Museums Association of Montana

MAM strives to strengthen all of Montana's Museums

We are looking forward to a Covid Free Future, but in the meantime...

Virtual Conference 2021

Dates: March 17-19, 2021

Join us as we host our first-ever virtual conference! Experience all the great sessions you look forward to each year from the comfort of your home! Over the course of three days, the conference will explore all great things related to Montana museums, large and small. Register so you don’t miss out! 

Montana’s Museums: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities


March 17, 2021

Pre-conference Workshop 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Show Me the Money!

Presenters: Kim Anderson, Humanities Montana; Charlene Porsild, Montana History Foundation; Jennifer Birnel, Montana Memory Project; Tash Wisemiller, Dept. of Commerce Program Coordinator

There are many Montana and national grant opportunities available for your museum. The panel consists of employees from Humanities Montana, Montana History Foundation,  Montana Memory Project, and Dept. of Commerce, including an update of the new Montana Museums Act grant. Each panelist will explain their entity’s mission and what the funds they provide can be used for.

March 18, 2021

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM 

Programming during the Pandemic and Beyond 

Presenter: Karen Reinhart, Curator Yellowstone Gateway Museum

The first few minutes of this program are dedicated to showing conference participants how to navigate Zoom during the MAM conference.

To stay vibrant in their communities, many museums successfully turned to virtual programming during the pandemic. This program examines the many benefits of engaging adults and students through online programming, and the nuts and bolts of setting up Zoom programs, using meeting or webinar platforms. Topics covered include hosts, lighting, practice sessions, live and pre-recorded sessions, managing participants, surveys, polls, recording programs, and more.

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Making the Most of Your Board: How to build a Successful Board/Staff Relationship

Presenter: Matt Lautzenheiser, Executive Director of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

This session will explore how the Board and Staff work together to receive the best results for your organization.  It includes information on necessary policies, expectations, Board and staff roles, and Committee Structure.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Role of History and Culture in Experiential Travel and Destination Marketing

Keynote Speaker: Racene Friede, President CEO Glacier County Tourism Region

Almost every leisure trip includes some history. The history of the destination, the history of the people, the history of the architecture, stories of the area – travelers want to know something about where they have chosen to visit. Understanding experiential travel in a changing travel environment and ideas for easy, low-cost ways that museums of all sizes can stretch their marketing dollars, both online and offline, and enhance the visitor experience.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Protect Your ASSets; Tax Laws & Museum Gift Shops 

Presenter: Kathy Barton, ZooMontana Gift Shop Manager 

Did you know certain items in your museum gift shop might be subject to corporate  tax rates? Yikes! This session defines and discusses Unrelated Business Income Tax  (UBIT) and how you can protect your nonprofit from unexpected penalties. Learn  practical tips and the strategies Kathy has used in ZooMontana’s Wild Side Gift Shop to  build a fun, profitable, and tax-compliant store.
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Learning from our NEH Assessment: Where You Are Is Exactly Where to Start! 

Presenters: Amy Webster, Curator/collections manager for the Ninepipes Museum and Pat Roath, Curator of Collections & Exhibits Hockaday Museum of Art  

 Ninepipes Museum houses an extensive and rare group of Native cultural items,  early settler objects, photos, and archival documents. The museum opened twenty-two  years ago and not much had changed until it became apparent that updates and care of the collection were needed. The NEH funded an  extensive Collection Needs Assessment. The resulting process became a lesson in  accepting where the museum was while planning the small steps leading to the  reinvigoration of the entire museum. The assessment has become a strong catalyst for  new Tribal partnerships and relevant interpretation. The goal of accreditation is now  closer than ever imagined. Amy Webster will tell the Ninepipes Museum assessment story, highlighting the implementation process. She will give useful strategies for rural and  urban museums that are at any stage, so that they can begin taking steps to move towards  higher standards, new funding opportunities, and accreditation possibilities.

March 19, 2021

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

A Trip to Shindig Island

Presenter: Sabre Moore, Executive Director Carter County Museum

The COVID-19 Pandemic has taught us all the advantages of online fundraising and virtual events, but where to begin? Starting with the first ever virtual Dino Shindig, this program will feature easy-to-use online tools to raise money for your museum. Learn about hosting online silent auctions, Facebook Fundraising, AmazonSmile and Charity Lists, PayPal Giving and more!

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Effective Web Presence on a Budget

Presenter: Kaitlin Johnson, Executive Director Yellowstone Historic Center and Ellen Butler, Curator and Fundraising Assistant  Yellowstone Historic Center

As technology continues to evolve and alter the way we communicate with each other, taking advantage of the most cost-effective methods to promote your museum is vital. Ellen and Kaitlin share their experiences in developing a strong online presence for both a museum and an event venue for the Yellowstone Historic Center on a shoestring budget. Topics for this presentation will include social media, primary websites, graphic design, and newsletters with emphasis on developing partnerships with other organizations in your communities.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Annual Membership Business Meeting followed by bring your own lunch Meet and Greet  - Share your recent challenges/opportunities

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Curating Your Small Museum

Presenter: Jenette Rasch, Manager of Wise Wonders Science and Discovery Museum

What does it mean to curate? What steps and processes should be considered when selecting materials and information for effective exhibit design? Our presentation of information and objects is what is most impactful on our visitors and donors. This discussion will be about how to effectively present concepts and ideas through the curation of exhibits. We will talk about how to make your exhibits memorable and engaging with the goal of drawing return visits to your museum and effectively educating the public.

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Grab it, Pack it, & Pallet it

Presenters: Kendra Newhall, Senior Registrar, and Aaron Genton, Collections Historian, Montana Historical Society

The Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building has been home to the Montana Historical Society since 1952. Since that time, this building has provided a home for the Society’s work, collections, and research. As Montana has grown, however, so have the needs of its Historical Society.

The Montana Historical Society Museum, Montana’s Museum, collects, preserves, and interprets fine art, historical, archaeological, and ethnological artifacts that pertain to Montana and its adjoining geographic region.

The Museum collection, an estimated 60,000+ artifacts, contains art and three-dimensional artifacts relating to all aspects of Montana history and culture. Our Native American collection contains artifacts from each of the many tribes who have called Montana home. The Society’s archaeological collection is relatively small, but contains representative artifacts from many eras of human habitation in Montana.

Other artifact strengths include: costumes and textiles, transportation artifacts, paper and ephemera, firearms, and agricultural, cattle, and mining industry objects. The collection also includes decorative arts and furnishings. The best-known works in our art collection are by Montana’s “Cowboy Artist” Charles M. Russell. This collection is one of the most significant collections of Russell art anywhere. Another major art collection represents the life work of sculptor Bob Scriver.

The goal of this session is to focus on what it takes to move this vast collection. Attendees will get a glimpse into the moving and packing process as it currently stands for the MHS Museum Program. Topics covered will include roles and responsibilities of staff; trial and error along the way; anticipated and unexpected challenges; setting goals and checking in on those goals, inventorying, cataloging, tracking, and carefully packing an estimated 60,000+ collection. In addition attendees will also get a behind the scenes tour of our storage areas and a first hand look at what we have accomplished so far.

Registration Fees: 

  • Individual – $50.00

    Registering as a single attendee to the conference.

Register Now

1-406-444-4789 Monday - Friday 9 am to 5 pm

"Museums Association of Montana" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 225 N. Roberts St, Helena, MT 59620

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