Programs & Services

2020 Annual Statewide Museum Conference
The Strategic Museum: Mission in Community

August 24-28, 2020

Registration is now open for our 2020 Virtual Statewide Museum Conference.

PA Museums will honor registrations for our postponed April 2020 Conference for our Virtual Conference as well as our 2021 Conference as a thank you for the support of those who registered in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Our Virtual Conference is “Pay What You Wish,” and we invite you to donate before, during, or after the conference at this link. We appreciate your support for our conference.

Many communities in the country are using a strategy that focuses on culture, environmental remediation and recreation, asset-based development, and financial investment to transform neighborhoods. Museums often are a part of this strategy. Museums can support both the people and the communities around them even in the face of the challenges that present themselves. This virtual conference offers us an opportunity to look closely at how museums can help to build more successful communities and at museums that have grown as a part of community development that recognized and valued history and culture.

Monday, August 24, 9:30-10:30 AM

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Story of Community

Join Jane Werner, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and learn how Over the past 20 years, the museum has played a vital role in the Pittsburgh community and beyond. From its innovative museum experiences to its block by block development, the museum’s influence is recognized as a model for the role museums can play in their region. In the book Magnetic, the Children’s Museum was cited as an illustration of what hap- pens when museums “widen their circle of influence and enlist the help of like- minded people to help weave a strong and resilient community fabric in support of children, youth and neighborhood life.”

The opening of Museum Lab in April 2019 is the latest in the museums effort to serve all children in the community.

Jane Werner’s 37 years of museum experience includes 28 years at The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh where she served as Program Director, Deputy Director and currently Executive Director. Werner leads the team responsible for all aspects of the Museum’s mission and vision, exhibits, public programming, funding and operations. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh expanded in November 2004 after the completion of a $29M capital campaign. Attendance grew from 80,000 to currently over 310,000 visitors annually and expects to grow an additional 10% in the next year. The museum’s latest innovation is Museum Lab, which opened in April 2019, as a learning environment for older kids. With the completion of Museum Lab the museum has created the largest cultural campus for children in the United States.

Monday, August 24, 10:40-11:30

Office Hours with PA Museums

Join Board Members and Staff from PA Museums to continue discussion about the conference session, talk about what you need from your statewide association, tell us what is happening at your organization, ask questions, or discuss other issues related to museums or historical organizations in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, August 25, 9:30-10:45 AM

Good Trustee, Bad Trustee: Recruit, Engage, and Empower the Best Leaders for Your Museum Board

Building and maintaining an efficient, agile, and committed board requires strategic thought and long-term investment of time and energy. Hear how your board and staff can find and secure strong trustees and keep them engaged as vocal advocates for your museum’s mission. Learn tips and strategies from experienced museum trustees who have played an active role in strengthening and sustaining tenacious boards.

Presenters:

Anne M. Lampe, CEO, Museum Trustee Association

Gina Russo, Advisory Board Member, Hood Museum at Dartmouth College

Tuesday, August 25, 10:40-11:30

Office Hours with PA Museums

Join Board Members and Staff from PA Museums to continue discussion about the conference session, talk about what you need from your statewide association, tell us what is happening at your organization, ask questions, or discuss other issues related to museums or historical organizations in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, August 26, 9:30-10:30 AM

How Culture Saved the Steel City

Join Maxwell King, President, Pittsburgh Foundation, as he speaks to Pittsburgh’s latest renaissance. Learn how the city has come together over the last 30-40 years with an emphasis on its strong base of cultural assets.

Maxwell King’s four-decade career includes the presidencies of two of the country’s largest philanthropies and the editorship of one of its most influential daily newspapers. King joined The Pitts- burgh Foundation, with assets of more than $1 billion, in 2014 as president and CEO. He retired in the summer of 2019. His strong advocacy for including vulnerable groups – at least 30% of the region’s population – in the benefit streams of a resurgent Pittsburgh anchors a signature organizing principle, 100 Percent Pittsburgh, at the Foundation. In addition, King expanded the Foundation’s investment in its Center for Philanthropy, which combines the charitable passions of donors with expert program staff and grantees to improve lives in the Pittsburgh region.

Before that, King served for two years as director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Westmoreland County. As president of the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments from 1999 to 2008, he led the disbursement of about $500 million in grants to projects, organizations and initiatives primarily in western Pennsylvania. From 1990 to 1998, King was editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. During that period, the Inquirer was recognized by Time magazine as one of the five best newspapers in America. King has served on boards and committees for many national and regional organizations, including the National Council on Foundations which he led as the first chair of its Ethics and Practices Committee and then as chair of the full board from 2006 to 2008.

Wednesday, August 26, 10:40-11:30

Office Hours with PA Museums

Join Board Members and Staff from PA Museums to continue discussion about the conference session, talk about what you need from your statewide association, tell us what is happening at your organization, ask questions, or discuss other issues related to museums or historical organizations in Pennsylvania.

Thursday, August 27, 9:30-10:45 AM

Documenting Communities in the Museum

This session explores how the History Center documents three different communities in our region. Panelists discuss their experiences working as museum professionals tasked with the job of preserving and interpreting community history. How do we build trust in our communities? How do we evolve with our changing communities? What is the role of our Advisory Committees and how do they influence the collection? How do we collect in real time about difficult or divisive events (gentrification, acts of terror,etc.)

Presenters:

Samuel W Black, Director of the African American Program, Senator John Heinz History Center

Melissa E. Marinaro, Director of the Italian American Program, Senator John Heinz History Center

Eric Lidji, Director of the Rauh Jewish Archive & History Program, Senator John Heinz History Center

Thursday, August 27, 10:40-11:30

Office Hours with PA Museums

Join Board Members and Staff from PA Museums to continue discussion about the conference session, talk about what you need from your statewide association, tell us what is happening at your organization, ask questions, or discuss other issues related to museums or historical organizations in Pennsylvania.

Friday, August 28, 9:30-10:45 AM

Telling an Inclusive Story: Preserving and Sharing Disability History

In 2015, the Heinz History Center became a founding partner of the Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium. The consortium aims to preserve and share the historic struggle of Western Pennsylvanians with disabilities to attain human and civil rights. Join History Center staff and Consortium members to learn how this partnership has fostered a knowledge exchange that furthers the Consortium’s mission and has inspired the History Center to pursue a more holistic approach to preservation while also making its exhibitions and public programs more accessible and inclusive. Strategies to build collaborative collecting initiatives, to work with community advocates, to coordinate and develop community and internal preservation strategies, and to create opportunities to interpret and share this history will be explored.

Presenters:

Anne Madarasz, Director of the Curatorial Division and Chief Historian, Senator John Heinz History Center, Director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum Emily Ruby, Curator, Senator John Heinz History Center Sierra Green, Archivist, Senator John Heinz History Center
Bridget Malley, Preservation Scholar, Western Pennsylvania Disability History Action Consortium

Friday, August 28, 10:40-11:30

Office Hours with PA Museums

Join Board Members and Jenny Angell,  Project Manager, Accessibility Excellence Project, PA Museums to continue discussion about our Accessibility Excellence Project, the conference session, talk about what you need from your statewide association, tell us what is happening at your organization, ask questions, or discuss other issues related to museums or historical organizations in Pennsylvania.

Our Virtual Conference is “Pay What You Wish,” and we invite you to donate before, during, or after the conference at this link. We appreciate your support for our conference.

Sessions will be conducted via GoToMeeting, and instructions for joining us will be emailed to the address associated with your registration.

See the Program From Our Most Recent Conference

Trust, Transparency, and Transformation
PA Museums Annual Conference
April 7-9, 2019 in Chadds Ford, PA

Please click here to see our 2019 Program.