Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Category: Professional Development (page 3 of 41)

Call for Posters: 2017 Visitor Studies Association Conference

Call for Posters
2017 Visitor Studies Association Conference
New Pathways in Visitor Studies
July 18-22, 2016
Westin Columbus
310 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215

What is the Poster Session?

The poster session is an interactive and collegial format for displaying and discussing project‐based work in a visual format. It offers an alternative for presenters eager to share their work through one-on-one discussion, and may be a particularly appropriate format for presentations where visual or material evidence represents a central component of the project. Posters are often a way to present the findings of an individual project or present preliminary data and gather advice. We expect that most posters for this conference will represent work that is complete, or present initial findings for multi‐year or ongoing projects.

Deadline: April 7, 2017

When is the Poster Session?

The poster session will be held on the afternoon Friday, July 21, 2017 at the Westin Columbus, 310 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215.

How to Submit a Proposal

Email your proposal to with the subject line “2017 Poster” by April 7. You will receive a confirmation email byApril 10, 2017. If you do not receive a confirmation email, send a second email (without attachment) because your proposal may not have been received. You will receive notification of whether or not your poster has been accepted by the end of April 2017.

Proposals must be submitted electronically (in ONE PDF document) and include:

  1. Contact information, including participant(s’) name(s), affiliations(s), email(s), and phone number(s).
  2. Title of no more than 10 words
  3. Short description of no more than 50 words for the conference program
  4. An abstract of no more than 300 words that explains and promotes the project
  5. Include a simple one- or two-page visual mock-up of the display (e.g., created in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, or Publisher, etc. and saved as a PDF). Please include a basic layout for your poster and a general sense of what topics will be addressed in each poster element. See examples of mock-ups here:

How Will Your Proposal Be Judged?

The review committee will consider the persuasiveness of your abstract, the persuasiveness/quality of your visual presentation, and your project’s relation to major issues and questions in the field of visitor studies and informal learning.

What are the dimensions of a poster?

Each presenter will be provided a trifold board and half of a round table on which to set up the trifold board and any supporting materials. The dimensions of the trifold board are 36” x 48”. The side panel dimensions are 36”x12”, and the middle panel dimensions are 36”x24”. Here is a link to an example of a standard trifold board: ( Your poster must fit on this board.

*Please note that presenters are not guaranteed access to power sources, so please plan accordingly if you will use a laptop or other electronic device. Internet access is not guaranteed, so, you may wish to demonstrate any websites or videos to your hard drive so that you are able to navigate the site without internet access. Due to limited space, projectors and speakers may not be used during the poster presentation.

Formatting and Content Advice

A good poster should introduce your topic, research questions or goals, methods, and/or best practices, and what was accomplished and what you learned. Be sure to include the following:

  • Give the poster a title.
  • Use images to illustrate your points.
  • Keep text brief. Edit carefully. The test of a good poster is if someone can read it in 60 seconds and understand your main points.


What to Expect During the Poster Session

During the exhibition, you should remain at your poster, prepared to give a brief oral introduction to your project and discuss your work. Individual attendees browse among the posters throughout the event and chat with those presenting work of interest to them. If you get caught up in conversation with someone, try to be aware of, and welcome, others who may approach your poster and have questions about your work.

Insider tip: Some people are more timid than others and may walk by and just pick up your handouts or card. A friendly “Welcome” or “Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions” on your part can serve as a great icebreaker. If you have business cards, this is a great opportunity to distribute them as well.

Printing and Shipping Advice

You have a few options for printing and shipping. If you are staying in Columbus, you may print the poster at home, roll it in a poster tube, and ship it to the Westin Columbus. (Include your name in the address line. The mailing address for the Westin Columbus is 310 S. High Street, Columbus, OH, 43215.) You may also print your poster at home and carry it on the plane/train/bus/car. If you do not wish to ship or transport the poster, you may email your poster file to a print shop in downtown Columbus and pick it up there. One option near the hotel is FedEx Office Print & Ship Center (180 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215; 614-621-1100).

The Decorative Arts Trust 2017 Summer Research Grants

The Decorative Arts Trust is accepting applications for our 2017 Summer Research Grants. This arm of the Trust’s Emerging Scholars Program provides support for graduate students working on a Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation in a field related to the decorative arts. More information, as well as descriptions of past grant projects, can be found on our website.

Applications can be submitted electronically through the Trust website, or downloaded as a PDF and sent by post to The Decorative Arts Trust, 20 South Olive Street, Suite 204, Media, PA 19063, or emailed to Applications must be received no later than April 30, 2017. Please contact Trust Programming & Communications Coordinator Christian Roden with any questions at or at 610-627-4970.

Founded in 1977, the Decorative Arts Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and fostering of the appreciation and study of the decorative arts through programming, collaborations and partnerships with museums and preservation organizations, and the underwriting of internships, scholarships, and research grants for graduate students and young professionals.

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 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

Call For ALHFAM 2017 Conference Fellowship Applications


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 . 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

For questions regarding fellowships, please contact the chair of the fellowship committee at:


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