Monday, October 8, 2012

AASLH meeting

by Jessica Brody

The Association of American State and Local History is a national organization devoted to the support of local history institutions. Last week, I attended the annual meeting as part of a scholarship from their Small Museums group. To maximize the impact of their contribution, I'm sharing the information I learned here on the blog.

Probably the most important take away point from the conference was "invite leaders to participate." The theme for the conference was "exploring connections between people and place" and so inviting leaders to participate refers to community leaders, staff leaders, volunteer leaders - people who are passionate about what your organization is passionate about - create an environment where these people can participate in their passions. I love this concept because it's what I love about this particular museum: people suggest museum programming or put their collections on display or dictate the direction of our art research.

Then there things you would expect out of a conference like quotes to live by:  “vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare” and sessions on "civic tourism". 

I was also able to evaluate where our museum sits when compared to other local organizations. You might recognize some of these themes from conversations around our curation tables:

- develop partnerships
- be inviting
- be interesting
- be relevant
- have fun
- escape your comfort zone
- be unforgettable

If you are interested in learning more about the conference happenings and themes, I'd be happy to discuss it with you: email me at

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