Museums Association of Montana

MAM strives to strengthen all of Montana's Museums

Wednesday, March 15 

9:30 AM - 2:00 PM - Library of Congress: Teaching with Primary Sources

Presenters: Keith Patterson, LOC Director of TPS Western Region, and Michelle Pearson, Master Educator with LOC

Join the Library of Congress Teaching With Primary Sources team and learn how to put your nation's  library to work for your organization or classroom. We are an action-oriented team so get ready for an engaging and proactive session where we will work together to come up with ideas and funding solutions for your museum. If you have a project, program, or professional development idea for museum professionals, community stakeholders, or educators using primary sources, bring your ideas! You will learn about successful programs in the West and across the country, how the funding process works with the Library of Congress, and how a Teaching  with Primary Sources grant can help your organization. Leave with ideas and an action plan on how you can collaborate with the Library of Congress.

Cost-  $ 30.00 member 

           $ 40.00 non-member 

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Unseen Missoula Walking Tour:

Hosted by the Missoula Downtown Assoc.

A holistic look at downtown life during Missoula’s transition from a marginal frontier town to a major local economic and cultural center from 1880 to 1920.  The tour starts at Caras Park and lasts approximately 90 minutes.  This tour is not ADA accessible and includes going up and down 5 + flights of stairs- elevators are not available in most buildings. 

Immediately following the tour, we will meet local historian Jean Belangie-Nye at  Charlie B’s Bar in Downtown Missoula. Jean’s first husband, Lee Nye, was a well regarded local photographer and took thousands of portraits of the colorful characters  that once frequented Charlie’s. Jean is finishing a book on Lee’s photos and the  stories behind them. Relax, have a drink (not included in price), and listen to Jean as  she brings to life Charlie B’s fascinating cast of characters.         

 Cost- $30.00 member 

           $40.00 non-member 

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Disaster Planning Workshop:

Presenters: Emma Selfors, Curator of Collections at Historical Museum at Fort Missoula and Smithsonian HEART program graduate, Sabre Moore, Executive Director at Carter County Museum, Cecelia Gavinsky, Collections Manager at Western Heritage Center 

Sponsored by Rextooth Studios

This workshop will introduce participants to disaster planning in their institutions. We will begin by hearing from professionals at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Western Heritage Center, and Carter County Museum. Attendees will then be part of a disaster table-top exercise to prepare them for emergencies. Finally, they will use the pocket prep plan template to design and update their own disaster plans. Each participant will receive a complementary Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel. 

 Cost- $30.00 member/student 

           $40.00 non-member 

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM - First Timers’ Orientation and Welcome - Lobby of the C’Mon Inn

Hosts: Tate Jones and Matt Lautzenheiser, MAM Board Members If you are a first-time attendee to the conference, please join Matt and Tate to  learn more about what MAM has accomplished and what the future looks like for  museums and MAM.  

5:30 PM -9:00 PM - Progressive Reception: (Note specific times at each venue)  Join fellow MAM conference attendees as museums in the Missoula area host a reception in your honor. All receptions will be on the grounds at  Fort Missoula, and within walking distance of each other. Door prizes will  be drawn between 6:00 and 8:00. Must provide own transportation.  (map will be provided at registration table) 

 5:30-7:00 – Missoula Art Museum 335 N. Pattee St

 6:30-8:00 – Military Museum- Fort Missoula

 7:30-9:00 –Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

Thursday, March 16 

7:30-12:00 Registration – Heritage Hall

Silent Auction and brochure drop off 

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM - Plenary Welcome: Dave Strohmaier, Missoula County Commissioner  

                              MAM President’s Update: Sabre Moore

                              State and National Advocacy Update: Deb Mitchell 

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Crafting an Ethics Policy for your Museum: What is an Ethics Policy and why it is important.   Presenter(s): Matt Lautzenheiser
What is an Ethics Policy and why is it important for your museum to have one?  As community resources, we recognize the need to maintain public trust in the work being done by the museum both on site and off.  A Code of Ethics establishes standards of behavior and personal accountability for board members, staff, interns, and volunteers.  This session will provide examples of ethics policies and talk through the important points and process for creating a policy that fits your museum.

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM  Story Principles: The Ethics of Museum Interpretation   Presenter(s): Lauren Hunley, Community Historian, Western Heritage Center
What are our responsibilities as museum interpreters? Who has the right to tell certain stories, and what is my role as a museum professional? How do I balance what the audience expects with the inherent needs of the stories I tell? This session will explore the best standards and ethical considerations for museum interpretation, storytelling, and audience engagement.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break: Sponsored by Hamilton Group, Ltd

10:30 AM - 11:45  AM How to Develop a Historic Walking Tour   Presenters: Ciara Ryan, Program Director, The Foundation for Montana History; Zachary Coe, Community Outreach Manager, The Foundation for Montana History

Walking tours are a wonderful way to share your regional history with locals and visitors - but where to get started? This session focuses on the steps involved in creating and developing a sustainable history walking tour program. We will share tips and ideas on how to research and write scripts, develop local partnerships, hire and train guides and where to look for new and unusual sources of funding.

10:30 AM -11:45 AM An I.D.E.A. of Your Own  Presenter(s): Fernanda Mora
The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (I.D.E.A.) Committee at ZooMontana is working to ensure everyone moves forward so that no one gets left behind. Approaching topics within the Diversity field can be extremely daunting as diversity goes past race and gender. Taking a wide-lens view can be the best approach to serve the learning needs of all who work within your organization. Learn more about how ZooMontana has begun to tackle some of these issues with their I.D.E.A. committee chair during this interactive session.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch 

Membership Business Meeting 

State of the Montana Historical Society: Molly Kruckenburg, Executive  Director 

Keynote Speaker: “What’s in a Name?”  The Foundation for Montana History President & CEO Charlene Porsild shares some challenges, rewards, costs, and benefits of rebranding an organization.  

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM - After-Action: Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Military History.  

Presenters: Tate Jones, Executive Director, RMMMH and RMMMH Trustees.
Do you need some help distinguishing between a B-25, a DD-214, an M-1, or a T-72? Fear not and gear up - this session will make you a veteran museum professional ready to take on all aspects of the military-industrial complex! A rapid march through the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History will brief you on a knapsack-full of issues encountered in interpreting martial matters, including weapons display, uniform identification, relations with veterans organizations, national resources, collections ethics, and others. Refreshments, and at the end of the session a free drawing will award one lucky recruit a complete 39-volume set of the Time-Life History of World War II! (Note: restrooms available next door at HMFM.) 

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM Going Green in the Gift Shop  Presenter(s): Kathy Barton

More than being records of our past, museums have the power to build and uplift our communities for the future. With this comes responsibility for the planet and those living on it. ZooMontana’s Wild Side Gift Shop uses sustainable practices, stocks sustainable merchandise, and sells items to help their guests be sustainable at home. In this session, you will learn the three pillars of sustainability and leave with practical exercises to help your institution do the same.

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM Cultivating Successful Projects: Harnessing the Power of Project Management to Achieve Tangible and Impactful Results. Presenter(s): Amber Doyen, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Museum Manager and Candace Goodluck Museum and Gift Shop Assistant Manager, St. Labre

Learn how to leverage a deeper understanding of Project Management to encourage staff buy-in, increase community support and create more engaging and invigorating outcomes in your exhibits and growth initiatives. Successful project management is built on an understanding of your organization, mission and stakeholders. This session outlines the foundations of project management and how to align projects with organizational resources and values. It addresses the complexities of project implementation and how to schedule for success. By developing an understanding of adaptive and responsive project management, we increase our effectiveness in inspiring and educating the people and communities we serve.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM  Break: Sponsored by Foundation for Montana History

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM Plenary: Meet the Funders 

Moderator: Charlene Porsild, President/CEO the Foundation for Montana History 

Presenter(s): Megan Hill Sundy, Grants Manager, Humanities Montana, Ciara Ryan, Program Director, Foundation for Montana History, Kristin Burgoyne, Deputy Director and Grants Manager, Montana Arts Council, Mackenzie Espeland, Program Specialist, Montana Department of Commerce Preservation Grants Program.

Does your museum need money for exhibits, programs, and/or facilities? Join us for an interactive session with the four key Montana museum funders and learn about their programs, criteria, and new initiatives. Meet the decision makers in person and hear from them directly on key issues like what they fund, what they’re looking for, and how they can help your museum meet its goals. Hang out afterwards for a no-host cocktail hour and informal follow up with these state-wide funders.

4:45 PM - 6:00 PM Happy Hour - Heritage Hall 

Join other attendees, presenters, MAM staff and sponsors for a drink and an opportunity to network with others within the museum field.  

6:00 PM MAM Banquet 

Scholarship award winners - Sabre Moore

Awards Presentation - Tate Jones

6:30 PM Keynote Speaker – Sabre Moore: The Power of Place - Community Vitality and Montana’s Rural Museums  

Sponsored by Humanities Montana

Rural communities have unique histories that are embedded in the culture and context of broader regions. Many rural museums are located on Main Street, the hub of rural communities and fit the role of “Third Places,” or public places where people can gather and interact. These spaces are central to local democracy and a community’s social vitality. As such, rural museums foster community experience and history as meaningful and personal, while also nurturing regional identity and connection to local place. Rural museums often encapsulate both cultural and natural history collections, thereby providing a space to engage with the community’s geographic and demographic past, present and future. This presentation addresses museum social impact and how it can be applied in local communities throughout Montana to address well-being and vitality. This place-attentive strategy recognizes the value of physical place, the diversity of people within and connected to that place (both past and present), and frames place with power. Audiences will learn how rural museums can excel at deepening economic and educational impact and discover how museum social impact, an elusive and challenging dataset, can be measured in communities throughout Montana.

7:00  PM Live Auction –NAME, Auctioneer (At Heritage Hall)

Friday, March 17 

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM Textiles and Historic Dress Preservation   Presenter: M. Lynn Barnes, Ph.D.

Historic textiles and dress artifacts tell vivid stories of the life and times of people, and are worth preserving. They promote and preserve the heritage that is unique to the state of Montana. Museum collections often include items that represent an assortment of construction fibers, each of which requires distinct methods of care for preservation, conservation and storage. Many museums possess history dress artifacts and textiles that justify an assessment by a textile historian followed by a condition report and recommendations for specific items. The report typically encompasses budgetary concerns, timelines, and a monitoring schedule, all of which are intended to enhance preservation of a museum’s collection. This presentation addresses the correct storage procedures for historic dress artifacts and textiles, including techniques for minimizing damage from light exposure, climate variations, rodents and insects. It also covers factors such as textile instability, appropriate cleaning and handling techniques, storage considerations, restoration of damaged items, proper exhibit display, and rotation schedules. 

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM Virtual Exhibits on MMP, Geocaching Tours   Presenter(s): Dave Colamaria and Jennifer Birnel

Learn how the Montana State Library is taking digital collections to the next level by creating exhibits and geocaching tours. Collection items contributed by museums, libraries, and archives across the state have been combined to tell stories and engage end users. Learn how this new way of curating our content is increasing the use of our website and bringing new users to view our historical materials.

9:15 AM -9:30 AM  Break: Sponsored by 

9:30 AM -10:45 AM Autism in Museums: Building a Place for All  Presenter(s): Kathy Barton

Museums preserve and share the stories of all. We put a lot of thought into how our collections, exhibits, and programs portray and welcome the many people and cultures they represent, but what about the museum space itself? With 1 in 44 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, are we aware of how the physical properties of our sites affect this significant population of our visitors? Explore ZooMontana’s path to becoming a Certified Autism Center and examine small ways you can build a more inclusive environment.

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM  Better Than a Band-Aid; Handling Archival Material in a Museum Setting  Presenter: Rich Aarstad, MHS Archives Specialist

Sometimes you just want to walk away but that box of records has eyes and like the family dog that wants a walk, IT JUST KEEPS STARING AT YOU. This session will give you some pointers on how to tackle that box of records, assuage the guilt of unprocessed archival records in your museum, and provide a cornerstone for building the future of your archival holding.

10:45 AM -12:30 PM Closing Plenary: Announcements and Presentation

Hidden Montana Opportunity Presenter: Christine Brown, MHS Interpretive Historian

The Montana Historical Society (MTHS) Outreach and Education program invites you to learn about a new effort to launch a coordinated statewide event -- Hidden History Montana. This pilot event will select 10 to 12 local museums, historical societies, or preservation commissions to offer a rolling series of one-day summer events where a town’s (or county’s) hidden historic places are open to the public for self-guided tours.

Irish in Montana  Presenter: Lauren Hunley, Community Historian, Western Heritage Center

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Montana Way! The Irish have a deep and surprising connection to Montana. From the Dublin Quay to the island of Tanzania; from Civil War battlefields to the mines of Butte - join us to follow the path of Irish immigration to the Big Sky Country.

P.O. Box 1451, Helena, MT 59624

Museums Association of Montana is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

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