Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Tag: know your professional organizations (page 2 of 2)

Know Your Professional Organizations: New England Museum Association

Next up in our Museum Professional Organizations series is one near and dear to all of our hearts. In fact, if you’re in your first year as a Tufts student, you’re already a member!

Let’s talk about the New England Museum Association.

To quote from their website:

The mission of the New England Museum Association is to strengthen member museums and museums in the region. To achieve this mission, NEMA fosters communication and ethical conduct; provides professional development; promotes excellence in museum operations; and encourages support for the museum community.

Membership fees are actually pretty reasonable; $45 per year for a museum professional, and $35 for full-time students, job-hunters (unemployed), and retirees or volunteers. With that membership you get access to NEMA News, special pricing on conferences and workshops, and admission to a number of member institutions. Check out the membership page for a full list of benefits.

NEMA also maintains a terrific listing of jobs, found here. They’re updated every Friday morning, so keep checking back!

I know I met several Tufts students at the NEMA Fall Conference this year in Springfield; if you missed it, you can download recordings of some key panels through the website. Next year’s conference, “Museums in the Mirror” (all about reflecting diversity), will be November 16 – 18 in Hartford, Connecticut. There’s a call for proposals out right now, due on February 1.

NEMA also sponsors thirteen  “Professional Affinity Groups,” or PAGS. PAGS sponsor workshops and networking opportunities. Look over the whole list, but the one you particularly want to check out is the YEPs: the Young Emerging Professionals. You’ll want to follow them on Facebook, too.

So I’ll see you all in Hartford next November, right?

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.

Know Your Professional Organizations: American Association of Museums

Everyone’s telling you that you have to network. Go out there and meet people! they say. Make your voice heard! Introduce yourself and make connections and do favors and it will all pay off down the road! And you say…that sounds great. Where on earth do I start?

We’ve got you covered. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing overviews of organizations for museum professionals. All of them offer benefits to their members, and all of them are great places to meet other like-minded museum geeks. It’s up to you which ones to join, but speaking for myself – I’d join as many of them as you can.

First up is the 800 pound gorilla of museum professional organizations: the American Association of Museums.

The AAM was founded in 1906, and its mission is to “strengthen museums through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and service.” They represent over 15,000 museum professionals and volunteers, 3,000 museums, and 300 corporate members. The AAM is all-inclusive; every kind of museum you can think falls under its purview.

Membership is $50 for students (be sure to include a copy of your Tufts ID!) and $90 for professionals. That’s relatively steep in the scheme of museum professional organizations, but it does come with some pretty sweet benefits. You can read all about them here, but the highlights: free or reduced admission to many museums, a subscription to Museum magazine, steep discounts in the AAM bookstore, and access to all sorts of free and/or reduced price professional development opportunities.

The AAM’s big bash is the Annual Meeting, an absolutely enormous conference and expo. This year it’s being held in Houston, Texas, from May 22 – 25, with the theme “The Museum of Tomorrow”. Early bird registration for $375 ends on February 18. Yes, it’s a lot of money. But if you really want to go, there are ways and means. The AAM itself offers several fellowships, including one for emerging museum professionals. And if you’ll remember, on this very blog we conveyed news of fellowships offered by NAME, the National Association of Museum Exhibition. You’ve still got time to apply for both of those.

The AAM does LOTS more, and I’d encourage you to spend some time exploring their website. Right  now they’re focusing on a big push for museum advocacy, and their accreditation program is a source of continual focus (and some debate). Don’t forget, too, that AAM President Ford Bell spoke at the NEMA fall conference and you can download his talk on their website. He had some very thoughtful and interesting things to say about the future of museums.

If you want to join the AAM, start here.

(Watch this space: every Wednesday, we’ll do a short overview of a different professional organization. There are more than you can imagine – we might be done sometime in 2012…)

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