Programs and Services

2020 Annual Statewide Museum Conference
The Strategic Museum: Mission in Community
Pittsburgh
April 19-21, 2020

Registration is open. Our registration materials are posted here. You can register and submit payment securely online here.

Here’s our preliminary schedule of speakers, sessions, and events (subject to change):

Pittsburgh has risen from a distressed, rust belt city to become one of the most livable communities in the country using a strategy that focused on culture, environmental remediation and recreation, asset-based development, and financial investment. Museums have been part of this strategy and have transformed the neighborhoods in which they operate. Institutions in Pittsburgh show how museums can support both the people and the communities around them even in the face of the challenges that present themselves. Pittsburgh 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.

Accommodations
A block of rooms has been reserved for April 19, 2020 – April 22, 2020 for our conference attendees at the Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh-Downtown.  A special room rate of $139 will be available until March 22nd or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.  Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh-Downtown is centrally located in Pittsburgh’s historic strip district, home to open food markets, street vendors and unique shops. The hotel is across the street from the Senator John Heinz History Center.  Enjoy free parking, free WiFi, and free hot breakfast.  To make reservations guests may either call or book online. Those who call the hotel (412-288-4350) will need to give the dates of their stay and mention that they are with the PA Museums group in order to get that group rate.  Guests may also book online by using a personalized reservation website
https://hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/groups/personalized/P/PITDNHX-PAM-20200419/index.jhtml

Sunday, April 19
1:30-3 PM
Carnegie Sampler Tour
Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Access the museum parking lot from Forbes Avenue and South Craig Street. Find parking pay stations near the main entrance admissions desk or Portal Entry. Cash and credit cards are accepted at pay stations. Credit cards only are accepted at the exit gate.   

This overview of great art and fascinating natural history collections will acquaint you with Collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  Tour time: 90 minutes, 45 minutes in each museum.

4-6 PM
PA Museum Conference Opening Reception
Frick Art Museum
7227 Reynolds St, Pittsburgh, PA 15208
The Frick Pittsburgh is located the corner of Penn and South Homewood avenues in Point Breeze. The entrance is located on Reynolds Street where parking is available in their free lot.  

Please join us for light refreshments, conversation and tours of the Frick Art Museum.


All programming for Monday, April 20 and Tuesday, April 21 will be held at the Senator John Heinz History Center, located at 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  Parking is available across the street at the 11th & Smallman Lot.  Please let the attendant know you will be visiting the History Center so you may receive the flat $5 rate as a conference attendee.  If you are already staying overnight at the Hampton Inn & Suites directly across the street from the History Center, parking there is included in your room rental.

Monday, April 20 
8 AM-4 PM
Museum Marketplace

Monday, April 20 
9-10 AM 
Registration and Refreshments

Monday, April 20 
9-10 AM 
Keynote
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 Pittsburgh 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.

Monday, April 20 
10-10:30 AM
Break

Monday, April 20 
10:30-11:30 AM
Building Bridges and Foster Sense of Place: Community Outreach & Education in Cumberland County

Cumberland County Historical Society’s (CCHS) undertaking of the Community Heart & Soul model bridged the divide between cultural institutions and citizen engagement. Participants will learn the Heart & Soul model and how it fostered new partnerships in the community for CCHS, including a digital initiative, the Lincoln Cemetery Project, which seeks to tell the story of a destroyed space and the community members buried there, and the Mt Holly History Collaborative, a coalition of administrators, teachers, and community activists working with a Title I school to create a sense of community and pride for students through their local history. 
Presenters:
Cara Curtis, Archives & Library Director, Cumberland County Historical Society
Matthew March, Education Curator, Cumberland County Historical Society
Dr. Lindsay Varner, Community Outreach Director, Cumberland County Historical Society 

Monday, April 20 
10:30-11:30 AM Free Admission:What Happens Next?

In response to the challenge of improving audience engagement and providing more access to a greater number of community members and visitors, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art recently eliminated its suggested donation fee, and secured sources of funding to increase programming by 80%. This session will review successes and the lessons learned in the first year of the new “free admission policy” and expanded programming initiatives. An interactive discussion will also take place with participants encouraged to consider programmatic innovations, support for funding efforts, and evaluating measures of success for their own community engagement strategies.
Presenters:
Joan McGarry, M.Ed., Director of Education & Visitor Engagement, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Rhonda Madden, Director of Advancement, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Monday, April 20 
11:30 AM-Noon
Break

Monday, April 20 
Noon-1 PM
Lunch

Monday, April 20 
1-2 PM
Catalyzing Youth Voice and Social Change with Museum Collections

As museums increasingly look towards making their collections relevant and elevating visitor voices, this session explores ways that educators at the Heinz History Center have used collections to contextualize modern social justice issues that act as a springboard for youth voice. Participants will join in a gallery-based session that demonstrates tools for interpreting collections with youth and ideas for prompting object-centered dialogue around social change. Consider ways this approach may be implemented in your museum with discussion about identifying appropriate collections, lessons learned from History Center programs, and evaluating impact.
Presenters:
Mariruth Leftwich, Ph.D.,Director of Learning, Senator John Heinz History Center
Amanda McAllen, School and Teacher Programs Coordinator, Senator John Heinz History Center 

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

Monday, April 20
1-2 PM

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
Mary Baily Wieler, Trustee, Walters Art Museum and Park City Museum

Monday, April 20 
2-2:30 PM
Break

Monday, April 20 
2:30-3:30 PM
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

Monday, April 20 
2:30-3:30 PM
Guided Tour: Clash of Empires
Explore the key role that Western Pennsylvania played in the global conflict that was the French & Indian War. Hear the stories of George Washington’s early missteps, the British and the French victories and defeats, and the important alliances that were formed and tested throughout the War.

Monday, April 20 
3:30-4 PM
Break

Monday, April 20 
4-6 PM
PA MUSEUMS SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Each year, PA Museums recognizes the special achievements of museums and historical organizations and individual who have made an impact on our field in Pennsylvania. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!

Institutional Achievement Awards
Restoration of Al Capone’s Cell, Eastern State Penitentiary and Historic Site, Philadelphia
MuseumLab, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh
The Vietnam War 1945-1975, The Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh
Hamilton Was Here, The Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia
McKean County Historic Collectible Pin Program, Allegheny National Forest Visitor’s Bureau, Bradford
Shan Goshorn: Resisting the Mission, The Trout Gallery at the Art Museum of Dickinson College, Carlisle
George Washington Birthday Parties, Fort Ligonier, Ligonier
Stones n Bones Exhibit, Jefferson County History Center, Brookville
Gathering of Governors, Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville

Individual Awards
Sime Bertolet, Berks History Center, Reading
Sue Hanna, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg

Carol Wickkiser Memorial Award (Emerging Museum Professional)
Matthew Skic, The Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia

S.K. Stevens Award
Community Heart and Soul Project, Cumberland County Historical Society, Carlisle
Revolution Place Discovery Center, The Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia

Special thanks to the Cumberland County Historical Society for support for our 2020 Special Achievement Awards.

All programming for Tuesday, April 21 will be held at the Senator John Heinz History Center, located at 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  Parking is available across the street at the 11th & Smallman Lot.  Please let the attendant know you will be visiting the History Center so you may receive the flat $5 rate as a conference attendee.  If you are already staying overnight at the Hampton Inn & Suites directly across the street from the History Center, parking is free. 
 
Tuesday, April 21 
8 AM-4 PM
Museum Marketplace

Tuesday, April 21 
9-10 AM 
Registration and Refreshments

Tuesday, April 21 
9-10 AM 
Plenary
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 happens 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.

Tuesday, April 21 
10-10:30 AM 
Break

Tuesday, April 21 
10:30-11:30 AM 
Don’t Fear the Uncharted Path – A Museum Closure and a New Future

What happens when a museum closes? Many museums struggle, due to financial limitations, inadequate staffing, and capacity, and the outcome is painful for the community, the staff, and the museum industry overall. The Philadelphia History Museum (formerly the Atwater Kent Museum) closed in June 2018 and has been working on a new path with a different vision for what will become a collections-based museum “without walls” through Drexel University. Before the closure, PHM had begun to implement a major collections evaluation. The project is continuing while the transition plans are being discussed by the PHM Board, the City, and Drexel University in conjunction with the State Attorney General and Orphan’s Court. The session will be primarily collection–focused but will cover issues that affect every role in a museum organization.  
Presenters:
Dylan Lafferty, Collections Assistant, Atwater Kent Collection @ Drexel, Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships,
Drexel University
Stacey Swigart, Collections Manager, Atwater Kent Collection @ Drexel, Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships, Drexel University
Page Talbott, PhD., Project Director, Atwater Kent Collection @ Drexel, Exhibits & Planning and Senior Fellow, Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships, Drexel University

Tuesday, April 21 
10:30-11:30 AM 
Make a Four-Flap Enclosure and Maintain Community Access to the Artifacts Within

Preservation best practices protect artifacts from a variety of environmental and physical threats, while enabling community access to documents and materials in museum collections. Often times , however, challenges in monitoring the building envelope of a historic house or museum and limits to storage space are difficult or expensive to control. Item-level housing then is the first line of defense against artifact degradation and damage. A four-flap enclosure surrounds an artifact, provides rigid support, and prevents mishandling. Learning about the materials, tools, and design of the four-flap enclosure can significantly make an impact in collections care and user access, especially when scalable approaches are required. 
 
Presenter: Stephenie Schwartz Bailey, Education Program Manager & Preservation Consultant, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Tuesday, April 21
11:30 AM-Noon
Break

Tuesday, April 21
Noon-1 PM
Lunch and Membership Meeting

Tuesday, April 21 
1-2 PM  
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 makings 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 and Action Consortium

Tuesday, April 21 
1-2 PM  
Guided Tour: From Slavery to Freedom
Take a closer look into the history of slavery, abolition, and civil rights in the Pittsburgh region. This guided tour of the From Slavery to Freedom exhibition will include hands-on objects.
Tuesday, April 21

2-2:30 AM
Break

Tuesday, April 21
2:30-3:30 PM 
Mobile Museum: Coming to a Park Near You!

Museums are often a reflection of their community. Many of us say we are a “Museum for All, “ but does your institution truly make itself accessible to all in your community?  Learn how the expERIEnce Children’s Museum in Erie PA developed an outreach program that not only brings educational opportunities to under-served communities, but also serves to develop a positive and welcoming relationship between both the community and the children’s museum.
Presenters:
Ainslie Brosig, Executive Director,  expERIEnce Children’s Museum    
Breanne Daugherty, Outreach Coordinator, expERIEnce Children’s Museum

Tuesday, April 21
2:30-3:30 PM
Guided Tour: Women Forging the Way
Travel back through time to explore the ever evolving role of women in Western Pennsylvania.  From our earliest history to the 21st century, discover the important contributions women have made to our region and to our nation. Join us as we celebrate the centennial of the women’s vote and learn about the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and endurance of Western Pennsylvanian women.

 


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.