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Annual Conference

OMA-WaMA Joint Virtual Conference 2021

A Changed Landscape, A Changed Museum

September 13-15, 2021

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Oregon Museums Association (OMA) and Washington Museum Association (WaMA) are excited to join forces to host our 2021 Conference: A Changed Landscape, A Changed Museum.

This past year changed us all, as we grappled with COVID-19, systemic racism, political strife, and climate change. We progress into 2021 with the news of vaccinations and re-openings, and with a new sense of hope. As we emerge into a changed landscape, we can use our re-opening momentum to become changed museums.

Enjoy three days of learning, collaborating and networking with keynote speakers, 12 sessions and four pre-conference workshops. Topics include accessibility, racial justice, NAGPRA, status of the heritage field, COVID-19 recovery, advocacy, fundraising, and digital education. The conference also features structured networking opportunities and the OMA annual member meeting. #OMAWaMA

    • OMA members: $45
    • Non-members: $50

Register now

New! See our schedule-at-a-glance for lists of sessions, workshops and roundtables.

Conference logo

Conference schedule

Keynote: Manifesting change with Jackie Peterson and Aletheia Wittman

Museums and cultural heritage organizations are transforming to rise to the potential of our current moment and the watershed events of 2020. Last year, a collective of museum workers came together to address specific challenges facing museums and cultural organizations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for social justice following the murder of George Floyd. The group, made up of representatives from seven (7) unique museum equity-centered projects, pooled their strengths and resources together in a collective effort to build a field-wide dialogue, which culminated in a virtual event called “collective liberation."

Keynote speakers Jackie and Aletheia are Pacific Northwest-based cultural heritage workers who joined this nationwide coalition to push the conversation in the field to focus on collective liberation, and will be presenting on their experience. The conversation will address events leading up to this moment of change and invite attendees to reflect on the ways we might seize current momentum to effect lasting change that takes root and flourishes across our industry. Conference attendees are encouraged to join the discussion about how coalition organizing can help us manifest the change we wish to see in the museum field, and can prepare by thinking about the following:

  • How do you feel you have seized the opportunity of our current momentum toward field-wide change which has picked up during the pandemic and in response to the murder of George Floyd?
  • What changes have been implemented due to COVID that you want to sustain?
  • What is a reality you can never go back to, something that would be unimaginable to do after this year?
  • Have you found any new champions, partners, or supporters of the changes you have implemented?

Keynote bio: Jackie Peterson

Jackie Peterson photo

Jackie Peterson (she/her) is an independent museum consultant with a focus on exhibit development, curation, and writing for history museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions. With over a decade of exhibits experience, she has worked nationally with museums, communities, and stakeholders to uncover and illuminate meaningful stories and create authentic, truthful, and enlightening exhibitions. Jackie leverages the power of language and narrative to create exhibitions that attest to the nuances of our human experience, spark conversation, and bring people together. Much of Jackie’s independent work has focused on storytelling through exhibitions highlighting the experiences and lives of African Americans in Washington State, including the award-winning Bold as Love: Jimi Hendrix at Home exhibition at the Northwest African American Museum and HistoryLink.org's Central District walking tour.

Keynote bio: Aletheia Wittman

Aletheia Wittman photo

Aletheia Wittman (she/her) is an independent consultant helping cultural heritage organizations navigate inclusive transformation and use lessons from their institutional genealogies to take action. She co founded The Incluseum in 2012 and currently acts as co-director. Wittman previously worked at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, WA from 2017-2020 and from 2012-2016 she managed exhibits as well as youth and family programming for the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF). Aletheia holds an MA in Museology from the University of Washington.

Sponsorship opportunities

See our sponsorship page for details.

If you'd like to sponsor OMA at the 2021 conference, please contact us at connect@oregonmuseums.org


See our conference-at-a-glance for a list of sessions, workshops, roundtables and keynote. A detailed conference program will be available at the end of August.

Photos from the 2019 Annual Conference

Comments from 2019 Annual Conference attendees

“This was a great first conference. I'm excited for years to come!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. I found all sessions to be very engaging and relevant. It was absolutely invigorating!”

"This conference was a big step up in professionalism and impact. Quality of the sessions was particularly high. OMA fulfills an important niche in strengthening relationships across the state.”

"This was my first conference! It was fun. The board members were great at helping an introvert like me mingle. :)"

Past Conferences

2019: Finding Common Ground

September 15-17, 2019
John Day, OR

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

2007: Lifelong Learning

October 21, 22, 2007
Astoria, OR

Conference Schedule

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