Building Museums 2008


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February 28, 29, and March 1, 2008

Conference Information

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) held a very successful fourth annual Building Museums™ Symposium in Washington, D.C., February 28-March 1, 2008. The event was located at some of Washington’s most prestigious museums— the D.A.R. Museum for Day 1, the Smithsonian’s Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture for Day 2 and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate for Day 3.

Close to 300 attendees participated in this event: 140 museum/not-for-profit employed individuals; 109 individuals who provided services to museums; 10 university employed individuals; 6 government representatived and 5 finance related individuals.

33 States and Washington, DC [128 from the MAAM states] were represented by the participants as well as 8 individuals from Canada, 3 from the U.K. and 1 from Finland. Thank you all for making this a great event.


Download Program


Thursday, February 28: “Vision”
Location: Daughters of the American Revolution


  • Nuts and Bolts of Museum Construction Workshop: Tools for Planning Successful Building Projects
  • Finding the Right Balance: A Workshop on Conceptualizing a New Museum
  • Plenary Session: Alignment: Getting Internal and External Stakeholders Behind the Vision
  • Breakout Sessions:
  • Planning for a Green Future: The LEED Rating System and Your Museum’s Strategic Plan
  • Getting in the Ground: Planning the National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • A Museum for All of New Hampshire: Building Community to Support the Expansion of the Currier Museum of Art
  • From the Inside Out: Case Studies of Transformation
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Historic House Renovations
  • Plenary Session: Red Flags: What Works and What Doesn’t
Friday, February 29: “Implementation”

Location: Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture


  • Collections Care and Storage: Field Trip and Lessons from the Smithsonian’s Experts
  • Frederick Douglass House Renovation Tour and Field Trip
  • Tour of Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland
  • Newseum Hard Hat Tour
  • Breakout Sessions:
  • Cross-cultural Communication: Finding a Common Language for Building Projects
  • The Language of Architects and Contractors: What Are They Talking About?
  • Mixing It Up: Incorporating Social Spaces into your Museum
  • Choosing Green: Challenges + Solutions
  • Creating a Museum of Ideas
  • Lighting & Sustainability
  • Plenary Sessions:
  • The Secret World of Construction: Insights from the Boston Children’s Museum/Children’s Wharf Project
  • Financing Projects and Leveraging Economic Development
  • High Aspirations and a Modest Budget: Attracting Star Architects for a Project under $30 Million
  • Dine Around Town

Saturday, March 1: “Sustainability”
Location: George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

  • Plenary Session: Vision of the Reinvented Mt. Vernon
  • Tour
  • Plenary Session: Challenges of Creating Mt. Vernon’s New Facilities: Life After Opening

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