May 2016

Mingle with MER at AAM

The American Alliance of Museums 2016 conference is almost here! This year thousands of museum professionals will head to Washington, DC over Memorial Day weekend to attend informative sessions and spend time with colleagues. We on the MER board hope that you can join us for some (or all!) of the exciting events we have planned.

On Thursday May 26th, we’ll be co-hosting a reception with EdCom and CARE at The Phillips Collection for an evening of fun and inspiring conversation in a beautiful environment. Jen Brown (Oleniczak), author of “Improvising your Teaching Skills” from Volume 41.1 of the Journal of Museum Education (JME), will be engaging everyone in an icebreaker activity found in her article. There will also be an open bar and scavenger hunt with prizes as you explore the Phillips. (Fine print: 6–8pm, $40, registration required).

On Friday, May 27th, join EdCom for their annual Marketplace of Ideas featuring roundtable discussions with museum education professionals about access and inclusion in museums. During the Marketplace, come talk shop with MER board members. Learn about our current issue of the JME, focused on health and wellness programs in museums, with two of the guest editors, myself and Heather Johnson, as well as future JMEs focusing on the important issue of race and dialogue in our field. Talk with our Editor-in-Chief, Cynthia Robinson, to learn how you can be an author for the JME and share the work you do. (Fine print: 3–5pm in the Convention Center).

Right after the Marketplace, please join us for a MER Happy Hour. We’ll be heading to one of the area’s coolest restaurants, Busboys and Poets, a community gathering place for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers, which is conveniently located around the corner from the Convention Center. Complimentary drinks and appetizers for early birds! Great conversation for everyone! (Fine print: 5:30–7:30pm, Happy Hour in a private room called The Loft).

Throughout the conference, be on the lookout for MER board members with our silver name badges. Please come up and say hello if you see one of us – we are thrilled to talk to colleagues old and new. Visit the bookstall of our new publishing partner Taylor & Francis to learn more about the JME and many of their publications.

Conferences are a great opportunity to step away from our day-to-day work, escape email (if possible) and connect with new ideas and colleagues. Each year I look forward to hearing what people are working on and getting inspired.

If you’re not headed to DC, don’t worry, there will be lots of opportunities to stay connected. Follow us on Twitter as we tweet from all these events and more. For example, join Margaret Middleton (@MuseEdRountable) as she tweets from the “Museums and Race 2016: Gathering for Transformation and Justice” half-day session on Friday.

Stay connected throughout the year, too! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Join MER and get quarterly issues of the JME and issue specific Reader Guides.

Stay tuned for more upcoming events which feature JME content like EDCOM’s Virtual Book Club chats and check out our monthly blog series. I look forward to seeing you in D.C. and connecting throughout the year!

Brooke DiGiovanni Evans is the Head of Gallery Learning at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. During her career, she’s worked in history, science, natural history and art museums in New England. She is a peer reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums Museum Assessment Program. Brooke currently serves as President of the Board of the Museum Education Roundtable and as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Museum Education. Her first children’s book on art titled Are you an Art Sleuth? will be published in July 2016.