IMLS Convening: Museum Leadership in Dynamic Times

Dates: March 2-3, 2023
Location: National Press Club, Washington DC

Museum leaders across the nation have demonstrated resilience, and an eagerness to build on lessons learned during the global pandemic – including reminders of the inspirational and healing role of museums in times of crisis, their importance in the preservation of our rich heritage, and the invitation of all to share in their missions. These new and strengthened capacities helped many museums respond to the call to create new opportunities for dialogue and healing.

These opportunities also brought universal leadership and management challenges to the fore, including issues of: defining programmatic excellence for internal and external stakeholders, business models for financial stability, partnership potentials, service to communities, and civic leadership and engagement. As the largest investor in museums’ missions and capacity-building, IMLS is uniquely positioned to serve as an equitable convener of museum leaders to discuss the future of museums.

This invitation-only convening will bring together 100 museum leaders from across the field (including, size, discipline, geography, etc.) to discuss lessons learned from the past three years. This day-and-a-half long program will be structured around plenary sessions, panels, and discussions to share evidence-based practices, burning questions, and inform future strategies for field capacity building at IMLS and beyond.

Forum topics to include:

  • Institutional Excellence: Is the definition of institutional excellence changing?
  • Managing Workforce and Social Issues: How can museums improve the quality of life for those who use them and also be respectful of staff lives? How can museums serve community needs?
  • Financial Models and Fiscal Stability: What are key financial metrics? How are donor motivations and funder requirements changing?
  • Managing the Board Effectively: What are the models for recruiting, orienting, training and assessing trustees for the modern museum’s needs?
  • Addressing Environmental Sustainability: What are the investments and priorities for ensuring the resilience of the nation’s museums and collections?


Agenda, Speaker Bios, and Literature Review


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