React!  Museums Respond to Change
Sunday, October 7, 2018

2:00 -3:00 p.m.  Graduate Student Presentation, James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts, Cedar Falls.  Students and emerging professionals may attend this event FREE but must register.

Gallery touring:  James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts will be open for informal touring

3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Career Conversations @  James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts, Seerley Blvd., Cedar Falls.   The purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity for those interested in museum careers to connect with people in the field.  This event will open with a panel conversation with several museum professionals who will share details about their job and career path.  Question & answer will be followed with an opportunity to connect one-on-one with museum staff members from a variety of Iowa museums.

4:30 – 5:15 Emerging Professionals Meeting @  James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts, Seerley Blvd., Cedar Falls.  Chaired by graduate student Brittany Puhrmann (IMA Board advisor Nathan Buman).  An opportunity to meet, and exchange ideas and contact information prior to the evening reception.

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Opening Night Reception - Sunday evening reception at Hartman Reserve Nature Center, 657 Reserve Dr., Cedar Falls
Pre-registration required.
Parking available - car pooling is encouraged due to limited space.

Hartman Reserve Nature Center is a 340-acre wooded oasis located between the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo. Hartman staff invite you to enjoy this state-recognized natural area and relax in the newly-renovated Interpretive Center. You'll first enjoy a delicious barbecue meal and locally-brewed beer, then have the opportunity to join the Nature Center Director for a short evening stroll through the woods. You will walk through a state preserve and see why this area is considered a living museum. As the nocturnal world comes to life you'll look for bats, owls, and even nighttime insects that are not usually found during the day. Hike is limited to the first 30 who sign up at the Nature Center. Wear comfortable walking shoes; lanterns provided! Hike leaves at 6:30 PM returns at 7:15 PM.

Monday, October 8, 2018

8:15 a.m. Registration, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. Pick up your name tag, conference schedule, and goody bag. 

8:15 – 8:45 a.m. Join us for coffee and breakfast snacks.  Take time to visit with the exhibitors throughout the day.

8:50 a.m. Welcome to Cedar Falls and the IMA Conference.  Maucker Union, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

9:00 -10:00 a.m. Featured Speaker #1 Maucker Union, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.
Pamela Schwartz, Chief Curator, Orange County History Center, Orlando, Florida.
Sponsored by the History Department, University of Northern Iowa

Rapid-Response Collecting in an Era of Mass Violence
On June 12, 2016, a home-grown terrorist entered Pulse Nightclub after last call on Latin Night. He murdered 49 beautiful individuals, injured 68, and caused severe mental trauma in hundreds more. It was the largest American attack on the LGBTQ community and, at the time, the country’s deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in modern history. As instances of mass violence seem increasingly more common, museums must understand and prepare for what role they might play should the unimaginable happen within their own community.

Pamela Schwartz, Chief Curator of the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, FL has 16 years of museum and consulting experience as a director, curator, and designer. In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub massacre she was the architect of the rapid-response One Orlando Collection Initiative and has become a national authority on collecting after community tragedy. This project has won the museum the prestigious History-in-Progress award from AASLH, as well as their Leadership in History award, a Southeastern Museum Conference Excellence in Exhibitions Award, amongst others.

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Choice of four breakout sessions

11:30 – 12:15 p.m.   Choice of four sessions - round tables, speed networking, and poster sessions.   

12:30-1:30 p.m.   Buffet luncheon and IMA Annual Meeting, Maucker Union, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.  Featured Speaker #2 Maucker Union, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.
Debra Kerr, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago.
Sponsored by the Art Department, University of Northern Iowa

Museums respond to social change through art
In today’s environment of social upheaval, audiences and the cultural sector struggle to find outlets for expression and change-making. Museums, in particular, must find avenues to demonstrate their relevance, both in that changing society, and to appeal to the largest population segment that has ever lived: the Millennials. Not only can museums be a safe space where all audiences are welcomed, but art can play a special role in the engagement of those audiences. Research has proven that making art lowers stress, a benefit good for all! At Intuit, where the art on the walls is made by untrained artists who have found catharsis, empowerment and voice through the creative process, our proclaimed ethos is everyone has creativity and should experience that empowerment and voice. Deb will talk about how audiences respond to art as a jumping-off point for conversations about social change and art-making that responds to the political forces in our communities.

Deb Kerr is executive director of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, one of the world’s premier museum of outsider art, art made by artists who are self taught and have had little influence from the mainstream art world.

Deb founded and directed YouthMuse, advocate for youth engagement and jump-starter of youth-led, museum-based campaigns for change. Deb has provided consulting in the areas of teen engagement and strategic planning for cultural organizations. Certified in Myers-Briggs personality type inventory, she facilitates interactive teen career and personal exploration group sessions.

During her 17-year career at the world-renowned Shedd Aquarium, she held progressively responsible roles, serving as executive vice president for 11 years. In 2013, she won a distinguished teaching award from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, where she has taught museum management since 2005. She is a past board member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and past chair and instructor for its Professional Development Committee and management courses, and past chair of the zoo and aquarium committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. She is a board member for the Merit School of Music, a member of the American Alliance of Museums and a past board member of the National Veterans Art Museum. She is a frequent guest speaker on issues related to museum relevance, museum planning, the role of museum in social good and teen empowerment.

3:00– 5:00 p.m. Choice of four breakout sessions

4 p.m. (start time)  The Jester Insurance Hospitality Room will be open in the Common Room, Country Inn & Suites, 2910 South Main Street, Cedar Falls.  Drop in for casual social time and informal networking until the wee dark hours.  

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Monday Evening Reception, Cedar Falls Historical Society

Sponsored by Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area.   

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Join us for coffee and breakfast snacks.  Take time to visit with the exhibitors throughout the day.

9:00 -10:00 a.m. Featured Speaker #3, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Brian Crockett, Albuquerque, New Mexico

All Hope is Lost: Museums Will Die When I Retire

Change is afoot! Scary change!
As Baby Boomer museum professionals, we can all agree that the greatest threat to our industry is the advent of younger professionals, yes? Our core values are up for grabs! Their so called “innovations” really bug us, don’t they? And they’re so darned smart, energetic, and skilled that they must be up to no good. Right? After all, change at museums runs contrary to the very core of our work, yes? We care for our collections in perpetuity!  And that means keeping them under glass where I put them and not parading them about at clothing-optional music festivals! Besides, somebody already claimed the title, “Greatest Generation,” what makes them so uppity?  Not to worry; this backward-thinking presentation will demonize all generations equitably in search of the thinnest hope that Museums really are forever.


Brian Crockett has nearly 30 years experience in museum training and coaching initiatives nationwide. He holds distinct competencies in nonprofit governance, strategic planning, board development, exhibition/program development, and community engagement. One of his current projects, “Finding Alternative Futures,” via the Texas Association of Museums, seeks fresh and radical options in sustainability for history organizations.

Brian is the former founder and/or director of several notable multi-state museum initiatives: Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, NEH on the Road, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Hands-on Experiential Learning Program (HELP) and ENGAGE Houston, a six year initiative to employ people-based solutions for improved leadership, cheerful governance, and impactful public service.

As an independent museum consultant, Brian works from his home in Albuquerque, where the chile is hot and the skies are blue.

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Choice of four breakout sessions
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Choice of four breakout sessions