Building Museums™ 2020

Make sure that you're signed up on our mailing list to receive the most up to date information on Building Museums™ 2020!

About the Symposium


The symposium is organized under three inter-related themes: Vision, Implementation, and Sustainability (or Life after Opening) . The content of each day will reflect these themes across a broad range of museum sizes and scales, budgets, scope of building projects, disciplines, and collecting vs. non-collecting institutions.


This symposium is for architects, museum leaders, planners, project managers, technical experts, and all those who plan or implement new construction, renovation, or expansion projects for museums. Whether your institution is a small historic site under renovation, a mid-sized art museum planning an expansion, or a large children’s museum building a new facility, this symposium is for you.

Building Museums™ is an annual international symposium created, produced and managed by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums [MAAM] but is open to everyone with an interest in this important topic.


Attending the symposium will provide you the opportunity to:

  • Better understand the process of planning, implementing, and surviving new construction, renovation, or expansion projects
  • Examine case studies, current trends, topical issues, and specific projects related to building projects across a broad range of museum sizes and scales, budgets, scope of building projects, diversity of disciplines, and collecting vs. non-collections-holding institutions
  • Actively discuss museum building projects with other museum professionals, architects, planners, project managers, and technical experts to better inform the process of building
  • Access resources for architectural firms, consultants, museum projects, and museum leaders

Conference Hotel

JW Marriott Chicago
151 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 660-8200

Click here to learn more about the conference hotel.

Call for Session Proposals

We are actively seeking session proposals that discuss museum projects of interest to small to medium-sized institutions.
  • Session proposals should address one or more of the following topics:
    • Leadership roles in museum building projects
    • Strategic and master planning
    • Budget and business planning
    • The visitor experience
    • Collections care and facility design
    • Design and pre-construction processes
    • Architect and contractor selection
    • Fundraising
    • Project communication – both internal and external
    • Dealing with existing infrastructure and historic preservation
    • Sustainable design
    • Challenges during “life after opening”

We’re looking for sessions that provide a clear and focused discussion of a specific project, bring a diverse range of participants to the table to exchange views, and can stimulate questions and conversations among the attendees.

The best-received and most informative sessions actively engage the participants and share “real world” experiences in the development of museum building projects.

How do I submit a proposal?
Please read the attached call to learn more about the contents required to submit a proposal. Sessions should include no more than 4 speakers and one of those speakers must be a museum professional. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 5:00PM Eastern (4:00 PM Central) on October 1, 2019. Submit proposals in PDF form to

Click here to read the guidelines for submitting a session proposal.



Registration will open in December 2019.


  • Exclusive, discounted rates for museum professionals.
  • Members of the Association of Midwest Museums can register for the conference at the MAAM Member rate.



Please see below for last year’s rates for Building Museums™ 2019. Rates are subject to change for the 2020 Symposium.

  • Museum Professional MAAM Member (Early Bird/Regular): $350/$399
  • Museum Professional Non-Member (Early Bird/Regular): $435/499
  • All Other Professionals MAAM Member (Early Bird/Regular): $425/$499
  • All Other Professionals Non-Member (Early Bird/Regular): $499/$575
  • Session Presenters: $250


Registration Cancellation Policy and Refunds

If you need to cancel your registration for Building Museums, we will provide a refund of the ticket price, less a $20 processing fee, up to February 21, 2020. We must receive your refund request in writing, by email, or in a written statement through WildApricot no later than February 21, 2020. explaining the need for a refund.

After February 21, 2020, no refunds will be granted.

Thank you to last year's sponsors!








Arakawa Hanging Systems


Delta Designs, Ltd.

Fireline Corporation

Lighting Services, Inc.

Nationwide Security Corporation

Universal Services Associates, Inc.

Marketing Partner

New England Museum Association

PO Box 4 Cooperstown, NY 13326


Click here to subscribe to our Newsletter!