2024 Virtual Convening

Student Summit :  Professional Practices 

AAMG’s second annual Virtual Convening will look slightly different from last year’s. Wanting to highlight emergent voices from the field and support the sharing and implementation of new and existing practices, we have crafted a full day of virtual sessions highlighting scholarship and professional practices allowing both of these areas to shine. Thus, this call is two-fold: 

  1. The Association of Academic Museums & Galleries invites EMERGING GRADUATE STUDENT SCHOLARS  to submit abstracts that consider the science of voluntary learning environments, examine the role of cultural and historical collections in shaping communities of learning, and reflect on how our academic museums and galleries with distinct identities as small museums are vital to civic life. We seek research and data that present proven strategies and methods, new models, and proposed actions to strengthen the future of the museum field. We also accept visual presentations by graduate students of museum exhibition and practice. Are you a graduate student in the field? Submit today for consideration in any one of these categories:
    1. Student Summit: Working on research? Read your 10 minute paper here and practice your presentation and research sharing skills with other students. Please note, student scholarship can be “rough draft,” but should not be the recitation of a paper presented elsewhere.
    2. 3 Min Thesis: Are you a 1st year grad student looking to refine your topic? Do you need to hone your ideas and get some feedback in order to push forward in your grad program? Theses are long…and complicated. Tell us yours in under 3 minutes utilizing concise language we all can follow and gain valuable feedback from an audience of your peers. 
    3. Exhibition and Special Project Presentations: Have you developed an exhibit? Have you put together a public program? Have you worked intensively with collections objects? Share the details of an exhibition or special project in the field here with future colleagues! 10 minutes to present your paper and materials with 5 minutes to field questions and discussion.
    4. CoLab: Choose your topic and meet with peers to discuss – participants for the day will be asked to submit topics for consideration ahead of time. This informal gathering space will be the perfect way to end our day together!
  1. Are you a professional in the field already? The Association of Academic Museums & Galleries invites session proposals that provide members with new models and approaches to professional practices and organizational administration. What steps or procedures has your academic museum or gallery adopted to ensure smooth functioning of the organization? In the face of emerging technology, what practices or initiatives did you let go of to make room for something new? What ideas have you implemented to: increase transparency in financial management and compensation; develop fiscal stability with internal and external support; address changes to the work environment from staff, student workers/interns or volunteers; strengthen governance and reporting lines; establish formal partnerships with outside organizations or individuals. How are you responding to issues of repatriation and provenance research, budget constraints, or laws limiting teaching topics related to race, racism, and sexuality. The selected sessions will offer tried and tested initiatives for supporting the strategic vision and day-to-day functioning of academic museums and galleries.

Suggested professional practices topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Institutional Planning and Operations
  • Strategic planning – identifying and prioritizing goals and objectives
    • Short-term goals and tool for assessment
  • Develop and implement efficient operational procedures to ensure smooth functioning of teams
  • Use of advisory boards, community groups, faculty advocacy committees/roles
  • Liaise with administration, local/state agencies and elected officials 
  1. Organizational Structure & Leadership
  • Invest in your co-workers – professional development, collaboration, supportive workplace culture
  • Provide support for board members, running effective board meetings, committee meetings, and other organizational gatherings.
  • Facilitate communication among governing authority, staff, board members, artists, administrator, and external stakeholders
  • Manage remote teams
  1. Finance Sustainability:
  • Fundraising, grant-writing, working with Foundation/Development, business support
  • Earned Income: Paid programming, membership programs, traveling exhibitions
  • Prepare and monitor annual budgets in collaboration with the staff, administrative team and board of advisors.
  • Value-based budgeting – expressing your mission in numbers

 4. Education & Out-reach

  • Museum as educational partner – multi-discipline curriculum development 
  • Move from consultation to cooperation with community partners
    • MOUs, contracts, and agreements
  • Create high-impact educational experiences for students
    • Internships, volunteers, student workers, ambassador programs
    • Museum studies programs and opportunities
  • How to address contentious topics, controversial ideas and self-censorship

5. Collection Stewardship

  • Provenance research, NAGPRA compliance, repatriation
  • Develop a collection plan
  • Ethical collection management: deaccessioning measures; study collections within a teaching collection

6. Facilities & Risk Management

  • Disaster planning and addressing climate challenges
    • Creating an internal Museum Security and Recover Unit
  • Security training and risk assessment
  • FEMA coordination

The 2024 Virtual Convening will take place on Thursday, October 3, and follow the below schedule. Deadline to submit to both the student summit portion and the professional practices and organizational administration portion is July 15th, 2024. Students who are members of AAMG can attend this year’s Virtual Convening free of charge; additionally, any speakers chosen for this day will be able to attend the full day’s events and access to recordings free of charge. Members of AAMG can access the day’s events and recordings for $125, and nonmembers $225.

Thursday October 3Student SummitProfessional Practices
11:30-1Plenary (and sponsor demos)
1:15-2Student Summit Session 1 (3 papers with 5 min q&a)Session 1
2:15-33 Minute ThesesSession 2
3:15-4Exhibition PresentationsSession 3
4:15-5Student Summit Session 2 (3 papers with 5 min q&a)Session 4
5:15-6CoLabSession 5

Download a pdf version of the call details here.

Ready to submit? Head on over to our submission portal!