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2017 Conference speakers

Tuesday, October 17 General Session   10 a.m.

Keynote Address

Barry Petersen, CBS Senior News Correspondent, Denver, CO

From the Mountains to the Plains…And Everywhere Else:  Stories from the Road

In a career spanning almost four decades with CBS News, Barry Petersen has reported on everything from wars and natural disasters to Paris fashions and Hollywood stars. A multiple Emmy Award winner, he is also known for his book Jan's Story, a moving personal account of losing his wife Jan to early onset Alzheimer's. After working overseas for 24 years, Petersen now lives in Denver, CO and reports primarily for the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning, and has been a contributor to 60 Minutes Sports. Petersen will share some of his stories done from Colorado and around the world.

Introduced by:  Monta Lee Dakin, Director Emeritus, Mountain-Plains Museums Association, Littleton, CO

Museum Address

John R. Dichtl, President & CEO, American Association for State and Local History, Nashville, TN

Museums and Deep Connections for the Future

Museums are no less vulnerable to the technological, social, cultural and political changes going on around us.  How are museums across the country coping with these changes in 2017?  Can museums influence the changes?  What does 2018 hold? Hear how the new CEO of AASLH views these issues and what he sees as trends that could shape the future of museums and historic sites.

John Dichtl became AASLH President & CEO in 2015. Prior to that he was the executive director of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) for nine years, and worked for the Organization of American Historians for fourteen years as deputy director and in several other roles. John received his MA and PhD in early American history from Indiana University, and from 2006 to 2015 was an adjunct faculty member of the history department at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Before graduate school he worked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a 2004 graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, a program that stems from an AASLH partnership with the Indiana Historical Society and other organizations. John helped to found the History Relevance Campaign, the International Federation for Public History, and is active in the National Coalition for History. 

Introduced by:   Dee A. Harris, Traveling Exhibits Manager, National Archives Traveling Exhibits Service, Kansas City, Mo; Past President, MPMA

Tuesday, October 17  Lunch and Meet-up

Leadership Luncheon 12 noon

Ticketed Event.  Pre-Registration Required

Speakers:  Maria Marable-Bunch, Director, Education and Public Programs, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.


          Maria Marable-Bunch                        Lonnie G. Bunch III
Museum Partnerships for Success

Everyone talks about collaborations and partnerships but talk is cheap; success requires a bit more work.  Lonnie and Maria Marable-Bunch are a power couple who have forged outstanding partnerships for their organizations…and who are great partners to each other.  Lonnie’s long history with partnerships culminated last year in the opening of the National Museum of African American History, which required partnerships with supporters and organizations that ranged from Congress to Oprah Winfrey.  Maria is in charge of partnerships for the National Archives and Records Administration, overseeing all of its national education programs; she is also on the faculty at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.  Hear their take on the key factors that led to their successes over the years and what they learned not to do.

Meet-Up: Indigenous Peoples and Museums Network (IPMN) 4:30 p.m.

No Charge Event

Ernest House Jr. (Ute Mountain Ute), Executive Director, Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, Towaoc, CO

Searching for Truth & Reconciliation: The Colorado Example

Ernest House, Jr. will discuss the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA) and its role in promoting communication between American Indian Tribes and state agencies throughout Colorado. His presentation will provide an overview of the CCIA, including examples of positive working relationships between state and tribal governments on issues such as NAGPRA, museum exhibitions, treaty obligations, and more. As Executive Director of CCIA, House works closely with elected officials and represents the CCIA at various federal and state public policy meetings, providing legislative and government-related information to community stakeholders. An enrolled member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Towaoc, Colorado, House currently serves on the Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees, the Colorado Humanities Board, the Mesa Verde Foundation, and the Global Livingston Institute.  He holds a rich tradition in his position as son of the late Ernest House, Sr., a tribal leader for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and great-grandson of Chief Jack House, the last hereditary chief of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.

Introduced by:  IPMN Chair Cassandra Mesick Braun, Curator of Global Indigenous Art, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Networking Professional Breakfasts 7:30 am - 8:30 am

Ticketed Events.  Pre-Registration Required.  Anyone may attend.

CurCom Breakfast for Curators

Speaker:  Megan Friedel, Curator of Photography and Film, History Colorado, Denver, CO

Making Photographic and Film Collections Accessible:  Lessons Learned
Please join the Curators Committee for breakfast, fellowship, and to hear History Colorado's Curator of Photography and Film, Megan Friedel, discuss the challenges, joys, unexpected discoveries, and lessons learned in managing and providing public access to a large photography and moving image collection, much of which had never been processed prior to Megan's tenure. 

Introduced by:  CurCom Co-Chairs Elisa Phelps, Director of Collections and Library, History Colorado, Denver, CO; Michelle Bahe, Curator of Collections, Fort Caspar Museum & Historic Site, Casper, WY

Volunteer Managers Breakfast
Speakers: Emily Dobish, Manager of Volunteer Services, History Colorado, Denver, CO; Kim Popetz, Volunteer & Events Coordinator, Molly brown House Museum, Denver, CO

Pooling our Resources
Join Volunteer Managers from all over the region in a conversation exploring successful techniques for working effectively with your volunteers. During this breakfast, the group will pool our resources on everything from recruiting and scheduling to (gulp!) firing. Ideas will be distributed afterwards via email so you’ll have a record and new contacts for future collaborations.

Introduced by:  Volunteer Managers Chair Beth Campbell, Visitor Services Coordinator, State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck, ND

Networking Professional Lunches

Ticketed Events.  Pre-Registration Required.  Anyone may attend.

EdCom Lunch for Educators
Speaker:  Betsy Martinson, Program Administrator, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, Golden, CO

Find Inspiration through the Story of DEN
The Denver-area Evaluation Network (DEN) was born from the realization that most museums have neither staff nor resources to conduct ongoing visitor studies. It has now grown into one of the nation’s most comprehensive evaluation collaboratives. Luncheon attendees will be walked through DEN's evolution and offered practical advice, tips and tools so that they, too, can build a community of evaluators. 

Introduced by: EdCom Co-Chairs Russanne Hoff, Curator of Education, Hastings Museum, Hastings, NE; Susan Rowe, Heritage Education Program Manager, Lubbock Lake Landmark/Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

SMAC Lunch for Small Museum Affinity Committee
Speaker: Sandra Reddish, Historic Sites Coordinator, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE

When a Handshake isn’t Good Enough: Roles & Relationships in Small Museums
In small communities there is a tendency to blend personal and business together. This can be a good thing, and this can also be a terrible thing that causes unwanted problems for museums. To hopefully avoid such issues, it’s best to have a handshake AND a contract. The former brings goodwill and the latter will provide protection for both parties. Thus is the way for small museums to function in the 21st century.

Introduced by: SMAC Co-Chairs Glo Cunningham, Museum Outreach Coordinator, Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, Crested Butte, CO; Katie Herrick, Director, Stanton County Historical Society, Johnson, KS

RC-MPMA Lunch for Registrars and Collections Managers
Speakers:  Bailey Placzek and Gerald Horner

When the Dust Settles
Bailey Placzek, Assistant Curator and Collections Manager, Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO, discusses the ups and downs of adapting to a new building six years post-construction.

The Trials and Tribulations of Moving a Collection and a Historic Artist’s Studio While Constructing a New Facility
Gerald Horner, Deputy Director, Kirkland Museum, Denver, CO, shares insights as the museum prepares to debut its new home in 2018.

Hear two collection move presentations and what kind of information they shared together to develop a better plan: one from the vantage point of a museum 6 years after its move and another still ongoing.  Then, the floor will be opened to Q and A from the audience.

Introduced by:  RC-MPMA Chair Susie Fishman-Armstrong, Collections Manager, Archaeology, Sam Noble Museum, Norman, OK

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Closing Luncheon

Ticketed Event.  Pre-Registration Required

MPMA Business Meeting

Main Presentation
Speakers: Steve W. Turner, AIA, State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director of History Colorado; Adam Lerner, Director/Chief Animator, MCA-Denver; Dean Sobel, Director, Clyfford Still Museum; Brian Vogt, President/CEO, Denver Botanical Gardens;
Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director, Denver Art Museum; Nancy Walsh, Vice President of Partnerships and Programs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science


        Turner                                  Lerner                       Sobel  

           Vogt                           Heinrich                           Walsh
Photo Credits

Opportunities Seized and Big Dreams Realized
From Snowmastodons, “wired” plants, and an anti-establishment and visionary artist to unique collaborations, the participants in this panel have pushed their institutions to seize opportunities and dream big.  In so doing, these directors of Denver’s largest museums have led the field by keeping their museums relevant and interesting.  Learn from their successes and their missteps during a lively discussion moderated by Steve Turner, Co-Chair of MPMA’s 2017 conference.

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