Houston Museum District to Host Texas Association of Museums Annual Meeting Conference

The annual event will bring together hundreds of museum professionals and institutions from across the state of Texas to Houston from April 18-21, 2018.

Style Magazine Newswire | 3/5/2018, 10:48 a.m.
The Texas Association of Museums (TAM) will host its annual meeting this year in Houston on April 18-21 at the ...
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

HOUSTON, TX (March 5, 2018)—The Texas Association of Museums (TAM) will host its annual meeting this year in Houston on April 18-21 at the downtown Hyatt Regency Houston. The 2018 theme, Taking the Pulse of Museums: Healthy Enough to Stay the Course, ties in with one of Houston’s major industries, the medical community. The conference brings together hundreds of professionals and institutions from all over Texas for educational sessions, targeted workshops, networking events and award ceremonies that recognize persons and institutions that have advanced the field in the past year.

Every year, TAM offers this annual conference to its membership as a pillar of its educational mission. The conference rotates locations each year, enabling professionals throughout the state to attend on a regular, if not yearly, basis. Taking the Pulse of Museums: Healthy Enough to Stay the Course focuses on the health and sustainability of not only the cultural institutions but the staff working to provide unique and meaningful engagements for the visiting public. In addition to workshops and professional development sessions, this year’s conference has added fun, engaging health activities that include Zumba, laughter yoga meditation, massage, a blood drive and a variety of health screenings.

“I am truly looking forward to the 2018 TAM Annual Meeting and am so excited it will be held in Houston this year. As the cornerstone of our yearly programming, the conference is expected to break attendance records in Houston, making it one of our largest gatherings ever,” said Billy Fong, TAM Executive Director. “In addition to the engaging and informative sessions museum professionals have come to expect, Houston has really rolled out the red carpet and has a few exciting surprises up its sleeves sure to delight every attendee.”

Dr. Melanie Johnson, President and CEO of The Health Museum, chairs the 2018 local host committee that is comprised of local museum and cultural organizations, including the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, the Houston Museum District Association, the South East Texas Museum Association, the Museum of Printing History, the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Houston First and more. Dr. Johnson has taken an active lead in planning this year’s conference to take advantage of local resources, provide maximum educational impact to as many as 600 attendees and boost the profile and visitation of both the city and the host institutions.

“I am honored to welcome TAM to the city of Houston this year, as well as to serve as the Chair of this important annual event,” said Dr. Melanie Johnson, 2018 Local Host Committee Chair and President and CEO at The Health Museum. “Our great city boasts one of the strongest museum districts in the country, as well as the largest medical center in the world. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with some of the leading minds in both sectors, as well as to explore for themselves what seven million visitors to the Houston Museum District experience annually throughout our 19-member institutions.”

The 2018 keynote speakers include Anne Ackerson and Joan Baldwin, authors of “Women in The Museum: Lessons from The Workplace,” who will speak on bias that still exists and the need for greater gender equity. In addition, representatives from the African American Library at The Gregory School will give a presentation on Freedman’s Town, a Houston neighborhood just south of Buffalo Bayou and downtown that served as a settlement in 1865 for formerly enslaved men, women and children. Against all odds, the area, located in Fourth Ward, flourished and became the center of African-American life in Houston throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Now the largest intact freed slave settlement left in the nation, the neighborhood is working to keep its history and culture intact in the face of intense urban redevelopment.

The Hyatt Regency Houston in downtown will serve as conference headquarters. The conference kicks off with “Party with a Pulse” on Wednesday, April 18 at The Health Museum. Subsequent evening events each night of the conference are scheduled at a variety of Museum District institutions, including Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Asia Society Texas, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Jung Center, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Museum professionals interested in attending the conference can learn more at texasmuseums.org. This year’s sessions include a student track, a library track and several streaming sessions for a “virtual conference.” Information on how to volunteer is also available online.