Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Graduate Student Presentations at AAM

Straight from AAM:

Museum Grad Students,

Here’s a great opportunity to share your knowledge and build your presentation skills at the 2012 AAM annual meeting!

The 2012 Graduate “Flash” Showcase will be held at the AAM Annual Meeting 2012 in Minneapolis St. Paul on Wednesday, May 2, from 12:15-1:45 p.m. This showcase is a series of back-to-back mini-sessions (or 20-minute “Flashes”) on current programs, projects, or research presented by graduate students or recently-graduated emerging professionals with less than two years experience in the field.

To propose a “Flash” showcase, graduate students and other emerging professionals must be members of AAM and must be available for the presentation on Wednesday, May 2, from 12:15-1:45 p.m.  Submission deadline is January 13.

For more information and application form, please contact Greg Stevens, assistant director for professional development at gstevens[at]aam-us[dot]org.

AAM Annual Meeting Fellowships

Heads up!

The AAM Annual Meeting Fellowship opportunities have been posted at
http://aam-us.org/am12/fellowships.cfm

The following fellowships offer a travel stipend (at least $750), complimentary conference registration, and tickets to the fellowship breakfast and other selected events.
1. Diversity Fellowships support professional growth and retention of under-represented professionals in the museum field.
2. Emerging Museum Professional (EMP)
Fellowships are available to those in the first 10 years of their career in the museum field.
3. Mid-Career Professional Network Fellowships are available for individuals working in one of the following capacities:
audience research and evaluation
curator
development and membership
diversity and inclusion
education
exhibit development and design
media and technology
museum administration and management
museum professional training
public relations and marketing
registrar
security
small museum administration.

Applications will be selected by the leadership of AAM’s Professional Networks.

Applications must be post-marked by Jan. 31, 2012.

You should also check out this blog post from the AAM EMP blog, which offers a few tips and suggestions about applying

Happy (?) Museums Advocacy Day!

If you haven’t been following the AAM’s Facebook feed – or any of their other communication methods – you might not know that today and tomorrow are designated as Museum Advocacy Days. The AAM, through its website Speak Up For Museums, is promoting a number of ways to get in touch with your local representatives and make a case for why museums are vital in their communities.

There will be a number of events down in Washington, D.C., but for us students who might not have the resources to jet down there to participate in the workshops, what can be done at home?

Lots!

– You can catch up on your reading by leafing through the AAM’s Advocacy Materials website – it’s a great collection of PDFs with highlights of the how and why of advocating for museums.

– You can watch the archived webinar about museum advocacy that the AAM did a few months ago. (And read our own Kris Bierfelt’s highlights overview if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing.)

– You can also watch the live feed of the programming in Washington, D.C. through the AAM’s website here.

Come on back tomorrow, and we’ll have even more ways you can participate in standing up for museums.

AAM Webinar on Social Media and Museum Advocacy

In early December, AAM sponsored a webinar on social media and museum advocacy. Led by Stephanie Vance of Advocacy Associates, the presentation provided basic lessons in how to use newer tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to cultivate supporters and engage elected officials. Here are some of Vance’s suggestions:

Blogs: If you’re writing on behalf of an organization, Vance advises avoiding politically partisan messages, but there’s no reason you can’t talk about legislation that affects your museum or ask your audience to let their representatives know how important your museum is to them. She cites I Heart Art: Portland, Small Museum
Association
, and Exploratorium Explainers as examples of blogs that do a good job informing and inspiring their audience beyond just marketing.

Twitter: Search for your museum’s name to see who is already talking about you, and respond to those people. Cultivate followers and let them know about issues your museum is facing, locally or nationally. You can follow AAM (@AAMers) to get advocacy action alerts that you can share. Sign up for your legislators’ Twitter feeds and tag them in relevant messages. For example, Michael Capuano (@mikecapuano) is the congressional representative in Tufts’ district, so you might ask your audience to retweet a message asking him to support FY12 funding for IMLS.

LinkedIn Connect to your city councilors, congressional representatives, mayor’s office, etc. and see if you share any 2nd-degree connections. You may find that a former classmate or colleague has a connection that could help your message find its way to a legislator’s desk more quickly.

Facebook The fastest-growing demographic on Facebook are users who are 35 and older, Vance says, and more and more legislators are using it as a major communication tool. You can “like” your legislators’ pages and post on their walls about upcoming events and community partnerships. Search for your museum on Flickr or YouTube and repost links to any user-generated content that shows their constituents are engaging with your organization.

Once you get the hang of in social media as a way to communicate with legislators and cultivate community supporters, make sure you teach these tools to volunteer committees or friends’ groups who are already valuable “real-world” advocates for your museum.

Speak Up for Museums is AAM’s museum advocacy initiative. Check there for more tips and webinars, and to find out more about AAM’s Museum Advocacy Day, February 28 and March 1 in Washington, D.C. You can view a recording of this webinar as part of AAM’s advocacy trainings website.

Kris Bierfelt is a student in the Tufts Museum Studies certificate program, and works as a freelance writer and editor.

Know Your Professional Organizations: AAM’s Emerging Museum Professionals

Next up in our series of know your professional organizations, we have a sub-category of last week’s featured organization: the AAM’s Emerging Museum Professionals.

Now, not all of you are just emerging. Some of you have been out there in the ranks for years. But even if you’re fully emergent, you can surely keep an eye on this group, because they do great things. (For that matter, the definition of an EMP is someone who’s been in the field for less than ten years.)

Look over the website – there are resources there for the national organization, such as the EMP blog, Facebook page, and listserv.

What you will find most helpful, however, is the local Boston group. It’s starting up again after a bit of a hiatus. Email the coordinator, Leslie Howard (BostonEMPs[at]gmail[dot]com) to be added to the email list, and you’ll be invited to terrific events like the upcoming highlights tour of the new MFA wing. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, too.

There aren’t a lot of concrete benefits to becoming involved in the EMPs like there were for AAM. Think of the benefits for becoming involved as more intangible – meeting great people with your own interests who are all in the same boat, tapping in to a network of great minds who are about to go out and change the museum world. It’s a way to get in on the ground floor, as it were.

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