MAAM Annual Meeting

October 13-15, 2021 in Wilmington, DE and Online (Virtual dates are TBD)

What is the MAAM Annual Meeting?

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Annual Meeting is an annual conference dedicated to fostering excellence in museums by providing our region’s museum professionals with high-quality professional development, networking opportunities, and special events.

We look forward to welcoming you to MAAM in-person and online at our 2021 Annual Meeting. The in-person events are scheduled for October 13-15, 2021 in Wilmington, DE at the Hotel DuPont.

At this time, MAAM is planning for a both a virtual and in-person gathering of museum professionals. Conference dates for the virtual event are TBD. The in-person portion of the Annual Conference will occur October 13-15, 2021. We are in conversation with the Hotel DuPont to discuss our options for meeting safely.

While we are hopeful about hosting in-person events for the Annual Meeting, the safety of our members remains a top priority. If circumstances dictate, we will be ready to transition to a fully virtual format.

2021 Annual Conference theme

How do we center people in museums?

Over the past year, museum professionals have grappled with questions concerning institutional identity, accessibility, visitor experience, staffing, and the widespread inequities of the field. Out of these challenges arose an inspiring host of ingenious, resourceful, and creative ideas. Focus shifted to the amazing people of museums – visitors, volunteers, and staff – as central to navigating these challenges.

The 2021 MAAM Annual Meeting will provide an opportunity to answer, “How do we center people in museums?” This conference will address what it means to be people-focused and will highlight key examples of where this approach can take us as a field. Conference discussions will center institutional identity, staffing, public programs, collections, and community engagement, among other relevant topics. We will share examples of efforts to enact change, discuss the future of museums during and beyond the pandemic, and address the continued inequities that shape professional participation in the museum field.

Call for session proposals extended through May 7, 2021

The Annual Meeting and Conference is the perfect opportunity to introduce theoretical or philosophical frameworks that explore daily issues shared by all working in the museum field. Sessions should present differing perspectives that constructively enliven the conversation, and reflect the conference theme. Industry partners are also welcome to submit proposals, but all panels must include at least one museum professional. At least one person on the panel must be a member of MAAM or must become a member of MAAM either at the individual or the institutional level before the preliminary program is released in August.


You can submit your proposal as a virtual session or as an in-person session. Please submit using the Google Form linked in the blue button below. 

Please review the session proposal submission requirements below:

  • All session proposals are due by 5 PM Eastern on Friday, May 7th, 2021 and will be reviewed by the MAAM Annual Meeting and Conference Program Committee.
  • Sessions can be between 30 minutes and 60 minutes in length. Sessions can be presented either in-person or in a virtual format.
  • Please allow time for Q&A in your session.
  • Only complete submissions will be reviewed. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Decisions regarding the selection of sessions will be e-mailed to the session chair/contact person by June 30, 2021.
  • At least one person on the panel must be a member of MAAM or must become a member of MAAM before the preliminary program is released.
  • Please save electronic proposals in PDF format as well as submitting through the Google Form provided.

Please confirm that all of the proposed speakers are available for speaking within the presentation dates (Oct. 13-15) before submitting a proposal. Virtual event dates are TBD, but will be in either late September or October.

MAAM does not provide honorariums or travel reimbursement for session presenters or moderators. Presenters who ONLY attend their session do not have to pay the conference registration fee; however, they cannot attend other sessions or programs. It is your responsibility to relate this policy to potential speakers within your panel.

We plan to be as flexible as we can with proposals. If you need accommodations, let us know by emailing

Type of Session Proposals to Select From

Please select a format for your session. No session should include more than a moderator/session chair and 3 participants/speakers. The only exception to the recommended number is for a performance or round table. Session format should be in whatever style best engage the audience and promote maximum interaction.

  • Panel (Moderator and up to 3 Speakers): The most common and traditional presentation style. Can be a case study of multiple institutions or panel covering multiple ideas.
  • Single Institution Case Study (Moderator and up to 3 Speakers): Another common and traditional presentation style. Includes a case study of one institution with multiple participants.
  • Point/Counter Point Debate: A lively conversation with up to 3 knowledgeable speakers to present opposing views, plus a moderator.
  • Town Hall: A moderator plus up to 3 panelists that will open the floor to questions/discussion.
  • Roundtable Discussion: An interactive session that allows for facilitation of discussion in breakout groups or roundtables. Can include a short lecture to commence presentation.
  • Workshop: A hands-on segment that teaches a skill. 60 minute minimum required. If you’d like to request a longer segment, contact us.

Session Selection Process

The Annual Meeting and Conference Program Committee consists of representatives from the MAAM board of directors, two emerging museum professionals, MAAM members, and a representative from our local arrangements committee. The Program Committee will review session submissions during May and June 2021.

After developing the schedule for the conference, we will notify contact persons for selected sessions on or about June 30, 2021. The Program Committee reserves the right to request modifications to the submitted programs.

Important Dates for our 2021 Annual Meeting

April 2021: Call for Session Proposals

May 2021: Call for Award Nominations open

June 2021: Sponsorship opportunities become available. Call for Fellowships open.

July 2021: Preliminary Program released

August 2021: Registration Opens


Code of Conduct

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment free of bias and intimidation at all of our in-person and virtual events. In accordance with federal and state laws and with non-profit best practices, MAAM expressly prohibits any form of discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, physicality, marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran, or any other protected classification.

Discriminatory or harassing behavior by or towards any staff, volunteer, contractor, member, fellow, presenter, participant, vendor, or other person participating in MAAM programs or activities will not be tolerated.


Anyone who experiences or witnesses any violation of MAAM’s Code of Conduct should report the incident to MAAM’s Executive Director or a member of the Board of Directors as soon as possible.

If you witness sexual harassment or assault, respond first to the affected person’s needs and safety. Support that person if they choose to report the incident but respect their decision to report or not report.

Averie Shaughnessy-Comfort, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums,, 607-431-8248

MAAM is not an adjudicating body. However, MAAM will receive complaints to support addressing grievances associated with MAAM programs and activities.


MAAM is committed to enforcing this code of conduct at all levels of its organization. Unacceptable behavior will result in immediate removal from MAAM message boards, chats, Facebook groups, Discord channels, and the MAAM Virtual Conference and MAAM Membership without refund. 

MAAM reserves the right to prohibit participation in future programs and activities as well as the right to rescind association awards, fellowships, and/or and revoking or prohibiting membership.

Registration Cancellation Policy and Refunds

If you need to cancel your ala carte registration for the Annual Meeting, we will provide a refund of the ticket price, less a processing fee, up to 7 days prior to the start of the Annual Meeting start date. We must receive your refund request in writing, by email, or in a written statement through WildApricot no later than 7 days prior to the start of the Annual Meeting explaining the need for a refund. Those who choose to purchase a MAAM membership to attend the Annual Meeting will not receive a refund for failure to attend the conference.


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