2017 KMA Conference – Manhattan, Kansas
Telling Our Stories – Why Your Museum Matters
All events take place at the hotel unless otherwise noted.
Four Points by Sheraton | 530 Richards Dr | Manhattan, KS 66502 P: (785) 587-5571
Conference rate: $79/night + tax. Mention affiliation with the KMA conference when booking. Conference rate ends 10/18. Individual cancellations must be received by the hotel 24 hours prior to the arrival date.
For a printable version of the conference schedule, click here.
To become an exhibitor or sponsor, click here.
Our sincere thanks to the following individuals, businesses, and organizations for their generous support of the 2017 KMA Annual Meeting!
- Delta Designs, Ltd
- The Donning Company Publishers
- Flint Hills Design
- Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area
- Kauffman Museum
- KSU Center for Engagement and Community Development
- Lark Label
- Mennonite Press, Inc.
- Prairie Designs LLC
- Ride into History
- Tallgrass Museum Services
- WSU Public Policy and Management Center
- WSU Museum Studies Certificate Program and Local and Community History Program
- Flint Hills Discovery Center
- Historic Costume and Textile Museum
- K-State Insect Zoo
- Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
- Morse Department of Special Collections, Hale Library, KSU
- Riley County Historical Museum
- Riley County Preservation Alliance
- Sunset Zoo
Wednesday – November 1
Registration | Pre-function Area
8:30am to 11:30 am – 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Pre-conference Workshop : Storytelling Boot Camp
9 a.m. – noon
Paula Downs, Professional Development Manager, Wichita State University. STORIES are a powerful way to connect with staff, boards, volunteers and visitors allowing you to gain trust and motivate. EVERY museum needs to know the art of storytelling and messaging in order improve your communication style and enhance your story to promote your mission. LEARN to make an impact by telling the right story at the right time and practice creating narratives that make an impact at work and beyond.
Pre-conference Tour : Unexplored Treasures of K-State
1:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore “behind-the-scenes” of K-State’s collections. See the unique artifacts at the Historic Costume and Textile Museum in the College of Human Ecology. Marvel at the unique volumes of the Saint John’s Bible held by the Morse Department of Special Collections in Hale Library. The tour wraps up with a visit to the K-State Insect Zoo in the old Dairy Barn.
Traveling Reception | Buses to depart at 5:30 p.m. from hotel
5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Look forward to a night of art, history and science as we tour Sunset Zoo, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Riley County Historical Museum and the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The KSU Historic Costume and Textiles Museum and the Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance will also be on hand to welcome you during the evening. Sunset Zoo exists to “inspire conservation of the natural world.” Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art offers an in-depth look at Kansas art showcasing the “heart” of Kansas. The Riley County Historical Museum, celebrating its centennial, highlights 100 years of collecting, preserving, and presenting local history, and the Flint Hills Discovery Center is a municipal heritage and science center that focuses on the preservation of the Flint Hills.
Thursday – November 2
Conference Registration | Pre-function Area
7:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
8:00 – 9:15 am
Museum Escape: Crafting Stories Through Experience : Lon Smith, Chief Development Officer, Museum of World Treasures | Conference Rm V
How does visitor experience elicit the stories of the artifacts we share with our visitors? How can we craft experiences that bring the stories of the artifacts to life? This session illustrates a creative use of visitor experience that brings the stories within our exhibits to life via challenges that test the skill and tenacity of the participants. Attendees will participate in a challenge.
Call My Agent : Conrad Froehlich, Director Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum and Susan Whitfield, Attorney | Conference Rm II-III
You don’t need to join Darth Vader on the Dark Side to work with attorneys, licensing managers, literary agents, movie producers, and other representatives handling intellectual property. Developing and exploiting these assets can expand a museum’s ability to share its stories and mission, reach diverse audiences, protect its identity, and generate new income streams. There are indeed benefits to working with varied companies such as National Geographic and Disney.
How to Give Your Community a Big Culture Boost : Murl Riedel, Director of Grants for the Kansas Humanities Council | Conference Rm IV
The Kansas Humanities Council is offering two new grant opportunities for non-profit organizations for preserving and sharing stories that move us and make us, unite and inspire us. Learn more about the “Amplify Kansas!” and “Kansans Tell Their Stories” grants, brainstorm ideas on how these grants can help your organization build capacity, pitch project concepts that move beyond the expected, and get practical tips about what grant reviewers look for when reading through proposals. Let’s work together to tell our stories and give Kansas a “big culture boost!”
Welcome & Keynote
9:30 – 10:45 am
Andy Finch, Director of Policy for the Association of Art Museum Directors | Regency Ballroom
Andy Finch is Director of Policy for the Association of Art Museum Directors, lobbying on issues including tax deductibility of gifts of art, nonprofit governance, and federal funding. From 1999 to 2001, he was a Special Assistant at the U.S. Department of Education, advising the Secretary and senior staff on arts education policy. He was a lobbyist for the American Association of Museums from 1990 to 1999, specializing in tax policy, education, and grassroots organizing. During the 1980’s, he worked on two statewide campaigns in Massachusetts, on two presidential campaigns, and as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. Andy holds a B.A. from Brandeis University in history and classical civilization, and a M.A. in Latin from U.C.L.A.
10:45 – 11:00 am
11:00 am – 12:15 pm
“Can I Really Climb That Wall?” Why We Turned Our Gallery into a Playground over the Summer : Zan Popp, Curator of Exhibitions, Alice C. Sabatini Gallery | Conference Rm V
Museums visitors expect a participatory experience. This doesn’t mean that you need to put a climbing wall in every exhibit, but it does mean that you need to think about how people interact with the exhibit. At the Sabatini Gallery, we are creating opportunities for visitors to engage, discover and explore the arts. Learn how your museum can create more visitor focused exhibits.
Small Museums Make a Big Impact | Panel | Conference Rm II-III : Samantha Philbrick, Director, High Plains Museum; Jodee Reed, Director, Fick Fossil Museum; Ann Miner, Program Director, Prairie Museum of Art & History; Chris Griffin, Director, Prairie Museum of Art & History and Jan Moore, Director, Sheridan County Historical Society & Mickey’s Museum
If you are a small museum with a budget under $100,000, how do you manage to get the best bang for your buck? One way is to work with fellow museums. During this session, members of the High Plains Museum Coalition will talk about how to form such a group, mutual objectives, increase visitation and how to share resources.
The Enduring Power of Story : Sharron G. Uhler, Curator of Education, Shawnee Town 1929 Museum | Conference Rm IV
Shawnee Town 1929 recently received a grant through Freedoms Frontier National Heritage Area to highlight the enduring power storytelling has in the lives of our visitors, our communities, and ourselves. Through a series of intergenerational classes, fun (and funny!) events, and all-day teacher training workshops on using storytelling in the areas of Social Studies and English Language Arts, we are bringing folks together and enriching and enlivening their lives! Come hear how the grant has gone so far, share your own experiences, and leave with a better appreciation of how this medium is a valuable contribution to our museums.
Lunch & KMA Business Meeting – 12:15 – 1:15 pm
Keynote : Ted Cable, Professor of Recreation Resources, Kansas State University | Giving the Gifts of Interpretation at Kansas Museums | Regency Ballroom
1:15 – 2: 00 pm
This address will share stories and content from “The Gifts of Interpretation: Fifteen Guiding Principles of Interpreting Nature and Culture.”
2:00 – 3:15 pm
The AHA! Story: Community Collaborations | Panel | Conference Rm V : Marla Day, Senior Curator, KSU Historic Costume and Textile Museum; Cheryl Collins, Director, Riley County Historical Museum; Vivienne Uccello, Public Relations Coordinator, Manhattan Public Library; Jonathan Mertz, Event Supervisor, Flint Hills Discovery Center; Marcia Rozell, Tourism Sales Manager; Allana Saenger Parker, Curator of Design, Riley County Historical Museum
Want to get local partners to work together to tell their stories to the community, increase collaboration and broaden audiences? AHA! Manhattan, the Arts & Humanities Association of Manhattan, is a collaborative group of cultural and nature-based organizations who work to engage the community and build support and value of the arts, humanities, and nature in the Flint Hills/Manhattan region. Let our story (successes and failures) inspire you to build your own aha! program.
Exhibit Design on the Cheap : Sherry Best, Curator of Collections, Alice C. Sabatini Gallery/Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library | Conference Rm II – III
You’ve got the stuff, now how to make it really awesome? Learn about materials and techniques to make the exhibit education and environment come alive.
Everyday Museum Advocacy: On the Community, State and National Stages : Senator Randall Hardy, Kansas State Capitol; Priti Gulati Cox, artist and activist; Gail Ravnitzky Silberglied, American Alliance of Museums | Conference Rm IV
Past President of AAM Ford Bell has pointed out that museum personnel advocate for their institutions every day–encouraging supporters and donors, issuing press releases on new exhibitions and program events, and welcoming school kids and tourists into our galleries. He writes, “Advocacy can be as simple and personal as chatting with a visitor. We have the opportunity to do it every day. Advocacy is the essential step of recommending our museum to our communities, to our state’s economically-based plans, and for the cultural health of our nation.”
3:15 – 3:30 pm
Roundtables | Regency Ballroom
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Kansas Museums’ Website Inventory : Cindy Higgins, Online Instructional Designer, University of Kansas
What are the basics at Kansas museum sites? Any have-to-haves? Game changers? Who’s doing something downright awesome? Is there anything we can do that’s easy and free? Find out at this overview of who’s doing what on the Web.
Passing the Talking Stick : Celia Daniels, Independent Educator
There is a Native American tradition of creating a Talking Stick for special gatherings. Whoever holds the stick is empowered to speak and offer their “sacred point of view” while others listen respectfully. The stick is then passed along for a different point of view. As museums work to be a vital part of the life story of their communities, they are recognizing the need to “share the talking stick. ” We will explore some examples and brainstorm creative ideas for doing this.
Mini Town Hall : Senator Randall Hardy, Kansas State Capital
Bring your questions and prepare for discussion
Making Organizations Accessible to People With Disabilities
The Indian on the Cupola: Regional Identity in Kansas Public Memory
Cash Bar & Reception | Regency Ballroom
6:30 – 7:00 pm
Annual Dinner & Benefit Auction
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Meet & Greet | Hospitality Suite
9:00 pm – 12:00 am
Friday – November 3
Registration | Pre-function Area
7:30 – 11:00 am
8:00 am – 12:00 pm
9:00 am – 10:15 a.m.
Sharing Resources through Shared Resources | Panel | Conference Rm II-III : Steve Nowak, Executive Director, Douglas County Historical Society/Watkins Museum of History; Kathleen Morgan, Foundation Director, Lawrence Public Library Foundation; Melissa Fisher Isaacs, Information Services Coordinator, Lawrence Public Library
How do you share resources when your resources are limited? Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas have a rich history and many organizations, institutions, and individuals that hold valuable historical resources to share with the community, but few of these organizations have resources dedicated to maintaining an active, updated, and accessible online presence. Learn how a collaborative effort led by the Lawrence Public Library and funded by an NEH grant made a county-wide history portal possible.
Public History: Some Cool Ways We Tell Our Story – and a Wish List : Marci Penner, Executive Director and WenDee Rowe, Assistant Director, Kansas Sampler Foundation | Conference Rm IV
Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe went to every one of the 626 incorporated cities in Kansas to research for their new Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers. They will show many different ways that history was interpreted (in museums and around communities) and places where they wished for interpretation.
10:15 – 10:30 am
10:30 – 11:45 am
Helping the Audience Tell the Story | Panel | Conference Rm V : Kathrine Walker Schlageck, Associate Curator of Education, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art | Kim Richards, Education Specialist, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art | Allana Saenger, Curator of Design, Riley County Historical Museum
Visual Thinking Strategies, a facilitated looking method, helps viewers understand the complex meaning of art, objects and science images. In addition, visitors forge a closer connection with what they see. Join us to learn how to use VTS in any museum setting.
What did they takeaway? Kansas Humanities Council | Panel | Conference Rm II-III : Zan Popp, Curator of Exhibitions, Alice C. Sabatini Gallery; Alexis Woodall, Events Coordinator, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site; Andi Andres, Curator of Education, Kauffman Museum
Discussion on nuggets of wisdom from the Museum Hack Creativity Boot Camp (http://museumhack.com) that was taught by a team of “renegade tour guides” bringing their storytelling approach and creative skills outside the museum walls.
Money vs. Mission: Lessons Learned on the Business of Museums from the Flint Hills Discovery Center : Stephen Bridenstine, Curator of Education and Amber Myers, Education Specialist, Flint Hills Discovery Center | Conference Rm IV
Museums today must deliver outstanding mission-focused programming while securing sufficient revenue to maintain financial stability. In its first five years of operation, the Flint Hills Discovery Center had its share of successes and missteps in its attempts to meet community expectations. Learn how Discovery Center staff took innovative approaches to programming, people, and partnerships, embracing change to meet its many goals.
11:45 – Noon
Noon – 1:15 pm
Keynote Address : M.J. Morgan, Research and Curriculum Director, Kansas State University | Connecting Community Stories | Regency Ballroom
1:15 – 1:45 pm
Dr. M. J. Morgan is Research and Curriculum Director for the Chapman Center for Rural Studies—the only undergraduate research lab in the Humanities and Social Sciences at K-State.
Since 2005, she has directed The Broughton Project at KSU and guided the creation of a written history that included student work in cartography, photography, oral history and the acquisition of local and regional historical materials.
Dr. Morgan has presented her work to the Kansas Museum Association in 2006 and at the Kansas Conference for the Social Studies in 2007. She taught research methodology to Kansas teachers through NEH’s Teaching American History program in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Her most recent presentation focused on teaching history to visual learners through images.
2018 Conference Preview – Independence, Kansas – November 7-9, 2018
1:45 – 2:00 pm