Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Category: Professional Development (page 1 of 38)

The Things I’ve Learned During a Year of Membership

Today’s post comes to you from Gina Parente, graduate of the Tufts Museum Education Masters Program and Membership Manager at the New England Aquarium.

The Things I’ve Learned During a Year of Membership

After spending six years in the Education Department of the New England Aquarium, it was time for a change. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to go far as a position had opened in the Membership Department that fit my skill set perfectly. Starting in March 2016, I became the new Membership Manager. However, I had never worked in membership! I had a lot to learn but had a lot to offer to my new department. Here are some of my observations from the past year that I think will be helpful to anyone working in an institution with a membership program.

Give members access to build trust – This idea is important in all our institutions whether they are science-, art- or history-based. Recently we received results from our quarterly visitor surveys conducted by our partners at The Morey Group. They found that millennials, visitors aged 18 – 32, need to have trust in an institution before they support it. For zoos and aquaria, this is even more important. This is an active group of supporters that want to change the world, make a difference and build a community even more than the generations before them. They were raised by parents in the baby boomer generation who taught them to question everything, including the ethics of an institution. For our member base, this means seeing where the food for our animals is prepared, meet and greets with aquarists responsible for the daily care of our exhibits, and access to information not shared with the public which we incorporate into all our events.

Membership isn’t always about the discounts – With over 21,000 member households, we have a diverse member base all over the world. We also have a number of members that have been with us since we opened in 1969. Our Charter members rarely visit but continue to support our mission from afar. It’s important to have these mission-based members, new or old. They are like-minded individuals who are informed on the issues that face our oceans and support the work that we do every day both at the Aquarium and in the field.

Sometimes it is about the money – We also have members that enjoy the fact that our membership pays for itself in about two visits or that they can skip the line during a busy school vacation week. These are great people to have as well. This group keeps us honest in the price we charge and the benefits we offer. For most of 2016, we worked with Keene Independent to survey our members about our current membership program. Many felt it was a great value but would pay a little bit more for more access to the Aquarium staff, fun events, and better parking rates. We listened and will be unveiling our new membership structure starting April 3rd. We tried to include everything that members felt made their membership a good value.  Except for the parking – that’s another blog post entirely.

Adults need their time – The Aquarium is a popular family-friendly attraction in New England. However, the popular trend in zoos, aquaria, and children’s museums has been to give adults time in the building without kids. Throw in some food, a cash bar and you have a great event! We have increased our retention rate by adding a number of adult-only events to our annual offerings. Again, this is a great way to add value, build trust through access, and educate your member base without it always being about the kids.

Members are our best ambassadors and advocates – Members have chosen to support YOU with additional visits and their money. They feel invested with your institution and freely share their experience with others. They are a group that can easily mobilize around an issue and provide honest feedback. In past years, our member base has helped to encourage their children’s schools to book outreach programs in the off-peak season, support the need for marine protected areas off our coastline, and lend their voice for the need for smart waterfront planning in Boston.

No matter what department you work in at your institution, you are sure to come in contact with members. Make sure to thank them for their continued support. It goes a long way.

Scholarships Available for Program in New England Studies

Scholarships available for Program in New England Studies

Boston – February 2017 – Historic New England and a group of generous donors are providing multiple scholarships for Program in New England Studies. The scholarships are available to mid-career museum professionals and graduate students in the fields of architecture, decorative arts, material culture, preservation or public history. Candidates from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Program in New England Studies is an intensive week-long exploration of New England decorative arts and architecture that runs from Monday, June 19 to Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Participants travel throughout New England to hear lectures and presentations by some of the country’s leading experts in regional history, architecture, preservation, and decorative arts. There are workshops, visits to Historic New England properties, other museums, and private homes and collections.

Standard Scholarship Applications

The scholarship covers the full registration fee, housing at a local university, and a travel stipend of $200. Applications should include: a resume or curriculum vitae (limit five pages) and a statement (limit two pages) explaining why you’d like to attend Program in New England Studies and how you expect the program to benefit you and your career.

Diversity Scholarship

Historic New England offers a specific scholarship to encourage the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Applicants must represent a racial or ethnic minority group in the U.S. including but not limited to American Indian or African American or Black, Hispanic or Latino/a, Asian, or Pacific Islander. The scholarship covers the full registration fee, housing at a local university, and a travel stipend of $200. Applications should include: a resume or curriculum vitae (limit five pages) and a statement (limit two pages) explaining why you’d like to attend Program in New England Studies and how you expect the program to benefit you and your career.

Submission Deadlines: The deadline is Friday, April 21, 2017. Applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. EST on April 21 to KTurino@HistoricNewEngland.org. Subject line should include “Historic New England Scholarship Proposal.” Successful applicants will be contacted by April 28, 2017.

Historic New England extends its thanks to Ralph Bloom, Decorative Arts Trust, and Tom and Alice Gould for making these scholarships available.

About Historic New England

Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional preservation organization in the country.  It offers a unique opportunity to experience the lives and stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions.  For more information visit online at www.HistoricNewEngland.org.

Call For ALHFAM 2017 Conference Fellowship Applications

2017 ANNUAL MEETING & CONFERENCE – FELLOWSHIPS AVAILABLE!!

Genesee Country Village and Museum
Mumford, NY (20 minutes from Rochester, NY)
June 9-13, 2017
Breaking Through Barriers: Living History in Modern Times

Dear History Student or Emerging Museum Professional:

Love History? We invite you to join an organization of people who bring history to life! ALHFAM is an international organization with members located primarily in the United States and Canada. It has been an active, vibrant organization of dedicated people for over 45 years.

ALHFAM draws its membership from a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations involved in the collection, preservation or interpretation of material culture, traditional skills and historical processes. Members include volunteers, reenactors, institutional staff and vendors of goods or services. ALHFAM’s original focus on farming and agriculture has expanded to embrace disciplines from architecture to zymurgy and many in between.

ALHFAM’s Mission is to share practical knowledge and skills among those who make history relevant to contemporary lives. We draw strength from our diverse network of members, sharing experience, research and passion for participatory learning.

ALHFAM hosts both regional conferences and annual international conferences. This year’s annual meeting and conference will be held at Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, New York on June 9-13, 2017. The theme is “Breaking through Barriers: Living History in Modern Times.”

As a history student or emerging museum professional, we invite you to join us and attend this exciting conference. A limited number of fellowships are available. To apply for a fellowship to cover the conference registration ($400) plus an additional $300 to assist with the cost of lodging or travel, please see the attached application form.

For additional information regarding ALHFAM and this year’s exciting conference, please visit www.ALHFAM.org . Membership in ALHFAM begins at only $25 (USD) for the student rate and $30 (USD) for individuals. More information including member benefits, can be found at http://www.alhfam.org/join-us

For questions regarding fellowships, please contact the chair of the fellowship committee at: Del.Taylor@ontario.ca

FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 1

CALL FOR ARTICLE IDEAS: Familiar Challenges/New Ideas

Journal of Museum Education

CALL FOR ARTICLE IDEAS: Familiar Challenges/New Ideas

Have you and your colleagues experimented with something new—a program, a process, a collaboration, etc.—to solve a common problem that other museum educators face? The December 2017 issue of the Journal of Museum Education will feature case studies that present new solutions to problems common to the field. Tell us about your endeavors!

Learn more about submitting an idea at www.museumeducation.info/jme/call or contact guest editor Elisabeth Nevins at JMuseEd@gmail.com with questions.

The deadline to submit your idea is Friday, March 31, 2017.

Upcoming Museum Studies Virtual Information Session

Are you interested in learning more about the Tufts University Museum Studies Program? Are you an alumni that knows someone who might be interested in learning more about the program? On Monday, February 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm EST, Program Director Cynthia Robinson will be hosting a virtual info session on the Museum Studies graduate programs. During the session, Cynthia will discuss the program’s scope, philosophy, and application process, and will answer questions. Click here to register for the session!

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