2023 Annual Conference Call for Proposals
Tuesday, January 17 – Friday, January 20, 2023
Clarence Brown Conference Center, Cartersville, Georgia

Museums: The (Fill in the Blank) Frontier
Deadline: July 29, 2022

As Georgia museums emerge from the pandemic and return to long-range planning, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has become more expansive. Institutions are grappling with the aftermath of dramatic shifts in programming, exhibitions, and operations. Staff, board members, and volunteers are also considering how to address a host of thorny issues – racial justice, climate change, political turmoil, the nature of democracy, and other concerns – in a time when tensions are high and work/life balance feels increasingly elusive. As we move forward, the horizons before us are full of frontiers both exciting and challenging.

The frontier is one of the most central and complicated tenets of American identity. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner believed that the frontier and (white, male) citizens’ ability to tame it was key to the United States’ spirit and success. For many others, especially Indigenous and Latine populations, the idea of the frontier, or "la frontera," evokes more complicated considerations. The museums of Cartersville, Georgia, interpret many different types of frontiers: the transformation of northwest Georgia with the simultaneous forced Removal of Cherokee peoples, settlement of Euro-American farmers, and enslavement of African Americans; scenes of American westward expansion; the transportation revolution of the automobile; and the wide-open expanses of space, the classic final frontier.

The Georgia Association of Museums invites submissions for its 2023 conference on the theme of Museums: The (Fill in the Blank) Frontier. In our own way, each of us is contemplating the frontiers of our lives and profession. The Program Committee encourages submitters to develop sessions and workshops that “fill in the blank” to explore many different frontiers and topics.

Potential words to consider for describing Georgia museum frontiers:
Potential session topics requested by GAM 2022 attendees:
DEAI best practices in hiring and daily operations
Collaboration ideas for small museums engaging with community members
Building partnerships with other museums and nonprofits
Social justice in programming, exhibitions, and daily operations
Exhibiting and programming around civic engagement
New resources available to museums
STEAM programming/exhibitions
Strategies for handling common problems
Organizational change: defining a mission, managing growth or reduction
Exhibitions: planning and development, designing with intention
Negotiating salaries and benefits
EMP-related content
Museum education
New technologies and applications for museums
Collections care for unprocessed collections
History-specific: programming related to slavery and the Civil War, reflections on the Reframing History report and podcast produced by the American Association for State and Local History

Presentation formats include:

Panel (75 minutes): Focus on a theme or issues that will engage audiences. The most successful panels include a range of perspectives and case studies with practical strategies that have broad applications to many different kinds of museums.

Roundtable (75 minutes): Short presentation by the chair and/or co-chairs, followed by a moderated discussion about a particular topic.

Workshop (120 minutes): Hands-on activities and practical solutions to specific challenges or issues that will engage audiences. The most successful workshops also include handouts.  

Please complete and submit the following proposal form by Friday, July 29, 2022. Questions? Contact Rebecca Bush, GAM Vice President and Program Committee Chair, at rbush@columbusmuseum.com.

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Email *
Session title *
Format *
Description (100 words or less) *
Learning objectives (2-3): What will attendees learn or gain from this session? *
Session chair information
This person will be the contact for all GAM conference communications and is responsible for sharing information with other session participants.
Name *
Affiliation *
Address *
Phone *
Email *
Participant 1
Name *
Affiliation *
Phone *
Email *
Participant 2
Participant 3
Participant 4
All presentation rooms at the Clarence Brown Conference Center will be equipped with a Windows-based computer, wireless internet, projector, and screen. All projectors will be equipped with HDMI and VGA cables. If you choose to bring your own computer, you are responsible for your own adapters if your computer is not HDMI or VGA enabled. *
Sessions may Zoom in multiple participants, though the chair must be physically present at the session in Cartersville. Do you anticipate Zooming in any participants? If so, how many? *
Workshops only: Workshops may take place at the Brown Conference Center or a Cartersville-area museum: classrooms at Tellus Science Museum or meeting spaces at the historic sites of Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Center, Rose Lawn Museum, and the Summer Hill Complex. Where would you like your workshop to take place? Are there any special space considerations we should be aware of?
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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