Call for Session Proposals

 Pennsylvania’s cultural community is rich and diverse. Museums, galleries, zoos, science centers, visitor centers, historic sites, monuments, parks, libraries, archives, and educational institutions all contribute to a new economy of ideas in the Commonwealth connecting our past with future generations.

The PA Museums Annual Conference offers museum professionals an interactive forum for the exchange of ideas, professional networking and discussion of trends in the museum field. The event is an excellent opportunity for professionals to reconnect and recharge as well as learn from colleagues.Our 2016 conference will be held April 10-12, 2016 in West Chester. The Chester County Historical Society will host most of our conference activities and programs.

Our conference theme will be In the Vanguard of the Museum Revolution. We are seeking proposals echoing this theme for presentation at the conference. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2015.

As one of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania played a critical role in the American Revolution over 225 year ago. Our central location, our industries, and the metropolis of Philadelphia set the stage for Pennsylvania’s early prominence, and it probably comes as no surprise that the first museums in the New World began in Pennsylvania.

Charles Wilson Peale opened a museum to the public in Philadelphia in 1784. Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s museum is the oldest art museum in the nation. The Franklin Institute, founded in 1824, is the oldest science museum in the United States. Many of today’s museums and historical sites, like Fort Pitt’s Block House or the Hans Herr House, are housed in the oldest buildings in their respective towns and cities. PA Museums, our association, traces its roots back to 1905 and is one of the first of a handful of statewide associations established around that time.

Over the years Pennsylvania’s museums have led the way to great discoveries and have gathered together stunning collections that tell our stories of the past. As the nation marks its time with commemorations of The Civil War, the passage of the American Disabilities Act, the Bicentennial, or the labor movement, Pennsylvania’s museums are there to lead the way.Our 2016 Annual Statewide Museum Conference at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester will reflect on our Commonwealth’s leadership in the museum field and look closely at case studies of exemplary programs that are breaking new ground using museum collections, technology, and fresh ideas for engaging and inspiring our communities in the 21st Century.

To submit a proposal, please email the following information to Chrisoula Randas Perdziola. Programming Specialist at by November 1, 2015. The programming committee will announce the chosen sessions by December 1, 2015. Please contact Chrisoula if you have any questions.Tentative Title
(think concise and catchy!)Session Description

Please include concept, area of relevance (e.g. collections, fundraising, etc.), and intended audience. This description will be used for web promotion and the final program.

Session Participant(s)
Please provide the name, title, institution, address, phone and email of each participant. Please designate main contact if there are two or more participants.

You can view last year’s program here. As part of our annual conference, the PA Museums Special Achievement Awards will be held. Please look for our Call for Nominations soon. We look forward to hearing from you!

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