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Museum Professional Networks Connecting and Collaborating during COVID-19

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These resources have been taken out from behind the member paywall to make them free and accessible for all. The current crisis is taking a distressing financial toll on cultural organizations, and AAM is no different. In these challenging times, we ask that if you can, consider supporting our advocacy work and making extensive COVID-19 resources freely available for our field, by making a donation or becoming a member of AAM. Thank you for your much-needed support.

As all of us continue to grapple with the changing landscape during the current pandemic, the Professional Network Council of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) remains focused on helping members of the museum community. Specifically, in a time when so many of us are struggling, we seek to provide connections with people and resources that can support all of us now and as we move through this period of unimaginable transition.

Upcoming programs hosted by individual Professional Networks (PN’s) and messages are shared weekly here. Check often for updates.

For those who are able to participate in virtual events, we look forward to connecting with you. For everyone, please do not hesitate to reach out to members of any of the Professional Networks. We are here for you.

Stay safe!
Members of the Professional Network Council

Joining Professional Networks, a benefit of AAM Individual Professional Membership is a great way for museum professionals to connect with each other, learn about topics of interest within the museum field, and help the wider field advance through the programming and content of the networks. Learn how to join a Professional Network today.

Table of Contents

(Click any topic to jump ahead)

Week of 5/25/2020: Professional Network Upcoming Programs

Image of five hands holding a heart in the center of the image. In the bottom right corner is a circle with the text, EdCom CARES Calls.

EdCom Cares || EdComversation

Wednesday May 27, 2020 01:00 PM (EST)

Registration coming soon

CARE || CAREapy: Creating and Measuring Change: How to write successful outcomes and outcome indicators

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:00-3:00 PM (EST)

Register Here

What are outcomes, and why do they matter? Join Al Onkka of Aurora Consulting, and Marley Steele-Inama of Denver Zoo, to explore the importance of outcomes in our programs. This session will also examine how outcomes are organized in a program’s logic model, how to write effective outcomes, and how we can use outcome indicators to make our case, both internally and externally to our organizations.

LGBTQ+ Alliance || Queer Coffee Break Series

Weekly on Thursdays at 3:00 PM (EST)

View Videos Here

Join us Thursday, May 28, at 3 p.m. EST, for our Queer Coffee Break Series, where we’ll be exploring local and international LGBTQIA+ history through bite-sized videos—perfect for your afternoon coffee or tea break.

NAME || Mid-Atlantic Coffee Break

Weekly on Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m.

Join an informal conversation with other mid-Atlantic exhibit colleagues to catch up and share ideas. Hosted by NAME mid-Atlantic representative Jenny-Sayre Ramberg. RSVP to namemidatlantic@gmail.com for ZOOM info.

NAME || Reimagine Experiences: Honoring Our Values and Visitor Needs What are the Questions We Need to Ask?

Thursday, May 28, 2:00-3:00 PM (EST)

Register Here

Join Janella Watson, Marsha Semmel, Aaron Goldblatt, Peggy Monahan, Dana Schloss, Seth Frankel, Margaret Middleton, and Polly McKenna-Cress in small-group discussions to dig into some of the issues and common questions that face us all. We’ll share and establish the common, essential questions we need to address as we design and re-open public experiences.

As we all anguish over how we bring audiences back it’s clear we need a plan that’s adaptable, flexible, and responsive–because that plan will evolve. The outcome of these discussions is to begin to establish as many essential question(s) we need to be asking ourselves and our teams as we make our way through these next months and new processes. Keeping in mind the values we won’t compromise on but also soliciting the needs of our intended audiences.

WEEK OF 6/1: Upcoming Programs

AAM Virtual Meeting

Monday-Thursday, June 1-4

Find everything here.

Weekly Professional Network News and Updates

Development and Membership Professional Network

June 4 PN Day Programming

  • Radical Reimagining: Strategies for Managing Membership and Development Programs During the Coronavirus Pandemic, and Beyond 10-11am CT: Hosted by DAM Executive Board Chair Donna McGinnis. Five pairs of consultants/museum professionals will discuss evolving strategies for managing annual giving, membership, campaigns, online fundraising and forecasting during the Coronavirus pandemic, and beyond. Breakout sessions for each topic will follow.
  • Annual Giving Reimagined 11am-Noon CT: Presented by Willard White of Marts & Lundy, with the Arizona Humane Society
  • Membership Reimagined Noon-1pm CT: Presented by Mae Daniller, President of Daniller + Co, with a museum partner TBD
  • Online Fundraising Reimagined 1-2pm CT: Presented by Paul Johnson, President of Creative Fundraising Advisors, with a museum partner TBD
  • Campaigns Reimagined 2-3pm CT: Presented by Laura MacDonald, President of the Benefactor Group, with a museum partner TBD
  • Forecasting Reimagined 3-4pm CT: Presented by Carl Hamm of Alexander Haas, with a museum partner TBD

EdCom: Education Professional Network

EdCom’s Museum Distance Learning Repository 
Have you seen the new ‘Repository of Distance Learning’? One of EdCom’s recent projects, it is where you can find programs and resources from museums across the country in a searchable database. With children and learners everywhere out of school for the foreseeable future, museums across the continent have come together to share their distance learning with you.

Explore this resource and submit additions too.

Independent Museum Professionals Network

Many Independent Museum Professionals are finding our work lives have changed dramatically. In light of layoffs, some former museum staff are figuring out how to become independents themselves. Current museum staffers may be grappling with how to stay connected with one another, with museum visitors, and vendors, all while working from home and dealing with the myriad distractions and uncertainties that accompany that. IMPN is here to help with resources! Since we can’t see you in person, we have sessions planned for the virtual annual meeting. We hope to see you there! All times are CDT.

  • Monday, June 1, 3:30-4:30 pmRe-envisioning the Role of the Independent Museum Professional. Explore ways that independent museum professionals (IMP’s) can support museums as they rethink, adapt, and transform in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Panelists will include directors and CEOs from museums of different types and sizes.
  • Thursday, June 4, 10-11 amThe PSA of the Future: Reimagining Creativity. Join the IMPN as it hosts Poster House and Isometric Studio in a fun and creative workshop. Following a brief history of the PSA, participants will work together to design their own posters in response to COVID-19. This activity will foster collaboration among groups of participants who might not have previously intersected and spark ideas about how we can help one another in the future. No design skills required, only a creative spirit!
  • Thursday, June 4, 1:45-2:45 pmTrials and Tribulations of Working from Home. Share stories of working from home and learn strategies from IMP’s experienced in this model. Possible conversation topics: What’s the funniest work-from-home moment you’ve experienced? What’s your best videoconference beauty tip?
  • Thursday, June 4, 3-4 pmWhat’s Next? Independent Museum Professionals Talk. Connect with fellow IMP’s to discuss questions about the future of working with museums. Participants will be randomly divided into smaller breakout groups, which will rotate several times throughout the session. Questions might include: What might the museum landscape look like in the future? How can you ‘pivot’ your skills to best serve the field? Experienced and recent IMPs are encouraged to attend.

LGBTQ+ Alliance

Join us every Thursday, at 3pm EST, for our Queer Coffee Break Series, where we explore local and international LGBTQIA+ history through bite-sized videos — perfect for your afternoon coffee or tea break! Videos are posted weekly on our Facebook page.

If you are interested in contributing for this or other series, please contact us at lgbtq@aam-us.org!

TEN: Traveling Exhibitions Network

Join a Traveling Exhibitions Network Working Group! We are seeking volunteers to join one of three working groups tasked with tackling specific subsets of our industry. These working groups will collaborate with one another to determine best practices, develop industry materials, and conceptualize how we move forward. Sign up here. The three working groups are:

  • The Value of Traveling Exhibitions Working Group
  • Traveling Exhibition Interactives Working Group
  • Traveling Exhibition Logistics Working Group

Resources

AAM (American Alliance of Museums) Calendar of Events

AAM Blog: Museums and Equity in Times of Crisis

“We hope this series can serve as a place for museum professionals to come get hope, advice, and great resources to think through how to best build capacity to drive, center, and sustain equity and inclusion in even the most challenging of times…”  Read more

AASLH (American Association for State and Local History) Resources 

ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) Resources 

Collections Stewardship

Collections Stewardship has created a resources web page and worked with AAM to create a document to assist with collections care during this time.

VSA (Visitor Studies Association) COVID-19 Programs & Resources

  • Coronavirus Support Group Chats: Fridays, 2-2:30 pm ET. These free chats allow for informal discussion on a range of topics. Now open to everyone. All resources shared through these discussions are also saved here.
  • Coronavirus Support for Out-of-Work Evaluators: Wednesday, April 15, 4:00 pm ET.  The Professional Development Working Group is hosting a special web convening to support visitor studies professionals currently out of work due to COVID-19. Open to VSA members and non-members.
  • Visitor Studies Journal and Web Chats Archive: VSA members have complimentary access to the journal archives through Taylor & Francis as well as our past web chat recordings, including those on useful evaluation tools, culturally responsive evaluation practices, and more.

Professional Networks

  • Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE)
  • Collections Stewardship
  • Curators Committee (CurCom)
  • Development and Membership (DAM)
  • Diversity Committee (DivCom)
  • Education Committee (EdCom)
  • Environment and Climate Network
  • Historic Houses and Sites Network
  • Independent Museum Professionals Network
  • Indigenous Peoples Museum Network
  • Latino Network
  • Leadership and Management
  • LGBTQ+ Alliance
  • Media & Technology
  • Museum Studies Network
  • National Association for Museum Exhibitions (NAME)
  • Public Relations and Marketing Network (PRAM)
  • Security Network
  • Small Museum Administrators Committee (SMAC)
  • Traveling Exhibitions Network

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum Magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
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