Saturday Pre-Conference Tours
Coming to Akron a little early for OMA 2019? Or, not able to make it to the full OMA conference but still want a great OMA 2019 experience? Join us Saturday, April 13 for a full day of exploration and fun at four amazing Akron museums! Learn more about the 2019 OMA Pre-Conference Tours and register here.
Sunday Pre-Conference Workshops
OMA is proud to offer two pre-conference workshops for OMA 2019 in Akron - Sunday, April 14:
Art Conservation: What you need and what you need to know - presented by ICA-Art Conservation
Arts and Culture at the Community Development Table - presented by ArtsNow
Learn more about the 2019 OMA Pre-Conference Workshops and register here.
Sunday Evening Museum Tours
Enjoy an evening of exploring two iconic Akron museums! Buses will leave the Hilton for the Akron Art Museum where attendees can explore the collection from 1850 to the present. Experiment with the museum’s new chatbot tour guide Dot and immerse yourself in temporary exhibitions such as Nick Cave: Feat, featuring soundsuits, videos and installation by the groundbreaking Chicago artist.
Then, we’ll head to Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens where attendees can explore the beautiful manor home and the ground’s many gardens.
2018 OMA Awards
The Annual Ohio Museums Association Awards Dinner will be held in the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens historic Carriage House. Enjoy networking with museum professionals from across the state as the Ohio Museums Association recognizes our 2018 Visual Communication and Award of Achievement winners.
Ohio EMP Reception
Join Emerging Museum Professionals from across the state as Ohio’s five EMP Chapters welcome all EMPs and museum pros looking to learn more about these groups to their conference kickoff reception. Enjoy networking and cocktails at this annual all-Ohio EMP event!
Get your raffle tickets for an eclectic assortment of merchandise, products and experiences from Ohio museums and businesses! Donations are welcome - contact raffle Chair, Megan Hancock for details.
OMA Welcomes Sean Kelley, Senior Vice President and Director of Interpretation, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site for our 2019 Keynote Address.
“Prison Sentences: Exploring the Line Between Neutrality and Advocacy at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.”
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Philadelphia began a major programmatic shift in 2012, addressing complex and sometimes controversial issues facing the US criminal justice system with every visitor. Why does the US lead the world in incarceration rates? Does this high rate of incarceration make us safer? Why is our prison population so disproportionately people of color? Along the way, the organization decided to drop the pretense of being neutral, and opens their new exhibit with the statement “Mass Incarceration Isn’t Working.” The exhibit won AAM’s overall Excellence in Exhibition award. Eastern State has also begun hiring formerly incarcerated individuals as tour guides, and has begun a program teaching animation inside active prisons. Attendance at the site has increased fourfold in ten years, but major challenges remain. Director of Interpretation Sean Kelley discusses what has worked, what has gone wrong, and what challenges remain stubbornly unmet as Eastern State explores the line between neutrality and advocacy.
Sunday - April 14
12:30pm-3:30pm Pre-Conference Workshop
(Ticket Required—This workshop can be included as an add-on to conference registration)
Art Conservation: What you need, and what you need to know
No onsite conservator at your museum? This workshop is designed for you! The workshop will begin with an overview of conservation and preservation basics for cultural heritage professionals. Then, attendees will choose 3 of 5 mini breakouts based on their collections’ unique needs. The workshop will conclude with a community conversation about our region’s greatest needs in conservation and preservation.
Speaker: Holly Witchey, Director of Education & Outreach, ICA-Art Conservation
1:30pm-3:30pm Pre-Conference Workshop
(Ticket Required—This workshop can be included as an add-on to conference registration)
Arts and Culture at the Community Development Table
As communities face ever-changing challenges and new opportunities, the need for creative problem solving has increased. This session will focus on resourcing individuals & organizations interested in growing in arts-based community development work. This panel discussion will focus on the framework for defining success, creative agency, and leveraging partnerships using case studies and other resources.
Speaker: Nicole Mullet, Executive Director, ArtsNow
Monday, April 15
9:15am-10:15am CONCURRENT SESSIONS MORNING I:
Advocacy/Neutrality Leadership Workshop with Sean Kelley
As museums struggle to respond to increasingly divided communities, many have taken on programming the addresses economic inequity and social justice. But where is the line between responsible programming and political advocacy? Is there a line? Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site Senior Vice President Sean Kelley leads an interactive workshop that explores leadership challenges in museums today.
Speaker: Sean Kelley, Senior Vice President & Director of Interpretation, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Becoming Sensory Inclusive Every Day
For someone with sensory processing needs, like autism or PTSD, it can be difficult to visit public places. Unexpected sounds and crowds can be overwhelming. How can institutions break down barriers? Learn about sensory inclusion—what it looks like and what it takes to make your facility inclusive for all.
Speaker: Elena Bell, Marketing & PR Manager, Akron Zoo
UN-locking the Hidden Talents of Your Staff Through
As budgets get smaller, we are all taking on more and more responsibility. How do we better utilize the staff we have while offering them ways to build their resume, gain new skills and contribute on a larger scale to the work we do? In this session, we’ll discuss ideas for successful interdepartmental cross-training.
Speaker: Mindy Galik, Manager for Public Safety and Gallery Experience, Columbus Museum of Art
Engaging New Americans Communities—Lessons Learned at COSI
COSI has sponsored a project to develop a new model for community engagement (defined as a commitment between COSI and cultural groups, working together and contributing resources and expertise to achieve shared goals). In this session, we will share what we’ve learned, providing recommendations to those interested in engaging New Americans.
Speakers: Carla Mello, Youth Career Exploration Specialist, COSI; Justin Meyer, Research Associate, Lifelong Learning Group at COSI
10:15am-11:00am MORNING BREAK AND ROUNDTABLE SESSION:
Take a break to explore the OMA exhibit hall, and network with your colleagues in the ballroom during our morning roundtable sessions. Choose one of many discussion tables with topics important to Ohio museum professionals. Morning roundtable topics include:
- Grab Bag! What’s on your mind?
- Strategic planning
- Limited staff? Limited budget? Idea exchange!
- Turning DEAI training into actual actions
- Board relations
- How do you measure your museum’s impact?
- What do museums really look for when hiring? OR I have a museum degree…now what?
- Does your budget reflect your mission?
- Managing change in museums
11:05am-12:05pm CONCURRENT SESSIONS MORNING II:
Ohio Humanities and Your Museum
Ohio Humanities staff will be sharing about our grants program and other council programs of interest to museums. The session will include a short presentation on best practices in public humanities grantwriting, an introduction to our heritage tourism website SeeOhioFirst.org, and an opportunity to speak with Ohio Humanities
program officers about future projects. Ohio Humanities is the state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We help Ohioans interpret the past, imagine the future, and define individual values. We’re committed to creating vibrant communities throughout our state.
Speaker: David Merkowitz, Assistant Director, Ohio Humanities
Defense Against the Dark (museum) Arts: A Debate with the Devil's Advocate
Selling off collections? Selling out on social media? Are we selling our museum souls, or simply staying solvent and remaining relevant in a world that’s changing at the drop of a tweet? If you could throw out convention, and be dangerously honest, would you stick to the status quo, or burn it down and build it differently? In a dark room to provide anonymity, our moderator will present 10 challenging questions each followed by 5-6 minutes of open discussion.
Speaker: Jennifer Souers Chevraux, Principal, Illumine Creative Solutions
Over Educated and Underemployed
The over abundance of museum studies programs has created a system of over-saturation resulting in continued lack of diversity, unfair wages, and underemployment. Out of the 300+ programs, there is no standard curriculum or focus on job readiness. Learn what the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network discovered from a two-year exploratory research project of these programs.
Speaker: Michelle Epps, President, National Emerging Museum Professionals Network
Telling a People’s Story: Bridging Diverse Communities Near & Far
Explore a project that is expanding a museum’s outreach to non-traditional venues, and is providing a platform for promoting awareness of and inclusion for a marginalized group in America. Learn about an educational and entertaining endeavor that is serving constituents near and far, and is also a revenue generator.
Speaker: Jason E. Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum
12:10pm-1:30pm LUNCHEON & PLENARY ADDRESS - PRESENTED BY: OHIO HUMANITIES
OMA Welcomes Sean Kelley, Senior Vice President and Director of Interpretation, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Prison Sentences: Exploring the Line Between Neutrality and Advocacy at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Philadelphia began a major programmatic shift in 2012, addressing complex and sometimes controversial issues facing the US criminal justice system with every visitor. Along the way, the organization decided to drop the pretense of being neutral, and opens their new exhibit with the statement “Mass Incarceration Isn’t Working.” Attendance at the site has increased fourfold in ten years, but major challenges remain. Sean Kelley discusses what has worked, what has gone wrong, and what challenges remain stubbornly unmet as Eastern State explores the line between neutrality and advocacy.
1:30pm-2:30pm CONCURRENT SESSIONS AFTERNOON I:
Understanding the Groundwater: How One Small Museum Used Equity & Inclusion to Build Capacity
This session will examine how a small museum used Race, Equity, and Inclusion training to build capacity dollars, reach a wider audience, and shift from a traditional members-oriented organization to a community institution.
Speaker: Meghan Reed, Director, Trumbull County Historical Society
60 Audience Engagement Ideas in 60 Minutes
60 ideas in 60 minutes on improving audience engagement will be shared by museum professionals from large and small museums, as well as from history, art and science perspectives. Best practices and success stories will inspire you with valuable tips to put into motion immediately at your site to better engage your visitors.
Speakers: Wendy Zucal, Executive Director, Dennison Railroad Depot Museum; Jacob Masters, Director of Museums, Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, Historic Schoenbrunn Village, Museum of Clay Industry and Folk Art; Jodie Engle, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Audience Development, COSI; Alison Kennedy, Visitor
Experience Lead, Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Molding an Inclusive Organization
Many museums have undertaken the task of reaching out to underserved audiences. This task can be difficult when the culture of your institution is not ready for this new engagement. This session explores internal strategies to becoming more inclusive and tactics to build inclusion at every level of your organization.
Speaker: Anthony Gibbs, Manager of Local History Services, Ohio History Connection
Using “See, Think, Wonder” to Deepen Educational Interactions in Museums
Transform your museum into a living laboratory with three simple questions: what do you see? What does it make you think about? What does it make you wonder? In this interactive session led by members of COSI’s education team, we’ll explore how you can take your guests’ learning moments to the next level by making learning visible. We’ll explore how to transition from “facts” to “themes,” developing your guests’ scientific thinking while drawing out prior knowledge.
Speakers: Rebecca Kelly, Manager of Camp Programs, COSI; Brian Krosnick, Manager of Workshop Education, COSI
2:35pm-3:05pm AFTERNOON BREAK :
Take a break to explore the OMA exhibit hall, network with your colleagues, and get those final raffle tickets! Raffle winners will be announced prior to the Afternoon II sessions.
3:10pm-4:10pm CONCURRENT SESSIONS AFTERNOON II:
Case Studies in Community Co-Creation
This session explores experiments in community engagement, community co-creation, and facilitated dialogue at two museums: “Circle” and “Portraits of Toledo” at the Toledo Museum of Art and “Community Conversation,” Think Like an Artist Thursdays,” and “Museum in Progress” at the Columbus Museum of Art. Next-co-facilitators lead a pair-share activity and conclude with a group share-out.
Speakers: Dr. Alyssa Greenberg, Postdoctoral Leadership Fellow, Toledo Museum of Art; Lauren Emond, Manager for Community Engagement, Columbus Museum of Art
Intentionally Engaging Communities Case Study—New Americans
Using the Ohio History Connection’s New American community engagement as a case study, we will demonstrate
that when an organization is intentional in devoting itself to embracing a new community, the time invested is repaid many times over both in expected and unexpected ways.
Speakers: Ibrahima Sow, Local History Coordinator, Ohio History Connection; Stacia Kuceyeski, Director of Outreach, Ohio History Connection
Multi-dimensional Tours: Reaching Diverse Audiences
Presentation of two museum programs for specialized audiences: the Sparking Memories Program designed for
people living with dementia/memory loss and Recorriendo el Museo del acero, (working title) our Spanish-language tour for community members whose first language is Spanish.
Speakers: Dr. Marcelle Wilson, Site Manager, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor; Allison Henline,
Graduate Assistant Intern, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor
No More Lesson Plans: Personal PD for Educators
Teachers are not at a loss for ideas. What they do struggle with is motivation, time, energy, and burn-out. Investigate how museums have the unique opportunity to provide meaningful, inspiring professional development experiences for educators of all kinds.
Speaker: Gina Thomas McGee, Associate Educator, Akron Art Museum