Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sample Press Release from SMA Conference

Did you attend this past week's conference? SMA has a sample press that you can customize to meet your museum's needs. You can either edit a copy here (Google Docs) or copy and paste the version below. If you use the Google Docs version, please download it to your computer versus saving the version on Google. Thank you. If you have questions about using it, please email for more information or for an attachment version.

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Media Contact:
Lauren Silberman
Publications Chair

The Small Museum Association Hosted 27th Annual Conference

Ocean City, Maryland – [INSERT YOUR MUSEUM NAME HERE] attended the 27th annual Small Museum Association Conference (SMA) in Ocean City, Maryland from Sunday, February 20 – Tuesday, February 22, 2010. Over 260 people from small museums across the country attended the three-day event. The [INSERT YOUR MUSEUM NAME HERE] believes strongly in engaging with other museum professionals and keeping up with best practices and cutting-edge ideas in the museum field.

“In today’s challenging environment, it’s increasingly important for museums – large and small – to come together and work in a collaborative fashion to help preserve our nation’s history and treasures. Many people are not aware that small museums comprise the overwhelming majority of this country’s cultural sites, and as such, it is critical that we find ways for these institutions to endure,” says Ken Hickman, immediate past president of the Small Museum Association and director of Penn State All-Sports Museum in University Park, Pennsylvania.

This year’s conference featured speakers who engaged attendees with a variety of topics, ranging from strategic planning to educating homeschoolers to managing traveling exhibitions. Comprised of seasoned and emerging museum professionals, the speakers helped members solve everything from basic problems like managing volunteers to monumental issues such as dealing with a fundraising crisis. Additionally, they discussed innovative ways small museums can reach their audiences using the latest technologies. The diverse topics were beneficial to every level of museum professional.

In the Museum Resource Hall, attendees visited with 30 exhibitors in a variety of museum-related professions, including exhibition design, software development, and publishing.

Each year, the conference selects a different theme. This year, SMA incorporated a “Night at the Small Museum: Bringing Museums to Life” theme. Attendees dressed as living black and white photographs, artifacts come to life, and more clever concepts. They participated in a “tableau vivant” or living pictures, in which different groups staged famous paintings for the rest of the conference to guess.

The conference featured a silent auction with items from a number of museums, including a plane ride in a historic 1940s vintage aircraft courtesy of the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware. Proceeds from the silent auction go to support the scholarship fund for future conferences.

The Small Museum Association is an all volunteer organization serving small museums in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. SMA's mission is to develop and maintain a peer network among people who work for small museums, giving them opportunities to learn, share knowledge and support one another, so that they, in turn, can better serve their institutions, communities and profession. Additional information can be found at our website at, its Facebook page at, its blog at, or its Twitter feed at


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