February 19, 2020

Save the Date
MAM 2020 Conference

“Spilling the Stories: Overcoming Prohibitive Barriers”

March 26-28, 2020
Holiday Inn, Missoula, Montana
Join us for our annual conference. Thursday has an
array of workshops. Friday and Saturday are full of
lectures and discussions. Attendees receive lunch and
dinner. View the brochure here.

Conference Workshops and Tours
Grant Writing, Thursday, 8 am – 12 pm
Introduction to Managing Archives, Thursday, 8 am – 12 pm
The Impact of Social Media, Thursday, 1 pm – 4 pm
Working with Your Museum’s Historic Building(s), Thursday, 1 pm – 5 pm
Unseen Missoula Walking Tour, Thursday, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

News to Share

Interpretation of Field

A collaborative project housed at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, designed to document and share current practices of interpretation professionals in four types of museums. Our main data-collecting tool is a survey, which we developed to take the pulse of contemporary practices in museum interpretation, and to map out tools, strategies and knowledge used by practitioners. This research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada’s federal research funding agency.

If you are an interpretation professional working in an art museum/centre, an encyclopedic/general (multi-disciplinary) museum, a natural history/anthropology museum, or a science/technology museum/centre, we invite you to take our survey between Jan. 2 and March 1, 2020. Results will be available on the project’s website in Summer 2020.

To complete the survey, visit https://interpretationasfield.com/survey/
***Survey goes live on Thursday, January 2, 2020
To find out more about our project & team, visit https://interpretationasfield.com/
To sign up for project notifications, visit https://interpretationasfield.com/resources/

IMLS Statement on the President’s FY2021 Budget Proposal

Trump Administration released details from its budget request to Congress for FY 2021. The White House has requested $23 million in funding for the orderly closure of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, effective October 1, 2020.

As the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, IMLS invests in communities of all sizes, from rural to urban, in every U.S. state and territory. IMLS ensures public library services for all Americans, helps preserve the heritage of our nation, and provides critical funding for literacy and workforce development programs. The agency’s sixth director, Crosby Kemper III, was commissioned by President Trump on January 24. “I’m grateful for the support I received from the White House, members of Congress, and the library and museum communities throughout my confirmation,” said Kemper. “We will continue to engage in the budget process with the Administration. For the remainder of this fiscal year, IMLS will continue our work investing in libraries and museums—those anchors in our communities—and helping millions across the nation tell their American stories.”

IMLS funding has helped veterans transition to civilian life and preserve their personal digital archives. Grant funds have been used to teach coding to kids in rural areas across the country, empowering the next generation for success in today’s world. An IMLS grant made sharing the uniquely American story of jazz in Harlem possible—and inspirational.

Over the years, IMLS grants have helped preserve invaluable Native Alaskan cultural heritage assets for current and future generations. Visually impaired people are now able to read public library materials through new technology and training. Grants have funded Internet hotspot lending and advanced low-cost TV White Space technology to help communities prepare for disasters. IMLS investments have advanced digital inclusion for rural and tribal communities, addressing the K-12 homework gap and other barriers to broadband access for children and

IMLS empowers museums and libraries to provide increased access and navigation to information so that more people can continue their education, learn critical research skills, and find employment. Through these and many more projects, federal investments in museums and libraries across the nation have helped transform and uplift the lives of millions of Americans.

For more information, a FAQ page on IMLS FY 2020 operations and the FY 2021 budget
request can be found here.

AASLH’s annual National Visitation Survey for History Organizations

We are currently accepting responses to the survey from history institutions around the country. Although the survey has been open for about a month, we have only received TWO (2) responses from institutions in Montana. Will you help us spread the word about the survey and increase our response rate in your state?

The link to complete the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Visitation2020.

Here are two ways you can help:
1. Fill out the survey for your institution, including a unique response for any historic sites, satellite museums, or other types of institutions within your network (if applicable).
2. Help spread the word to other history museums, historical societies, historic sites, and other institutions around the state. See below for sample social media or email messages.

This surveying effort and the resultant report allows AASLH to share the most accurate and most recent data about trends in the history field to support advocacy, fundraising, marketing, and other efforts critical to the vibrancy of our institutions and our community. This data is especially important as planning for the nation’s 250th anniversary gathers momentum in states and communities across the country. Last year, we were able to report that visitation to history organizations has grown in recent years, contrary to anecdotal reports or data solely from large institutions. To read more about last year’s report, visit: http://learn.aaslh.org/national-visitation-report.

The survey only takes about five minutes to complete. Responses from institutions around
the field are critical. They will enable AASLH to better understand national trends and will enhance our ability to serve history organizations of all types and sizes.

Professional Development Opportunities

Free Webinars from Indiana Historical Society LHS

Planning and Implementing Successful Building Projects
March 5 – Is a building project in your future? Do you want to learn more about best practices and working with contractors? Join us for an informative and interesting webinar focused on the basics of planning and implementing successful building projects. Addresses AASLH StEPs Standards HSL 2, 4 and 5. https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3853950287660345612

Long-Range Planning for Heritage Organizations
March 19 – A long-range plan is one of the best ways you can show stakeholders and potential funders that your organization is working towards sustainability. This webinar outlines the steps and provides a road map for the planning process. Addresses AASLH StEPs Standards MVG 1, 2, 3, 4
and 5.

Free Webinars from the Texas Historical Commission

Bringing Objects & Artifacts to Life
Thursday, February 27, 2:00 p.m. CT
Jodi Larson and Hannah Kellogg, Museums Unbound
Getting your audience interested in objects can be difficult! Museums Unbound brings you their favorite tools to help interpret objects and artifacts. From discovering new aspects of the same old artifact to getting a whole classroom talking about what’s in front of them, these tools are easy to use in galleries, at cultural sites, with artwork, or in the midst of ancient ruins. Presenters Jodi Larson and Hannah Kellogg will talk about how to get up close and personal with objects, how to look at your museum’s collections in new and non-traditional ways, and how to use the artifacts in your museum to tell a story and create a social experience. Register now!

Appraising & Insuring Historical Treasures
Tuesday, March 3, 2:00 p.m. CT
Barbara Blades-Lines, Blades Appraisals and Art Resources
Joy Simpson, Higginbotham
Learn more and register now!

Social Media and Your Cultural Organization: Where to Start
Tuesday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. CT
Justin Minsker, Texas Historical Commission
Learn more and register now!

All of our webinars are recorded and archived online, and they can be viewed here at any time. We also maintain a list of upcoming free, relevant webinars hosted by other organizations, which can be found here.

NAI National Conference

NAI 2020: Important Deadlines on the Horizon
November 10–14, 2020, St. Augustine, Florida
Conference Website
The 2020 NAI National Conference seems like it’s a long ways off, but there are important deadlines already looming. If you’re interested in presenting a session or applying for a student scholarship, see below for details!
Call for Presentations
Deadline: March 27, 2020
New Beginnings along the Historic Coast
NAI will kick off a new decade by holding its annual conference in the first and oldest continuously populated European city in the new world, St. Augustine, Florida. Our theme, “New Beginnings along the Historic Coast,” provides inspiration for creative presentations and learning something new while incorporating St. Augustine’s rich historical cultural heritage, which includes the first Underground Railroad for escaped slaves and numerous
historical buildings and sites. For outdoor enthusiasts there are 42 miles of beaches and
coastline, providing ample opportunities for birding, wildlife observations, and outdoor
presentations. So what are you waiting for? Help make this the best conference ever and
submit a proposal today!
Hot Topics from the Field
Incorporating one of the hot topics listed below for your presentation will help fill the programming needs for this conference:
· Climate Crisis and the Interpreter’s Role
· Innovative Interpretive Techniques: Addressing multiple learning styles, constructing themes, cutting-edge technology, etc.
· Facts vs. Fake News: Successful communication tips for dealing with generally accepted scientific
facts like climate change, the geological time scale, the shape of the Earth, etc.
· Reconnecting People to the Outdoors
· Nature Journaling
· Diversity/Inclusion: Building bridges, not walls
· History/Cultural Interactions: Bonus points for incorporating St. Augustine’s history!
· Creating Safe Non-judgmental Spaces for Difficult Discussions: Environmental issues, employee
development, dealing with difficult guests, etc.
· Heritage Tourism/Interpretation
· The Art of Storytelling
· Sustainability: Practicing what we preach
Click here for full details and to submit your presentation!
Student Scholarship Application
Deadline: April 15, 2020
If you’re a student studying natural, historical, and cultural interpretation or a closely related
field with career aspirations in the field of interpretation, now is your chance to apply for a scholarship to attend the 2020 NAI National Conference in St. Augustine, Florida.
Apply here by April 15 for financial assistance to attend the profession’s largest annual gathering!
Conference Committee
Steven Roberts, Conference Chair, steven_j_roberts@nps.gov
Dan Albro, Program Chair, happeemola@gmail.com
Amanda Thompson. Publicity Chair, thompsonam@stlucieco.org
Monique Thompson, Volunteer Chair, raindropranch@gmail.com
Michelle Waterman, Local Arrangements Chair, michellewaterman25@gmail.com

Like what we are doing?

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.
Support Montana’s Museums!

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