New England Museum Association (NEMA) Annual Conference

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2013 NEMA Conference Program

Who cares? It’s the one question museum professionals should ask themselves every day. Who cares enough to visit? To donate? Who cares about our programs and collections? Who cares whether our museum exists at all?

Behind the question “Who cares?” lies the fundamental struggle challenging today’s museums to stay relevant in an evolving, revolving, revolutionary world. How do we deliver the “authentic” experiences the public craves as an alternative to the virtual, electronic worlds of mass entertainment? Who is our audience in an increasingly diverse community? What do we have to do understand and connect to those audiences? Where are communities headed if they don’t have vibrant museums in their midst? Most important, why do museums have value at all?

These are the important questions we’ll be raising at the 95th Annual NEMA Conference in Newport, Rhode Island. Fueled by the theme “Who Cares? Why Museums Are Needed Now More Than Ever” (which you and your colleagues crowdsourced at the 2012 conference), the museum field will descend on Newport with more ideas, interactivity, and inspiration than ever before. It’s your chance to add your voice to the debate about who cares about museums and the roles we play in society. Make plans to attend and help us find the answer to “Who cares?”