for rural bricks-and-mortar preservation projects! We at SHPO received a total of $350,000 to regrant statewide. Applicants can request $10,000-$100,000. Check out the details via the link below! Please email if you have any questions!

The Montana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is proud to announce its Revitalizing Montana’s Rural Heritage (RMRH) Grant. Funding for this brick-and-mortar preservation grant comes from the National Park Service’s Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program. The link below will take you to the RMRH webpage with further information including an application form and instructions.

We look forward to reading your applications!

NEW! Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program

Department of Commerce

Our friends at the Montana Department of Commerce are hard at work developing guidelines for the proposed historic preservation grant program. This program will provide new and ongoing funding (up to $500,000 per applicant) from the state lodging tax for the preservation of historic buildings and for museum infrastructure improvements. They are asking for your input on the proposed grant guidelines. Grant applications will be due on February 28, 2020.

This is your chance to help develop a program that meets historic preservation needs in your community, so please help them out by providing comments.

Also, consider attending the public hearing in Helena on December 2nd to hear more about these grants.

Learn more and submit comments

Montana Main Street Program

The Department of Commerce Community Development Division began accepting Montana Main Street Program grant applications for the FY 2020 application cycle on November 15, 2019. 

The Montana Main Street Program awards grant funding to member communities on a competitive basis and as funding allows. Applications are evaluated by the Department of Commerce in the order that they are received and grants will be awarded on a continual basis until all funds are allocated. Funding can be used to address long range community planning and revitalization needs as well as more specific prioritized projects. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the implementation of larger community vision and goals or as they relate to previous or concurrent larger planning efforts (such as a downtown revitalization plan, growth policy, historic preservation plan, etc.).

If you have questions regarding the application process or guidelines, then please contact our office to work with a Montana Main Street team member at 406.841.2770 or by email at



301 S. PARK AVE. | PO BOX 200523 | HELENA, MT 59620-0501

P: 406.841.2770 | F: 406.841.2771 | TDD: 406.841.2702

View as a webpage

Professional Development Opportunities

Volunteers needed for research project: 

An online course, Learning Places’ Cohort Five has room for more enrollment, and its free to volunteers. A new cohort, Five, is now open for enrollment in the Online Course: Saving Cultural Resources by Learning Places. This course introduces the learner to historic preservation within a broader cultural resources management curriculum.

Volunteers: Have you ever wanted to do a volunteer service while learning something new? Whether you grew up on a ranch or were a city kid, you may have a favorite historic property or perhaps the family’s homestead property that can use some preservation help so it can be made more resilient and be sustained for another generation to enjoy as much as you have? Then, you can learn online at your own pace and share your efforts for your favorite most cherished historic property, simply by: LEARNING PLACES!

It is where you can serve, learn and help save your chosen cultural resource through an online course. It can be a new learning experience or you go further with an actual project where your voluntarism matters for a real world preservation project of saving a cultural resource that you chose for this online service-learning project.

In just six weeks (or sooner if you choose or even later since its at your own pace) you can complete the six modules under a uniquely created new syllabus called: 

I. D. E. A. L. S. 

Learning Places offers continuing education using the combined methods of service and long-distance online learning to help communities save their cultural resources through, I.D.E.A.L.S., a new approach to learning the concepts and the best practices for applying preservation treatments and cultural resource management

Extra Modules Available:

There are extra modules that can assist those who need professional continuing education credits for their licensing renewal such as the member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The AIA accepts 6 HSW credits of extra credit work through the four lessons by the Historic Preservation Education Foundation module links to Learning Places!

If you still need 2019 continuing education credits you can achieve more than those 6 AIA HSW credits by self-reporting up to six Learning Units per year to the AIA for the six-week long self paced core course syllabus, I.D.E.A.L.S.

Extra credit offerings introduce the learner’s to Cultural Landscapes, Historic District National Register Nominations and Sustainable Best Practices. Enroll in this initial year’s research cohorts for free! Thanks to donors through CN!

Click on the link or cut and paste the link in your browser


Volunteer services for your chosen cultural resource will be implemented within online modules of the syllabus completed along with others in your cohort of enrolled volunteer/students for the preservation of their own choice of historic property.

At first the Learning Places course will include the case studies selected by the instructor. Later cohorts will eventually read about previous student led projects as the examples are compiled for future modules and archival purposes. In this way the online course can become an organic resource bridging the projects by the founders of the early cohorts with those future generations of learners.

Enrollment in the Fifth Cohort is NOW open: The online source of course modules for Saving Cultural Resources by Learning Places! can be enrolled in free via the following link: 

Enroll Now

Barry Sulam, Learning Places!

Member project of CN! a 501(c)(3) org.

Upcoming Continuing Education from AASLH

Webinar: Introduction to Audio, Visual, and Film Media and Their Care

December 5

$40 members/$65 nonmembers

Webinar: Beyond the Spreadsheet: Finance and Organizational Priorities

December 12

$40 members/$65 nonmembers

Online Course: Basics of Archives

January 27-March 1, 2020

$85 members/$160 nonmembers

New on the Blog

Connecting to Collections Care has a free webinar coming up before the end of the year.

Insurance – How to Manage Your Organization’s’ Risk, December 5, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30 EST with Kevin Sullivan. 

Does your organization have insurance? If so, does it cover all of the necessary exposures? If not, what are the barriers you face to attaining insurance? How do you know what kinds of insurance and coverages are appropriate for your situation? This webinar will cover how and why insurance will help you to manage risks to your institution and the types of insurance and risk strategies appropriate for museums and other cultural institutions with collections. We will look at all the points you should consider when contemplating insurance including coverage for your buildings, collections, your volunteers, your visitors, and third parties (vendors, contractors, event renters, etc.). And, you will learn how to talk to your insurance broker so that you get appropriate insurance for your institution.

Join us for one or both!

M. Susan Barger, PhD, Fellow-AIC

Connecting to Collections Care Coordinator

The Connecting to Collections Care Online Community helps smaller cultural institutions to provide well-informed care for their valuable collections. All content in the C2C Care Community, with the exception of special courses, is provided for FREE. This service is a program of the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation and is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Job Openings

Holter Museum of Art

Position Description for Education Coordinator

TITLE: Education Coordinator

REPORTS TO: Executive Director

LIAISON TO: Board of Directors

LOCATION: Holter Museum of Art, 12 E. Lawrence Street, Helena, MT 59601

HOURS: Exempt


Education Coordinator, full-time position, Holter Museum of Art needs innovative, energetic, and community oriented person.

Job Description: The Holter Museum of Art’s Education Coordinator, is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and supervising an integrative art education and appreciation program. This position reports directly to the Executive Director.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of B.A. or B.S. degree in art, education, art education, art history or related field, two years related work experience in the arts, museum, or educational setting. Must be proficient in word-processing on IBM PC, and possess a strong working knowledge of the visual arts in Montana and the Northwest region.

• Requires a high degree of computer proficiency

• Knowledge of Best Practices in the field a plus

• Individual must possess strong interpersonal skills and be diplomatic in working with diverse constituencies

• Excellent customer service

• Flexibility and reliability to multi-task and meet deadlines; strong ability to prioritize

• Ability to work well with staff, artists, schools, and the general public to promote the philosophy and goals of the Education Department and the Holter Museum of Art as a whole

• Knowledge of and interest in editing and design of print and online materials

COMPENSATION: Competitive based on experience and qualifications

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art

Job Title​: Executive Director

Reports to​: Board of Directors Classification:​ Full-time, exempt 

 The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art seeks and Executive Director to provide dynamic leadership and to direct policy making, planning, organization, staffing, and operations. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to refine, develop, and implement a progressive program for the Museum’s fundraising, exhibitions, collections management, educational activities, and community outreach. The Executive Director manages on an annual budget of approximately $430,000 and directly supervises a staff of nine in a historic 48,000 square foot facility that rests on a complete city block located in the heart of Great Falls, Montana. ​

 Mission Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art supports contemporary arts and cultural opportunities in North Central Montana. 

Vision Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art cultivates public exposure to contemporary and self-taught art through dynamic exhibitions, thoughtful collection and preservation, and multi-generational educational programming while serving as a cultural center in a historic building. We are unique by: • Creating opportunities for visitors with diverse experiences, needs, and interests to make a meaningful connection with art; • Collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting art that actively engages a diverse growing population; • Providing educational programming that inspires artistic expression and understanding; • Expanding public knowledge of, interest in, and support for the arts and artists of the region; and • Serving as a cultural center, and continuing the preservation of the historically significant building.


Development (30%) ❑ Coordinates strategic fundraising plan as approved by the Board. Works with appropriate staff, Board Members and volunteers to develop and implement strategies for long-term sustainable funding, including funds for capital projects for building and grounds. ❑ Oversees grant research and writing for government, corporate, and private funding. Works with appropriate department heads to coordinate administration of grants received and to ensure periodic and final grant reports. ❑ Solicits individuals, businesses, foundations and other appropriate organizations for contributions, sponsorships, and other types of financial or operational support.

Financial Management (25%) ❑ Develops yearly organizational budget for board approval based on organizational goals. ❑ Monitors and approves financial transactions for the organization to ensure all income and expenditures are operationally appropriate and properly recorded in accordance with the approved budget. ❑ Direct transfers of funds between museum-held accounts to meet contractual obligations and ensure positive cash flow. ❑ Directs and oversees contracted or staff bookkeeping services, and ensures that appropriate records are kept of all monetary transactions. Provides details of financial transactions to Board of Directors and auditor upon request. ❑ Acts as primary liaison with department heads regarding monthly budget reports. Provides direction and assistance in monitoring expenditures and recording allocations accurately, and responds to inquiries.

Administrative (25%) ❑ Oversees the general operation of the museum. ❑ Performs all human resources responsibilities including, but not limited to: hiring and termination of staff, job descriptions, performance tools, and staff performance reviews. ❑ Provides overall management and supervision of staff performance by creating an environment that supports productivity and professional development. ❑ Ensures that individual department heads are meeting performance and budgetary goals. ❑ Ensures that quality services are provided in fulfillment of the mission, vision, and strategic plan. ❑ Coordinates and implements strategic plans and operational policies as approved by the Board. ❑ Works with Board Committees as appropriate. ❑ Prepares and presents monthly reports to the Board of Directors.

Marketing (15%) ❑ Presents mission and vision of the organization publicly and promotes the museum to local civic groups. ❑ Coordinates with appropriate staff, Board members, volunteers, and local non-profit cultural institutions to promote the museum locally and regionally.

Facilities Management (5%) ❑ Ensure that the museum’s physical plant, equipment, and security are properly maintained in accordance with the historic nature of the building. ❑ Establishes rates and develops appropriate contracts for long and short term rentals. 

Qualifications and Skills ❑ Required Bachelor degree, preferred Masters ❑ Preferred degree in art, museum studies, arts administration, or related fields ❑ Minimum three years’ experience managing a non-profit or for-profit business, or equivalent ❑ A strong passion for our mission, see above ❑ Ability to develop a strategic plan that aligns with the vision and mission of the museum ❑ General knowledge of accounting and basic fiscal practices, as well as grant management regulations. ❑ Established grant writing and fundraising experience. ❑ Excellent verbal and written communication skills. ❑ Strong organization and project management skills. ❑ Exceptional skills in donor and membership relations and cultivation. ❑ Ability to develop leadership and collaboration among museum staff and volunteers. ❑ Ability to establish effective, efficient, and professional policies and procedures for museum staff and volunteers. ❑ Committed to professional best practices for nonprofit museum management.

Salary $45,000-50,000 DOE. Benefits available after probationary period. Average per capita income in Great Falls, MT is $28,399.

Community: Great Falls straddles the Missouri River in the heart of Montana and is known as the “Electric City” because of its numerous dams and power plants. ​It is a place for independent, outdoor adventurers; seekers of culture and history; as well as planners of meetings looking for a true, authentic Montana experience. Great Falls provides a basecamp for a wide range of outdoor adventures and offers a haven of rich arts, including the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art; culture; and history in a vibrant, modern community where an expansive, unspoiled, diverse landscape renews one’s spirit! Currently the greater Great Falls area is home to approximately 65,000 residents. Please feel free to visit the following sites to learn more about Great Falls.

Application Requirements: Letter of interest, three letters of recommendation, and a resume or vitae

Please email application requirements to: Cortni Harant, PGSMOA Board President

Historical Specialist  (19142799) 


The Montana Historical Society seeks an energetic and talented person to work as a Review and Compliance Officer with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). If you have the passion to preserve our historical heritage and have strong skills in communication and organization, this position might be for you! At the Montana Historical Society, we strive to make our work environment a supportive and fun environment that fosters a work/life balance.

Duties included but not limited to:

Protection of historical period site resources. Resources include historic mining and industrial properties, rural historic properties, community historic districts, railroads, irrigation features, bridges, roads and trails, and more.

Provides review and comments on all aspects of the identification, evaluation and treatment of properties in accordance with professional standards and guidelines and state and federal legislation and regulations. 

Provides review, comments and recommendations under the National Historic Preservation Act regarding the specific potential for impact to significant cultural resource properties from federally funded, licensed and permitted construction.

Provides review, comments and recommendations under the Montana State Antiquities Act for development projects on state land.

Recommendations include assessments of the adequacy of identification and recordation of cultural resources, evaluations of significance and integrity (National Register eligibility), determinations of effect, and modifications to development projects to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse impacts to significance cultural resources.

Works in concert with other positions in the office that review undertakings for prehistoric archaeological resources and for historical architectural impact. 


Thorough knowledge of concepts, procedures, principles and philosophies that guide the historic preservation field and cultural resource management, including working knowledge of federal preservation laws and compliance regulations.

Understanding of American history and current advanced knowledge of its principles tools, technologies, practices and findings as gained through advanced college education, practical work experience or both. With an emphasis on Northern Plains and Rocky Mountain Region

Advanced analytical ability in the field of applied or public history or cultural resources management that can be applied to both development of historical research and quick and appropriate review of other’s historical inventory, property recordings, report preparation, National Register of Historic Places eligibility evaluations and treatments analyses. 

Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 

Master of Arts (History, Historical Preservation, Anthropology and/or Archaeology) plus 3-5 years cultural resource/historic preservation work experience (may include intern/practicum) 

Supplemental Question:

1) Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the Section 106 review process? 


$31,312.00 – 52,800.00  Yearly Benefits Package Eligibility:  Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone):  Dec 3, 2019, 11:59:00 PM

Administrative Assistant

The Montana Historical Society will be starting a new adventure with the expansion of our facilities, MHS has an opening for an experience Administrative Assistant in Director’s office. The successful candidate must be flexible with daily work task assignments. Here at the Historical Society, we striving to make our environment a supportive and fun environment that fosters a work/life balance.

Duties include but not limited to:

Provides administrative support for the Director’s Office including clerical, correspondence, scheduling, travel arrangements, accounts payable and reception of guests including front desk back-up; administrative affairs of the Board of Trustees including meeting arrangements and minutes, orientation materials, meeting preparations and distribution of pre-meeting materials, travel reimbursements; Heritage Keepers administration.

This position also provides general support for program managers including recording minutes of team meetings, clerical, logistics for events, with special attention to Outreach and Interpretation program; flex time to support public events when necessary and appropriate


·        Excellent customer relations skills

·        Ability to communicate clearly and in an effective manner both verbally and in writing.

·        Knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel

·        Ability to collaborate


·        Two years of college or business school coursework and three years of progressively responsible technical administrative work experience in a professional office environment.

·        Other combination of related education and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Salary Range $37,584 – $45,119

Closes: Midnight December 15th 2019



MARCH 25-28, 2020




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