Hot Trends and Hot Topics in Phoenix: Our Time at AAM 2018

Julia Kennedy


Marketing & Aud Dev Associate

The American Alliance of Museums Annual Conference―that one week every year where droves of museum professionals gather to share ideas, exchange in killer conversation in person and online, and explore a new city.

It’s one of our favorite times of year!

This year we loved traveling to Phoenix to participate in AAM 2018.

Stop, Experiment, and Listen: A Fresh Approach to Creative Problem Solving

We had an amazing group that shared their own stories about how experimenting in their space has paid off.

We pulled together an amazing panel of some of our favorite places that have embraced experimentation in their spaces for a panel titled “Stop, Experiment, and Listen.”

Our first panelist was Andrea Feller who spoke about how the Arizona State University Art Museum created new, out-of-the-box events that engage their built-in student audience and their local Tempe community.

How’d they do it? Read more about the events here:

Next, Dr. Noelle Trent shared how structured and scaffolded storytelling has changed their interpretation at the National Civil Rights Museum. By carefully considering how and when we tell stories, we can dramatically change how our audience perceives their visit. For museums like the National Civil Rights Museum, it important to tell tough stories with scaffolded context so as not to overwhelm audiences.

Then, Jessica Gasbarre from Memorial Art Gallery talked about how she’s taken her skills from our Audience Engagement Boot Camp and applied them to shake it up at her own institution. Jessica has been able to interpret their collection in countless ways, creating new themed tours each month!

AAM is also a time for awesome conversation in-person and online. Here’s what our team was talking about:

We also loved meeting new museum professionals IRL and finding out more about what is happening in their home institutions.

Booth selfies! MAFA is the perfect backdrop.
Julia meet up with #museumedchat -ers in person | Photo from Seema Rao
Dustin is always excited to take a #dinoselfie | Photo from @BeardedMuseuMan

We love attending conferences! Want us at yours? Email [email protected].

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