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New On-demand Programs from #AAM2023

Category: Alliance Blog

The AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo is one of the most critical opportunities for our field to come together and learn from one another. While it remains the largest annual in-person gathering of the museum field in the world, some of our members cannot participate in any given year. This year, to help close that gap, we recorded a selection of sessions now available as on-demand programs in the AAM Member Resource Library. From sessions on accessibility and climate change to measuring social impact and connecting with descendant communities, browse all programs below and log in or join to access the full recordings, transcripts, and slides.

Log in or become a member today to access all sessions


1. Access Journey: From One-off Events to Creating a Culture of Accessibility 

How do we ensure our accessibility efforts are all-encompassing and more than a one-off event? Creating an institutionalized culture of accessibility might feel like an overwhelming task, but it is necessary and rewarding for all. This session showcases how small steps can increase accessibility efforts and lead to a sustainable culture of access.


  • Lally Daley, Co-founder, InfiniTeach
  • Barbara Engelskirchen, Chief Development Officer, National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Dawn Koceja, Community Engagement & Advocacy Officer, Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Matti Wallin, Accessibility Programs Manager, Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Leigh Dale, Coordinator of Family Programs, Philadelphia Museum of Art


2. Different Lenses for Addressing Our Planet Crisis

It will take more than the media and science-based institutions to educate the population about the climate crisis and how individuals can take personal or collective action. This session brings together representatives of a university natural history museum, an art museum, a botanic garden, and an aquarium to discuss the diverse exhibitions they have created to address our threatened planet.


  • Beth Redmond-Jones, Vice President of Exhibitions & Facilities, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Darcie MacMahon, Director of Exhibits & Public Programs, Florida Museum of Natural History
  • Jen Tobias; Associate Director of Exhibitions & Art Collections, Associate Curator of Art; Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Jane Winchell, The Sarah Fraser Robbins Director of the Art & Nature Center, Peabody Essex Museum

3. Every Museum is a Community Museum: Defining and Prioritizing Communities

Before the field evaluates community impact, it must address an elephant in the room: the implicit (and sometimes explicit) binary between “visitors” and “community.” Is every visitor a member of a museum’s community? This panel will explore ways that museums are defining and redefining their communities, offering practical approaches, frameworks, and conversation starters for your own.


  • Stephanie Hill Wilchford, President & CEO, Brooklyn Children’s Museum
  • Kristian Weatherspoon, VP, Digital Storytelling, Atlanta History Center
  • Rima Zalghout, Librarian, Arab American National Museum
  • Holly Shen, Director, US, Lord Cultural Resources


4. Get it Together: A Regional Approach to Connect to Descendant Communities

Museums that care for Native American cultural objects or educate the public on Native American histories must work with descendant communities. Outreach from multiple institutions, however, can overburden these communities. In this panel, museum representatives and members of Native American communities in Los Angeles share insights on implementing a regional approach to working together.


  • Cindi Alvitre, Mother, Grandmother, Fiber Artist, Storyteller, Traditional Singer Faculty, CSULB American Indian Studies Program Tongva, T’at Society
  • Dr. Amy Gusick, Curator, Anthropology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Germonique Ulmer, Managing Director, Social Impact, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
  • Desireé Renee Martinez, President, Cogstone Resource Management Tongva, Ti’at Society
  • Sarah S. Wilson, Director of Education, Autry Museum of the American West
  • Minela Acosta, Sr. Manager, Community Engagement, Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County

5. Leaning into Value: Measuring and Monetizing Visitor Experiences

How do you demonstrate that your institution provides social value and community impact? This is a question that all museum boards, leadership, and staff contemplate, but supplying the data that policymakers expect can be challenging. This panel and discussion will offer one model for how museums can describe and corroborate the social and financial value they deliver to their diverse publics.


  • John Falk, Director, Institute for Learning Innovation
  • Liza Herzog, Director of Evaluation and Impact, Barnes Foundation
  • Lori Fogarty, Executive Director, Oakland Museum of California
  • Julián Zugazagoitia, Director and CEO, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Tracy Kennan, Curator of Education, New Orleans Museum of Art


6. Making History Accessible: Toolkit for Multisensory Interpretation

In 2019, the Intrepid Museum and New York University Ability Project brought together staff of historic sites, disability advocates, and experts in historic preservation and museum accessibility to address how to remove barriers to multisensory interpretation. Presenters representing each of these groups share key takeaways from the project, available in a digital toolkit, and their perspectives on this work.


  • Charlotte Martin, Director of Access Initiatives, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Amy Hurst, Director, NYU Ability Project
  • Cheryl Fogle-Hatch, Accessibility Consultant, MuseumSenses
  • Sara Lowenburg, Director of Education, Louisiana State Museum


7. Measuring Museum Social Impact: Lessons and Resources from a National Study

With IMLS funding, the Measurement of Museum Social Impact study has spent months working with museums across the US to validate a social impact instrument. Watch this recorded session from the 2023 AAM Annual Meeting to learn about the study’s goals, how they’ve been achieved, the results from the social impact survey, and how two participating museums are using the findings.


  • Michelle Mileham, Project Manager, Utah Division of Arts & Museum
  • Kari Nelson, Research and Evaluation Associate, Thanksgiving Point Institute
  • Jennifer Kindick, Museum Education Specialist, Molly Brown House Museum
  • Sabre Moore, Director, Carter County Museum
  • Monica Miller, Executive Director, Gallery One


8. The Power of Data-Driven Member Research to Drive Growth & Build Resilience

Members are foundational to museums’ financial and social success, yet the sector has lacked rigorous study of the complex web of pain points, priorities, and underlying needs that motivate individuals to join a membership program. In this inspiring session, gain insight into leading-edge research and digital tools designed to help museums expand their reach, nurture engagement, and build resilience into their membership programs.


  • Dan Sullivan, VP of Growth, Cuseum
  • Jamila Wicks, Advancement Director, Illinois State Museum
  • Rosie Siemer, Founder + CEO, FIVESEED
  • Angela Tharp, Director of Membership, The Children’s Museum
  • Erica Wainwright, Director of Featured Exhibits and Business Dev, Cincinnati Museum Center


9. Putting Social Science to Work in Climate Change Interpretation

Public engagement efforts on climate change must start with the fundamental recognition that people have different psychological, cultural, and political reasons for acting—or not acting—to reduce carbon pollution. In this session, hear how social research data can provide insights into visitors’ beliefs and attitudes, and how to put this information to work in developing interpretive programs and exhibitions.


  • Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director, The Wild Center
  • Sarah Sutton, CEO, Environment & Culture Partners
  • Susie Wilkening, Principal, Wilkening Consulting
  • Joshua Low, Partnerships Director, Yale University, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication


10. Questions an Organization Should Ask When Transitioning a Volunteer Program

Transitioning a volunteer program—whether it involves changes to roles, recruitment strategy, or supervision—impacts the entire organization. In this workshop, develop the framework necessary for these momentous adjustments. From identifying stakeholders, boosting buy-in, and identifying potential barriers to creating a timeline and preparing a communications strategy, a thoughtful transition plan will help organizations avoid dissatisfaction, stalled actions, and bad press.


  • Jenny Woods, President, American Association for Museum Volunteers
  • Brandi Shawn-Chaparro, Associate Director of Volunteer and Visitor Engagement, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
  • Mary Fernandez, Program Outreach Coordinator, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Susan Zwerling, MAP Program Officer, American Alliance of Museums
  • Justine Gregory Dodson, Associate Director of Volunteer Services, Denver Art Museum


Log in or become a member today to access all sessions

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