2018 Conference


Museums on the Move
100th Annual NEMA Conference
Stamford, CT
November 7-9, 2018


Anniversaries are a time for reminiscing and for looking ahead. We’ll be doing both at the upcoming Centennial NEMA Conference. Help us celebrate and commemorate the occasion with a session proposal that adds your voice and perspective.

Our conference theme this year is Museums on the Move, investigating how museums have evolved since the very first NEMA conference and how they are positioning themselves for success in the century ahead. It’s our field’s chance to take stock – to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we are going, and to reset our GPS if necessary along the way. Here is some food for thought as you develop your session ideas:

  • How has your museum changed in the last 100 years? Since its founding? Would your founders recognize you today?
  • “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Does this epigram apply to your museum experience?
  • How has museum work changed? Is it changing for the better? What will it be like to work in a museum in the future?
  • Collections are often thought of as the museum’s backbone. Is that true in your case? How have your collections (and collection policies) evolved?
  • What standards should we be enforcing, refining, or adopting to raise the museum field in the next hundred years?
  • Are museums today more or less relevant than in 1918? To whom? Whom can we serve better in this century than in previous ones, and how?
  • How does the reputation of museums as unchanging places of preservation compete with, balance against, or enhance growing trends of museum activism? How are we agents of memory and of change in our communities and in conversation with current events?
  • Pretend you’re attending the 200th NEMA Conference. How would you assess the state of museums in 2018?
  • What are the keys to our field’s longevity? To our sustainability?

Do you have a great idea for a session unrelated to the conference theme?  We want to hear it anyway! NEMA strives to offer sessions on topics including museum governance, leadership and career growth, administration, visitor services, volunteer management, human resources, education, exhibitions, curatorial and conservation, registration, technology, membership, development, and marketing. In content and in format, all sessions should stimulate discussion, raise new ideas, debate solutions, and spark imagination. Join us and share your experience!


Submit your session proposals by February 28, 2018. The call for proposals can be found here.