Thursday, January 31, 2013

SMA Conference: A League of Extraordinary Individuals

A League of Extraordinary Individuals

Within the museum lurks an unusual evil…. No, wait.  In a museum there are a remarkable number of superheroes.  Without them, most museums would be unable to maintain daily operations.  These are the volunteers who perform all kinds of duties throughout the museum, from giving tours, to running a gift shop, or maintaining a garden.  These people make up a League of Extraordinary Individuals.

Join Lacey Villiva, the Education and Outreach Assistant at Carlyle House, as she discusses ways to build and sustain a robust Docent corps.  In the nearly two years since she started at Carlyle House, Lacey has been the manager of the Carlyle House Docents, which has more than 70 members.  She will explore the things that have worked for Carlyle House, make suggestions on what may work for other museums, and take questions and facilitate troubleshooting discussions during her session on Tuesday, from 9:30-10:30.

Monday, January 28, 2013

SMA Plenary: Max van Balgooy

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Black or brown.  That seems to be the only colors available in men’s shoes.  And those are the same colors worn by Clark Kent, except when he becomes Superman and bold enough to wear red shoes.  Museums often find themselves in the same situation and a bit timid about venturing beyond the expected and traditional.  On Tuesday morning at the SMA conference, Engaging Places president Max van Balgooy be talking about ways to step out of your comfort zone to be relevant and distinctive in your community. He'll share some new approaches for developing a strategy, creating a vision, and igniting your passion that will leave your “Clark Kent” persona behind.

Friday, January 25, 2013

SMA Conference: Your Mission: Capture a New Audience Through Socially Engaging Programs

Your Mission: Capture a New Audience Through Socially Engaging Programs

For as long as I have worked at the Delaware Art Museum, it has been our goal to attract a new generation of first-time visitors and increase repeat visitation.  Chances are that if you work at a small museum, you are familiar with this goal, too.  But how do you do it? 

In the past couple of years, my Museum has developed a formula for programming that successfully attracts a new audience and keeps them coming back.  We believe that socially engaging experiences coupled with practical marketing strategies is what has our visitors hooked and reeled in.  

Join us for our session on Tuesday, February 19, and learn about three initiatives aimed at bringing in a new audience to the Delaware Art Museum.  You will gain practical and creative ideas for designing and marketing socially engaging programs that attract new, young, and multigenerational audiences to your museum. 

Prior to this session, think about a target audience your museum would like to attract.  As a part of our presentation, we will brainstorm some strategies to help you get started on building your new audience.

Saralyn Rosenfield
Manager of Public Programs & Interpretation

Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE 19806
302.351.8504 | (f) 302.571.0220

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Supply Swap at SMA

How long has that book mount sat there unused? Remember that unused stack of special invitation paper in the closet? Bring them to the Supply Swap on Monday, February 18th at the conference and help us all Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose!
Would you love scrap colored paper for programs, a free how-to museum book? Or do you have bunches to redistribute? How about that lamp you don't need but someone else might?
Bring your portable items, suitable for office operations, collections work, or museum programs, and help a colleague while keeping stuff out of the landfill. You don't need to bring to take (but you do need to take stuff back home if it isn't claimed).
I bet you will be able clear out that top shelf of the supply closet and make room for what you really need.  Here's the opportunity to walk-the-talk on sustainability: environmentally and financially. 
Sarah Brophy, LEED-AP

216 South Street
Easton, MD 21601

Co-Author of The Green Museum: A Primer on Environmental Practice and
Greening Your NonProfit: The First 52 Weeks of Your Journey

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Are you coming to SMA?

SMA is next month! Are you coming?

2013 Annual Conference
Small Museum Association
February 17 - 19, 2013 / Ocean City, MD


Just a reminder that SMA 2013 is a little over a month away. We hope that you'll be there with us! The theme this year is Superheroes: The Extraordinary Power of Small Museums. You can check out all the great sessions that will be offered on our website. Registration is now available.

Some of the special events this year include:
  • Keynote Address - Wake Up Your Creative Superpowers - Linda Norris
  • Plenary - Mild-Mannered Superheroes Rarely Make A Difference - Max van Balgooy
  • Sunday Workshops: Select between You Want Me to be a Museum “Superhero”? Life on a Museum Board or Superhero Style Social Media for Small Museums: An Interactive Workshop
  • Sunday Night Eat And Engage: Are you looking to make new friends or “talk shop” with other attendees? Eat and Engage provides an opportunity for SMA attendees to meet up for dinner and chat about a variety of topics. There will be an Eat and Engage at the Dough Roller and in the Clarion’s restaurant. The price of dinner is not included with registration. RSVP required.
  • Monday Lunchtime Option: The Flash Sessions – Enlightening, and Faster than Lightning: Working on an interesting project? Have an interesting idea? Want to share information about an upcoming program? Join us for the “flash sessions.” Each speaker will get 3 (timed) minutes to tell us about something at lightning speed and then we’re on to the next interesting tidbit. Come prepared to share!
  • Monday Roundtable: Zero-Waste Museum Supply Swap: Bring your unwanted materials (e.g., electronics, papers, books, etc) for a swap meet. Email Sarah Brophy ( for more information and/or if you are going to bring something. Please do not bring items from your collections.
  • Monday Night Banquet Theme: Superheroes: The Monday night banquet is a favorite of many SMA attendees! While dressing up is optional, it is encouraged. Let your imagination run wild! Activities include dinner, dancing, awards, half and half raffle, and silent auction announcements. (Have you emailed Doris Pullman at yet with your silent auction submission?)

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