Monday, October 8, 2012

New England Museum Association 2012 Annual Conference

We're now just less than a month out from the New England Museum Association's Annual Conference, this year held in Burlington, Vermont. I'm finally starting to get giddy, for three reasons.

First, Burlington (and the whole state of Vermont) is just about my favorite place in the universe. I went to college just south of Burlington, and lived & worked there for two more years. I could spend the rest of this post talking about what an incredible place Vermont is, but you'll have to trust me: best location ever for a conference.

Second, NEMA conferences are amazing. NEMA 2010 was my first-ever conference as a museum professional, and I was on a geek high the entire time. I loved it all. That was also the conference where I stuck my hand up during a panel and asked how an emerging professional might get experience in grantwriting, because it kind of sounded like fun, and I was mobbed by people offering advice afterwards offering advice and opportunities. Following up on those led directly to coursework in grantwriting and to my internship at Old Sturbridge Village in their development office. That's just one example of the terrific people you'll meet at NEMA.

Third, I'm going to be on two panels at NEMA! I'm pretty excited.

On Wednesday afternoon, I'll be on the panel Exhibition Critique: Online and Onsite Exhibits, featuring Voices for the Lake. Here's the full description:
The Exhibitions PAG is back with the popular Exhibition Critique. This year’s topic focuses on exhibits that are both onsite and online. We will be examining ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center’s Voices for the Lake. This IMLS-funded project aims to engage the community in stewardship of Lake Champlain through an integrated platform of online and onsite exhibits and outreach programming. What are the benefits and challenges of creating an exhibit that exists online and on- site simultaneously? After a tour of the exhibit by ECHO staff, our review panel of museum professionals from many disciplines will examine these and other questions. Paul Orselli from Paul Orselli Workshop will be joining us again this year. We need your voice there too, so please join us!
Then on Thursday night, I'm co-hosting an informal dinner discussion in my role as co-chair of the NEMA Young & Emerging Professionals PAG, called Push the Envelope, Break the Mold, Climb Out of the Box: Set Yourself Apart for Success at the Bluebird Tavern. Here's the description of that one:
Open to all museum professionals at all levels;
recommended especially for Young and Emerging Museum Professionals

Especially designed for those who are seeking creative ways to approach job searching and networking, this open forum dialogue will provide opportunities for participants to brainstorm and discuss ways to set themselves apart in an increasingly challenging field. Talk to professionals with all levels of experience—be it fellow job seekers, those with more experience in the field, students, consultants, and more—and learn ways to highlight your skills, create a career plan and goals, and emphasize your unique qualities when applying for positions, interviewing, climbing up the ladder, and, ultimately, setting yourself apart.
It's going to be a busy week, but I'm incredibly excited!

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