2020 Michigan Museums Association

Call for Conference Session Proposals

Online Proposal Form

Fillable Proposal Form

Printable Call for Session Proposals Information

The Michigan Museums Association seeks proposals on all aspects of museum work for concurrent sessions to take place during our annual conference.  The conference will be held October 21-23, 2020 in Port Huron. Concurrent sessions will be held on Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23 between 9 am and 5 pm.

Sessions are sought that focus on topics related to the conference theme “Building Bridges: Collaborating for Success,” as well as a broad spectrum of museum-related content.

For each session, a projector and screen will be provided. Presenters will need to bring their own laptops. The average concurrent session has about 20-30 attendees who come from all sizes and types of museums from throughout Michigan. Presenters are encouraged to provide handouts and share slides. Session presenters are expected to register for at least one day of the conference.

Session proposals may be submitted online or via hard copy.  Proposals are due March 2, 2020.

Conference Theme - Building Bridges: Collaborating for Success

Port Huron, Michigan, is a community of bridges.

Tucked on the southern edge of Lake Huron, multiple bridges unite Port Huron across the Black River that winds its way through the city. The majestic Blue Water Bridge that soars across the St. Clair River creates a pathway between Michigan and Canada.

Bridges bring connectivity. Create networks. Enable ideas to flow freely. And in Port Huron, bridges foster collaboration. The community is big enough to have many different entities and focuses, but small enough to rely on limited resources. Here, organizations collaborate creatively, share resources, and lean on each other.

Many of Michigan’s museums are a lot like Port Huron. Resources are limited. Scale is modest. Yet we find success by looking in our own backyard and working with others to create opportunity.

Let’s explore how bridge building and collaboration helps the Michigan museum community thrive.


Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Conference Programs Team. The reviewers will look for sessions that:

  • reflect the conference theme of “Building Bridges: Collaborating for Success,” as well as a broad spectrum of museum-related content
  • address the professional needs of MMA members and the Michigan museum community.
  • have clear, well-thought outcomes for session attendees
  • include session presenters from diverse backgrounds and cultural perspectives, and from a wide range of institutional sizes, areas of focus, and expertise


Proposals may be submitted online, via email or through USPS mail

  • Use this link to submit a proposal online. The link is also available on the MMA website.
  • Use this document to submit a proposal via USPS mail and send it to
Michigan Museums Association
PO Box 5246
Cheboygan, MI 49721

    Proposals are due March 2, 2020. Notifications will be made by April 1, 2020.


    • Join a Conference Call

    An informational phone/video call with Q&A will be held on Wednesday, February 12 at 12:30. During this call, the Programs Committee will talk through the blank proposal form with interested applicants and answer any questions that arise about the form or the submission process. To join the call via phone, dial 712-451-0200 and use access code# 652067. To join the call via internet, click this link: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/mimuseums

    • Email the Programs Team Chair

    Contact Melanie Parker at mparker@dia.org with questions about proposals or the proposal process.

    • Call the MMA Office

    Call 313-334-7643 with any questions about the conference.


    Details and Instructions:


    Select the ONE specific area of museum work that the session most closely relates to.

    • Archiving
    • Collections and Registration
    • Community Engagement
    • Conservation
    • Development and Fundraising
    • Digitization
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    • Education and Programming
    • Evaluation and Research
    • Exhibitions
    • Interpretation
    • Leadership and Administration
    • Marketing
    • Membership and Visitor Services
    • Visitor Experience
    • Volunteers
    • Other 


    Select one of the three session formats available.


    Panel sessions should feature 1 moderator and 2-3 presenters (moderator may also present). Presenters will speak about a specific project or topic.

    Panels should include representatives from multiple institutions and/or areas of expertise. For example:

    • Three different institutions present together about accessibility programming at their respective institutions
    • Several institutions who are partnering together on a community-wide project discuss their collaborative process


    Campfires are conversations that those who attend a session have together as a group. Attendees will share their knowledge and experiences, and pose questions to one another. The conversations are centered around a predetermined, specific topic.

    One or two people will lead and facilitate the conversation. The session leader(s) should be well-versed in the topic and is encouraged to share their experiences as well, but the focus of the session to be on the attendees. The leader(s) should be prepared with several questions or prompts to help guide the conversation.

    Example topics include:

    • Managing multigenerational work styles
    • In what ways are museums biased?
    • Parenting in the Workplace


    How-to sessions are mini-workshops that put attendees at the center.With the guidance of a facilitator(s), attendees will gain a hands-on experience doing a specific activity.

    Participants should walk away with a product that they created during the session that they can use in their own work (e.g. a skill that can be replicated, a document that they have created, etc.).

    At the end of the session, attendees should feel empowered to take what they've learned back to their museum and use it in their own jobs. For example:

    • How-to write an informative and interesting exhibit label
    • How-to properly and safely put a historic costume on a mannequin
    • How-to draft a meaningful mission statement


    In 100 words or fewer, describe the proposed session. Keep conference attendees in mind; if your proposal is selected, this description will appear in the printed conference program and on the MMA website.  


    In 300 words or fewer, tell the session review team what your session would look like. Include answers to the following questions:

    • What are the 3 main points or ideas that will be covered?
    • What will attendees learn?
    • What will they feel empowered to do?

    For PANEL SESSIONS: Please also describe what this project has accomplished. What were your goals at the outset, and how have you achieved them? What were the unintended outcomes, if any? (For example, "Our membership increased by 30%")

    For CAMPFIRE SESSIONS:  Please also list two or three example discussion prompts that you might use to spark conversation.

    For HOW-TO SESSIONS: Please also describe the concrete product or experience that attendees will take away.


    Include name; title; institution; email address; phone number. 


    List no more than 3. Include name; title; institution; email address; phone number.

    If your proposal is accepted, it is with the understanding that the listed participants will not change. If the proposed session is selected, any changes to participants will need to be approved by the MMA Programs Committee.


    Please read and accept the statements at the end of the form.

    Online Proposal Form

    Fillable Proposal Form

    Printable Call for Session Proposals Information

    Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721      lcbrisson@michiganmuseums.org

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software