New England Museum Association (NEMA) Annual Conference

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February 6, 2015 - 5:00 pm CFP Deadline
October 2, 2015 - 6:00 pm Deadline for early registration discount
September 18, 2015 - 5:00 pm Scholarship and Fellowship Application deadline

New England Museum Association (NEMA) Annual Conference

The Language of Museums
97th Annual NEMA Conference
Portland, Maine
November 4 – 6, 2015

Join us for the 97th Annual NEMA Conference in Portland, Maine for the best gathering of museum professionals ever! In addition to theme discussions, we’re offering more than 50 sessions which are the best of the best – loaded with strategies, tips, and techniques for every type of museum and museum professional: directors/trustees, collections, administration/management, exhibitions, marketing/development, facilities, academic, and more.

How we communicate determines how we engage. What do we say to visitors to engage them with our collections? How do we talk with donors to engage them with our mission? What do our audiences say about us? How do we as museum professionals talk about ourselves?

Of course, the language we use in museums goes beyond words. We communicate through art, historical imagination, scientific insight, and learning in all its forms. We communicate through the emotions elicited in our spaces. We communicate through our curation and social capital.

Help us provide thought leadership at the 97th Annual NEMA Conference as we explore the nature of language in museums and how it affects our success. You are invited to contribute to the conversation with a conference session proposal. Here is some food for thought as you develop your ideas:

  • While English is the primary language of museums, many of us are introducing other languages to better connect with our changing communities.
  • How does the ideal of universal access influence the way we use language in our programming?
  • How has technology changed the way we communicate with audiences?
  • Museums are often accused of being elitist because of the rarified language we frequently employ. Can we translate museum jargon into more democratic language?
  • What kind of words can we use to better communicate our value to the public? How can we better use language for advocacy and community building?
  • Are we using non-verbal language effectively? Our collections and spaces are potentially sources of great emotion and inspiration. How can we use it to engage our audiences?
  • Do we adequately use our museums as public conversation spaces, encouraging discussion and debate in the galleries and historic halls, encouraging the presence of others’ voices as opposed to a one-way transmission of information?

In addition to theme-related sessions, we also welcome sessions exploring issues of technology, future leadership, and public accountability in museums. Sessions on professional development topics for individuals such as networking, personal growth, and public speaking are also welcome. NEMA strives to offer sessions on topics including museum governance, administration, visitor services, volunteer management, human resources, education, exhibitions, curatorial and conservation, registration, membership, development, and marketing.

In content and in format, all sessions should stimulate discussion, raise new ideas, debate solutions, and spark imagination. Join us and share your experience!

Click here for the Call for Proposals.