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Annual Conference

OMA 2019 Annual Conference

Finding Common Ground

September 15-17, 2019  /  John Day, OR

OMA invites you to John Day, Oregon to explore this year’s conference theme, Finding Common Ground. As museum professionals, we can inspire community collaboration and serve as sites for social dialogue on challenging topics and current events. We are asking participants to share stories and strategies for how we can strengthen our museums through cultural inclusion and community engagement.

Dr Fang photo

Jennifer Fang, PhD
Keynote Speaker

Jennifer Fang is the Assistant Director and Manager of Programs at the Portland Chinatown History Foundation, a partnership between Chinatown community elders and academic historians to preserve and tell the overlooked history of Chinese people in the region. In December 2018, the Foundation opened the Portland Chinatown Museum. Through a broad array of exhibitions and programming related to Chinese American history and Asian American arts, the museum honors Portland Chinatown’s past, celebrates its present, and helps to create its future.

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Call for Proposals - deadline extended to June 28, 2019

Deadline extended to June 28, 2019!

Oregon Museums Association (OMA) invites professionals to submit proposals for our 2019 annual conference in John Day, OR, 

Successful proposals will be interesting, thoughtful, and promise to engage attendees with ideas on how to find common ground with museum peers, community members, groups and others. OMA aspires to include sessions representing the diversity of museum work, including sessions on fundraising, marketing, events, collections management, administration, programs, facilities maintenance, education, exhibits, and volunteer and board management, across all disciplines/specialties, regions, and museum sizes.

We are looking for energized presenters to discuss projects and programs from around the state. Program formats include individual presentations, panels, and case studies. All session ideas will be considered and all are encouraged to apply.

Presentation formats (75 minutes each)

  • Individual (brief presentation, activity, dialogue, discussion with audience)
  • Panel (brief presentations, panel dialogue, activity, discussion with audience)
  • New! Case study (discussion of how two organizations found common ground – must include at least one presenter from each institution)

Deadline for proposal submission is Friday, June 28, 2019. Proposals can be submitted via email to: connect@oregonmuseums.org, or via postal mail to: OMA, PO Box 8604, Portland, OR 97207

Download the proposal form.


Grant County Regional Airport
72000 Airport Road
John Day, OR 97845

Sponsorship Opportunities

Why sponsor the OMA Annual Conference?

Sponsorship increases your name recognition, helps attract new customers, and supports the advancement of Oregon museums. Museums like doing business with companies that support our field, and the stronger our museums, the more we can use services of vendors and consultants.

  • Level 1 - $1,500
  • Level 2 - $1,000
  • Level 3 - $500
  • Level 4 - $250

Read more about sponsorship opportunities.

Download the sponsorship form.


OMA has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Best Western John Day Inn.

  • Double queen rooms: $144/night +tax
  • King rooms: $153/night +tax

To reserve, call 541/575-1700 and ask for the Oregon Museums Association rate. This rate cannot be accessed through online booking.

Other lodging options in the John Day area:


Early bird registration (June 30 through July 31, 2019)

OMA members: $75
Non-members: $95

After July 31, 2019

OMA members: $95
Non-members: $115

The road trip to John Day is one of the best Oregon has to offer. “Where the high desert meets the mountains.” September is one of the most beautiful months for scenery with the fall foliage in full bloom.  Grant County features pine forests, mountains, lush range lands and sweeping river valleys.

You will have opportunities to visit the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site; the John Day Fossil Beds and Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, and Cant RanchDeWitt Museum at Depot Park; and the Grant County Historical Museum.

The conference will be held high above the city at the Grant County Regional Airport. The John Day/Grant County Regional Airport is one of the newest, most energy efficient, environmentally friendly structures of its kind anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. It was designed as a multi-use facility and has completely outfitted conference and training rooms.

The passion, pride and small-town spirit of Grant County’s 7,100 people will be evident in the special greetings, events and surprises we have in store for conference attendees.

If you have questions or ideas, email OMA Conference Chair, Ann Dowdy,  or call 541-226-1270.

Comments from 2018 Annual Conference attendees

“This was a great experience - warm and friendly. Plus, great info!”

“These intimate conferences are a gem!”

“As a new OMA member, I thought the conference was a lot of fun and really informative.”

Past Conferences

2018: Resilience: Responding to Change

September 9, 10 and 11, 2018
Hood River, OR

Conference Schedule

2017: Dialogue

September 10-12, 2017
Astoria, OR

2016: Engage!

October 2015
Eugene, OR

Conference Schedule

2015: Telling the Whole Story

Diversity and Change in Today's Museums
October 11-13, 2013
Pendleton, OR

Conference Schedule

2014: Connecting & Collaborating

Inspiring Museums for New Generations
October 26-28, 2014
Portland, OR

Conference Schedule

2012: Museums & the New Normal: Building Relevance in Your Community

October 28-30, 2012

Ashland, OR

Conference Schedule

2011: The Sustainable Museum: People, Environment, Economy

October 16-18, 2011
Philomath, OR

Conference Schedule

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8604, Portland, OR 97207
Contact: connect@oregonmuseums.org 
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