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  • 31 Oct 2017 9:55 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    It was a privilege to attend the 2017 Oregon Museums Association Annual Conference in Astoria, Oregon on September 10 -12. As a new volunteer docent at the Monteith House in Albany, I had heard about the conference and was intrigued by its theme - “Dialogue.”  Determined to go and discover ideas that might empower and supplement my little bit of knowledge about working at a museum, I applied for and received a generous stipend from OMA as a first time attendee. The stipend was much appreciated and the conference was even more helpful and interesting than I had expected or hoped for.

    I attended ready to soak up the historic ambiance of Astoria and be inspired and empowered by speakers and workshop leaders who had immersed themselves in their respective historical fields. I was not disappointed. Of course, a person intrigued with Northwest history can hardly be in a place with a more visible historical context than Astoria. Every time there was a break in programming there was close and easy access to points of interest rich in Pacific Coast history - the Lewis and Clark Historic site, the Astoria Column, the beautiful Flavel House, the Garden of Surging Waves and the nearby sidewalk timeline. A visit of just three days in Astoria equals at least four centuries of time travel and considerably more if your tour leader can share the area’s amazing geographic story.

    The conference started with an excellent keynote address by Dr. Martin Storksdieck who is the director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University. His research and insights on how people learn and the various contexts of learning was very helpful as I consider how the program and exhibits at Monteith House can be in closer dialogue with the schools as they help their students explore Albany’s past, engage the present and prepare for the future. The Monteith House, like most museums, is a treasure trove of opportunity for both formal and informal learning and the more we understand how people learn and the ecosystems that contribute to learning the more Monteith House can increasingly move from being a warehouse of history to an experience that curates a deeper knowledge of how the past creates and enhances the present and affects the future.  

    Dr. Storksdieck reminded us that an effective environment for learning is one that engages people in a dialogue that moves from communication to engagement and from concerns about authenticity to the experience of aurality. The Monteith House is full of artifacts that are indeed authentic Monteith family heirlooms, but our task as Monteith storytellers is to help people engage  this historical context and these artifacts in such a way that increases the understanding they have and the value they place on such history. To do this we must come to a better understanding of who the people are that are visiting our house museum, what their learning ecosystems are and how we might engage them in conversation that will create pathways to learning. Dr. Storksdieck’s insights inspired me to consider more deeply and define more clearly what the stated mission of the Monteith House is and how our program might engage in more creative and edifying dialogue with the organizations and individuals who pass through its beloved, aged walls.

    The most challenging part of attending the conference was the task of selecting which workshops I would attend. Besides several enticing pre-conference activities which included a canoe trip along the banks of the Lewis and Clark River, a tour of Fort Clatsop, a workshop on exhibit makeovers and a visit to the Knappton Cover Heritage Center - a Quarantine Station in 1899 there were ten intriguing sessions to choose from with time to attend only five. The expanse and variety of learning opportunities was impressive and I found myself wishing the conference was a day longer so I could attend them all.

    The first session I attended was led by Deb Vaughn, Education Coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission and April Slabosheski, Manager of Museum and Holocaust Education at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.  It was entitled, “Building Community Dialogue Through Your Exhibit Objects”.  Participants were invited to stand at a large table and view a set of candlesticks that had been placed at one end of the table. Our leaders then used a series of reflective questions which facilitated a vibrant discussion on what we had observed, how we interpreted what we had observed and, more generally, how objects are endowed with meaning. The richness of the workshop was that it provided two levels of learning - how to lead a reflective discussion and the opportunity to explore how the presentation of objects affect meaning making.  I left the workshop knowing that I would look at Monteith House’s artifacts with new eyes and with a  new desire to carefully consider the way our presentation will affect what people discover and learn in the house.

    Following an excellent lunch provided by OMA I attended a session entitled “Traveling An Exhibition”  led by art consultant James Nelson. I had attended this session because I was intrigued with the idea of putting together a collection of Monteith House artifacts and sharing them with the schools that do annual tours of the house.  My vision of a traveling exhibit was much more limited in scope than the model Mr. Nelson used to guide us through the necessary components for designing a successful traveling exhibit.  Using an impressive and stunning  exhibit of oil paintings created by artist Michael Gibbons called “Yaquina, An Artist’s Voice for a Sacred Landscape” we were guided through the essential steps to designing,  maintaining, promoting and  protecting a traveling exhibit.

    Monday’s final session was led by Jennifer Burns, Heritage Project Manager with Business and Community Services Clackamas County. “For Profit Tactics in the Nonprofit World” provided a wealth of information for enhancing the financial sustainability of the Monteith House. Most helpful were her ideas for cultivating a new audience for our house museum and the importance of discerning and sharing a unique value proposition that clearly and creatively describes why the Monteith House is a valuable asset to the health and well being of our community.

    After an evening spent getting acquainted with other conference attendees at a delightful reception sponsored by Oregon Heritage and a good night’s rest, Tuesday opened with an excellent session led by a panel of presenters from Portland Children’s Museum. This session, entitled “Designing Exhibits in Dialogue with Children” was most encouraging and helpful to  my own personal dreams for the Monteith House.  I would like to see our house become far more intriguing and accessible to children. We give many school tours  through out the year, but much of the history is shared through passive listening and in ways that are not necessarily as developmentally appropriate as they could be. Using three exhibits at the Portland Children’s Museum as models, the panel offered guidelines and methods for discovering what children would most like, want and need to do which would enable them to engage exhibits in creative, age appropriate and meaningful ways. All of this stimulated a wealth of ideas that will help the Monteith House become a place children are excited to visit.

    My last session at the conference was “A Step by Step Guide to the Oregon Museums Grant” led by Kuri Gill, the Grants and Outreach Coordinator for Oregon Heritage.  The workshop was a perfect conclusion to this excellent conference as it gave a clear and detailed guide to effectively completing the Oregon Heritage Commission grant application. Ms. Gill shared the grant review process and offered helpful tips for being fully prepared to write a successful grant. Each session I attended stimulated a host of ideas for new projects, programs and exhibits that would enhance the Monteith House experience. This session provided hopeful possibilities for securing some of the funds that will help the Monteith House turn great ideas into dynamic new programs.

    I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference of the Oregon Museums Association this year.  I expect that the Monteith House will benefit greatly in the years ahead because of the insights and ideas shared so generously by all the presenters. I look forward to what next year will bring.

    Patricia Evans

    Monteith House Volunteer Docent and Board Member

    Albany, Oregon

    A beautiful day for a 260 mile drive across the mountains, through the valley and along the coastline. What a great way to spend three days, in sunny seaside Astoria, with co-workers and all in the name of work. As the museum manager of the Deschutes Historical Museum, in Bend, Oregon, I have been asking for ways that would help expand my museum operations knowledge. The Oregon Museum Conference became that opportunity.

    As a first time attendee I had no idea what to expect. I was excited to find the programs offered were well done and from each I was able to take away something of value I could incorporate and apply to my work. However, the greatest benefit I received from the conference was through dialogues I had with other conference attendees. The sessions were valuable, however I found the conversations which came after were invaluable. Being able to sit and chat and exchange ideas with others, learning their tips and tricks, and sharing their wisdom was a session in itself and very rewarding.

    Driving home the car was filled with an energy high generating ways to implement all we had learned over the past three days, the fun we had, and looking forward to a repeat next year. 

    Vanessa Ivey

    Museum Manager
    Deschutes County Historical Society

  • 27 Sep 2017 10:51 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)
    Here are the slides from Dr. Martin Storksdieck keynote, which he delivered at the 2017 Annual Conference in Astoria:

    Keynote Slides

  • 18 Sep 2017 9:11 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    MuseumNext has led to collaborations that span the globe, and the influence of our passionate community can be seen in action in museums around the world. From Rio de Janeiro to Melbourne, from Cape Town to Singapore and New York to Copenhagen, our passionate community is shaping the future of museums.

    This fall MuseumNext is coming to Portland! 

    With presentations from:

    • Dr Amber Johnson, Founder, The Justice Fleet
    • Mike Murawski, Director of Education & Public Programs and Stephanie Parrish, Associate Director of Education, Portland Art Museum
    • Nancy Proctor, Director, Peale Centre for Baltimore History and Architecture
    • Cindy Foley, Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience, Columbus Museum of Art
    • Sarah Campbell, Head of Learning Programmes, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)
    • Seems Rao, Principal, Brilliant Idea Studio
    • Camille Gajewski, Digital Producer, Tate Exchange, Tate
    • Amina Krvavac, Executive Director, War Childhood Museum
    • Jon Moscone, Chief of Civic Engagement, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 

    The event takes place between 2 - 4 October with an opening day itinerary of museum visits, tech talks, tours and workshops; with the main conference program taking place on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 October at the Portland Art Museum.

    Take a look at the full


    There will be two evening social events and the opportunity for lots of networking with fellow delegates throughout the three days.

    Tickets are available here:

    Portland Art Museum

    Sunken Ballroom, Mark Building

    1219 SW Park Avenue

    Portland, Oregon 97205 

  • 08 Aug 2017 4:29 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    Lane County Historical Museum is interested in divesting itself of the first in a series of old mercantile display cases- 8 ft long, 30 inches wide, and 8 ft tall, meant to be attached to a wall, but presently free standing. The plate glass window in front is a single, heavy piece, raised and lowered for access. Drawers below, display above. Photos available on inquiry;

  • 22 Jun 2017 9:41 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)
    The latest Arts & Economic Prosperity study from Americans for the Arts was released on June 17 at the group’s national conference in San Francisco. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 includes first-time data from rural Oregon.

    The study shows Oregon’s arts and culture sector contributed $687 million and 22,299 jobs to Oregon’s economy in fiscal year 2015, and that arts and culture jobs across Oregon generated $469.5 million in household income to local residents and delivered $53 million in local and state government revenue. In addition, the 9,911,552 people who attended arts and culture events spent an average of $42.59 per event excluding the cost of a ticket. Event spending, which totaled $322,956,808, includes meals, parking, souvenirs, babysitting and hotel stays. 

    A PDF of the study is available for download on the Oregon Arts Commission website. 

  • 22 Jun 2017 9:36 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    Over the next several weeks the Creating Connection initiative is traveling Oregon to offer four workshops focusing on some of the most difficult work undertaken by arts and culture organizations: attracting new audiences, retaining existing audiences, and staying connected with communities. 

    RSVP soon for one of the following sessions: 

    • June 27: Klamath Falls
    • June 30: The Dalles
    • July 10: Salem
    • July 13: Astoria

    Creating Connection is co-led by Arts Midwest and Metropolitan Group in collaboration with a committed group of state and local arts agencies, arts and culture institutions, arts service organizations, working artists, arts educators, and others. Learn more about our project leaders and participants in Oregon; San Jose, California; and Massachusetts, and the incredible funders who are making this work possible.

  • 19 Jun 2017 3:09 PM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    Interested in supporting the success of Oregon's museum community? Consider getting involved! OMA's Board of Directors is seeking one new Director to serve a 3-year term starting in September 2017. 

    OMA's mission is to provide professional development and networking opportunities to build the capacity of Oregon's museums. Offering learning opportunities through regional workshops, an annual conference, newsletters and web-based communications, OMA helps to foster and connect industry professionals with practical resources to support the success of all Oregon museums. 

    If you have the skills, knowledge, and time to help serve as an advocate for Oregon museums, we want to hear from you! To qualify, you must be an Individual Member or representative of an Institutional and Corporate Member in good standing. 

    Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter outlining any relevant experience and why they want to be a part of OMA to by August 31.

  • 24 May 2017 2:49 PM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    Spring 2017 Heritage Tourism Workshops:

    Succeeding with Heritage Tourism: Market Information, resources, and Ideas for Attracting More Visitors through Creative Collaboration
    Ontario – June 7, 8:30-12:30, Four Rivers Cultural Center
    Roseburg – June 15, 8:30-12:30, Jasmine’s Events Center

    Preliminary Agenda

    This workshop is brought to you by the Oregon Heritage Commission, with funds donated by Oregonians to the Oregon Cultural Trust. 

  • 15 May 2017 2:20 PM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    The Elisabeth Walton Potter Oregon Heritage Preservation Scholarship provides financial assistance for Oregon residents to attend a preservation-related conference, workshop, or training in the United States. Eligible travel expenses include registration fees, transportation, lodging, and meals. Scholarships are offered to those actively involved in local preservation efforts and who demonstrate how attendance at a preservation-related conference, workshop, or training will help meet the preservation needs of their local community. Scholarships are competitive and offered twice per year. 
    2017 Application Deadlines 
    Next deadline: June 2, 2017

    Visit the Oregon Heritage website to complete the application. 

    Katie Henry
    Phone: (503) 986-0671

  • 21 Mar 2017 1:20 PM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

    The Oregon Museums Association is dedicated to supporting museums across the state. Founded in 1978, OMA provides resources and services to over 200 museums, cultural institutions, and professionals. We believe that museums are valuable cultural resources and vital community assets.

    From Ontario to Astoria, federal agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are catalysts for positive change and growth. From 2014-2016, the NEA, NEH, and IMLS collectively granted more than $3.1 million directly to museums in Oregon. Additional funding to other Oregon agencies includes $2 million to Oregon Humanities and $2.2 million to the Oregon Arts Commission, some of which was re-granted to Oregon museums.

    Museums play a vital role in the lives of all Oregonians. Thanks to an IMLS grant, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation updated their permanent exhibition at the Tamastslikt Cultural Center to bring a modern lens to the lifeways and contributions of local indigenous peoples. With a NEA grant, the Schneider Museum of Art hosted In Sight, Insight, Incite, which brought a series of artist lectures, conversations, and demonstrations to the Southern Oregon University museum. A NEH grant enabled the Jordan Schnitzer Museum to showcase America’s diverse history and traditions by preserving objects such as their contemporary Mexican photographic prints and pieces by mid-century American graphic illustrator Rolf Klep.

    Cultural funding is essential. As the Oregon Museums Association Board of Directors, we have unanimously voted to release this statement in support of our partner agencies. Museums matter, and OMA will continue to advocate for the safeguarding of our state’s vibrant museum community.

    The Oregon Museums Association Board of Directors

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