American Alliance of Museums Conference 2015

Michael FritzenThe Social Value of Museums: Inspiring Change

When I was a child, my mother teased me about having so many interests: spiders, Japan, puppets, and the list goes on. I have always been a person who enjoyed learning new things. Just last month, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual American Alliance of Museums conference. The event attracts museum professionals from all over the country, as well as Canada, Mexico, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The conference is four days of workshops, networking, social events, lectures, and information gathering. For me, it is a time to discover about the latest trends in museums, reconnect with colleagues, make new connections, find solutions to pressing questions, and learn lots of new information. At the end, your brain feels full because it is packed with rich knowledge.

The conference was about diversity and inspiring change. Many of the workshops explored new ways that museums can reach out to audiences through public programs, exhibitions and community engagement. Multiple presentations stressed the importance of celebrating the people around us, so that no matter who is coming to our museums they could find themselves within the walls. I felt proud to work at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, because I know how hard we all work to celebrate the diverse cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands through our exhibitions and programming. We strive to create authentic experiences for our audiences and to make connections across cultures.

I could easily go on about all that was learned at the American Alliance of Museums conference, but be sure to keep checking our website and newsletters because my new found ideas will start popping up in the Museum’s future public programs.

– Michael Fritzen, Head of Education and Public Programs, USC Pacific Asia Museum

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