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Committees, Affinities and SPCs

Affinity Committees are groups with a common professional affinity that represent specific disciplines within the museum profession. They provide a network for people with common interests and similar professional positions. Standing Professional Committees (SPCs) are affinity groups that meet specific requirements to have a vote on the MPMA board.

Affinity Committees and SPCs provide MPMA members a chance to gather in a small group with like-minded professionals who do the same thing. For example, those who belong to MPMA NAME (National Association of Museum Exhibition) meet exhibits designers and techies from ten different states and find out about their projects, where they buy exhibit-related items, and what their opinion is on the latest exhibit issues. MPMA’s groups operate informally and formally, provide a means by which colleagues can network and discuss issues AND are open to all MPMA members. Affinity groups typically gather annually at the MPMA Annual Conference and are in contact with each other throughout the year.

Feel free to attend these groups’ meetings at the next MPMA conference. You will find that they are your ticket to getting to know others around the region who do what you do. For more information, call or email the contact people listed below to find out more about the group (or groups) that interests you.

MPMA SPCs and Affiliate Committees offer opportunities to network with colleagues from similar professional backgrounds. SPCs are Standing Professional Committees which have a vote on the MPMA board.

Advocacy (Board Committee)

Shelby Tisdale, Ph.D., Director
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/ Laboratory of Anthropology
P.O. Box 2087
Santa Fe, NM 87571
T: 505.476.1251
F: 505.476.1330

ACUMG (Affiliate Group)

Association of College and University Museums and Galleries

Susan B. Moldenhauer
Director / Chief Curator
University of Wyoming Art Museum
1000 E. University Ave, Dept. 3807
Laramie, WY 82071
T: 307.766.6622
F: 307.766.3520

Archivist (Board Committee Group)

Matthew P. Wilson
Museum Curator
National Park Service, Intermountain Regional Office
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Denver, CO 80225-0287
Mail Code: IMRO-DE-OCR
T: 303.987.6690
F: 303.987.6675

ARTSCOM (Affiliate Group)

Holy Turner
Executive Director
Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center
400 E Collins Drive
Casper, WY 82601
T: 307.235.5247
F: 307.235.0923

Board Development (Board Committee)

Dee Harris, Director of Visual Arts and Humanities
Mid-America Arts Alliance ExhibitsUSA and NEH on the Road
2018 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64108
524 Brent Drive
Bonner Springs, KS 66012
T: 816.421.1388 x213
F: 816.421.3918
H: 913.745.4145

CARE (Affiliate Group)

Committee on Audience, Research and Evaluation


COMPT (Affiliate Group)

Committee on Museum Professional Training

COMPT is an affinity committee of the Mountain Plains Museums Association and a standing professional committee of the American Association of Museums.

Mission: To advance the career learning experiences of museum professionals and pre-professionals, educators and trainers, to address the continuous need to develop and enhance professional knowledge and goals, and to engage with new trends, innovations and best practices across the field.

Career Development and Networking Opportunities:

  • Provides a forum for debating concepts and practices emerging as key issues in the field
  • Shares expertise across regions and professional areas and provides access to research in the field
  • Sponsors sessions at the AAM annual meeting relating to mission
  • Advocates for the role and interests of museum professional training in AAM national and international initiatives
  • COMPT sponsors MPMA annual meeting sessions, including an annual session that offers museum studies/public history students a forum for the presentation of papers. COMPT also organizes, in cooperation with the Association of College and University Museum and Galleries, an annual member luncheon and roundtable discussion.

    For further information contact the MPMA COMPT Representative

    Dr. Carolyn Pool
    Professor of History
    University of Central Oklahoma
    100 N. University Dr.
    Edmond, OK 73034
    T: 405.974.5671
    F: 405.974.3823

    CurCom (Affiliate Group)

    Curator’s Committee

    Elisa Phelps
    Director of Collections/Library Division
    Colorado Historical Society
    1300 Broadway
    Denver, CO 80203
    T: 303.866.3688

    David Kennedy
    Curator, Cody Fire Arms Museum
    Buffalo Bill Historical Center
    720 Sheridan Ave
    Cody, WY 82414
    T: 307.578.4117

    Distance Managers (Affiliate Group)


    EdCom (SPC)

    Education Committee

    Kathrine Schlageck
    Education/ Public Services Supervisor
    Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art
    701 Beach Lane
    Manhattan, KS 66506
    T: 785.532.7718
    F: 785.532.7498

    Emerging Museum Professionals (Affiliate Group)

    Students and people new to the field.

    Kiersten F. Latham
    Coordinator, Museum Studies Program
    University of Kansas
    208 Bailey Hall
    1440 Jayhawk Blvd.
    Lawrence, KS 66044
    T: 785.864.4543
    C: 785.819.2070

    Inclusive Practices (Board Committee)

    Ella Maria Ray
    Metropolitan State College of Denver
    Denver, CO

    Anita K. McNeece
    Curator of Collections
    Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology / Department of Cultural Affairs
    P.O. Box 2087 Santa Fe, NM 87504
    T: 505.476.1273
    F: 505.476.1330

    Marketing (Board Committee)

    Jay S. Smith
    Hubbard Museum of the American West
    841 Highway 70 West
    P.O. Box 40
    Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico 88346
    T: 505.378.4142 x228
    F: 505.378.4166

    Membership (Board Committee)

    Jenny Yearous, Curator of Collections Management
    State Historical Society of North Dakota
    612 E. Boulevard Ave.
    Bismarck, ND 58505
    T: 701.328.2666
    F: 701.328.3710

    NAME (Affiliate Group)

    National Association for Museum Exhibition

    Charles Counter
    Exhibits Director
    University of Colorado Museum
    Boulder, CO 80309
    T: 303.492.6481


    Registrars and Collection Managers

    Mark Ryan
    Vice President of Collections/Registration Plains Art Museum
    704 First Avenue North
    Fargo, ND 58102
    T: 701.232.3821 x104

    SMAC (Affiliate Group)

    Small Museum Administrators Committee

    Heidi Vaughn
    Museum of the Cherokee Strip
    507 S. 4th St.
    Enid, OK 73701
    T: 580.237.1907
    F: 580.237.2874

    Christina Bird
    CFD Old West Museum
    Cheyenne, WY
    T: 307.778.1490

    Technology (Board Committee)

    Jeremy Clark
    Orinda Group, LLC
    5900 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 2600
    Los Angeles, CA 90036
    T: 323.330.0506
    F: 323.843.9847

    Tribal Museum Network (SPC)

    Tribal Museum Professionals


    Volunteer Coordinators Committee (Affiliate Group)

    Beth Campbell
    Visitor Services Coordinator
    State Historical Society of North Dakota
    612 E. Boulevard Ave.
    Bismarck, ND 58505
    T: 701.328.2674
    F: 701.328.3710


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