FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S DESK
Happy New Year from MAAM and best wishes for a successful new year during the challenging months ahead.
We know that competition within the MAAM region for your limited training and professional meeting dollar is more fierce than ever. The opportunity to attend energizing conference sessions, be inspired by leaders within the museum community, visit exciting and diverse programs around the region, and network with friends and co-workers awaits you. With this realization in mind, please consider joining MAAM – or renewing your membership today.
If you joined us in Wilmington on October 20-22, 2016, for MAAM’s annual meeting, you experienced a provocative gathering addressing the theme – “Museums Exposed – Real Issues/ Real Talk.” Twenty-six thought-provoking sessions, two receptions, four pre-event museum tours in the Brandywine River Valley Region, and keynote addresses by film-maker Ric Burns, Delaware Arts Alliance director Dr. Guillermina Gonzalez, Museum Hack founder Nick Gray, and AAM president Laura Lott gave registrants insight into “hot-button” issues and new horizons for the museum community. Elsewhere in this winter newsletter, you can read about the odyssey of the 2016 MAAM Katherine Coffey Award recipient Pamela Green – “From Weeksville to Wilmington.” To see the trailer for Ric Burns 2017 documentary film, “Driving While Black,” which he introduced at MAAM Wilmington, hit this link. (Password is: SCDWB)
Among MAAM’s exciting program offerings in the coming months are:
Building Museums Symposium 2017 in Washington, D.C.
This twelfth MAAM national conference devoted to the process, promise, and pitfalls of planning and managing museum building projects will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from February 24-26. Building Museums 2017 will actively engage participants in sessions and discussion. The program includes a day-long workshop, “Ready, Aim, Build,” and an opportunity to pre-register for private behind- the- scenes tours of museum building projects in DC. There will be ample networking opportunities at two receptions with symposium attendees and sponsors, a presentation of the 2017 Buildy Award for an exemplary museum project, and keynote remarks about two of the most exciting new American museums. More details can be found in the Building Museums program, click here to download. For more information and to register, click here.
MAAM’s first Cornerstone Workshop of the year, “New Ideas for Historic Homes,” will be offered at the Albany Institute of History and Art, in Albany, New York, on March 23, 2017. Focused on interpretive programming in historic house museums, the workshop will address how new initiatives help house museums make more meaningful connections with the communities that they serve. This low-cost offering in New York’s Capital Region is a model of subsequent offerings to museum staff throughout the MAAM region who do not have the resources to attend a regional, state, or national conference.
2017 MAAM Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA
Mark your calendars for the MAAM annual meeting to be held in Pittsburgh from October 19-21, 2017. Focused on the continuing MAAM theme to push the envelope, “Making Museums Matter: From Advocacy to Action” will address the centrality of audience and communities to the success of our institutions during changing times. Pittsburgh’s renaissance from a rust-belt city to an urban center of thriving ethnic neighborhoods, progressive philanthropy, “good eats,” and great museums and cultural institutions, is the perfect setting to enter into conversation and debate about the challenges and opportunities of the coming months. Watch the MAAM website early this spring for a call for session proposals for the conference in Pittsburgh. MAAM turns 70 in Pittsburgh, so there will be plenty to celebrate and reflect upon during this landmark conference.
In 2017, please say, “Yes MAAM!”
MAAM Executive Director
From Weeksville to Wilmington:
The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Recognizes Pamela E. Green at the Katherine Coffey Award Reception on October 21, 2016
By: Julie Hartman
“Museum work is direct work” - Pamela E. Green
Throughout her long and fascinating career in museums, the corporate world, city government, and beyond, Pamela Green has demonstrated her passion for enriching peoples’ lives. On October 21, 2016, at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, MAAM recognized and celebrated Ms. Green’s distinguished life achievements at the Katherine Coffey Award Honoree Reception. Deborah Schwartz, President of the Brooklyn Historical Society, warmly introduced Ms. Green as her friend and colleague of many years. Gretchen Sorin, MAAM President and Executive Director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program, also addressed Ms. Green’s indelible contributions to Historic Weeksville and to the communities of Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Brownsville in Brooklyn, New York.
From 2001 to 2013, Ms. Green served as Executive Director of the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn—the site of one of the first free African American communities in the country. She is responsible for the management and expansion of this extraordinary organization from four, tiny, furnished nineteenth-century houses to the construction of a 19,000-square-foot, $35-million-dollar education and cultural arts building that includes professional training workshop spaces, as well as performance and community spaces.
One of Ms. Green’s proudest moments at Weeksville was witnessing the restoration of historic homes on Hunterfly Road. The restoration and interpretation of the Weeksville historic site “showed the community what happened there throughout history, and what free people of color were able to do” in spite of the nineteenth-century political realities of slavery and oppression.
Other programs that Ms. Green successfully developed and implemented while at Weeksville included the heirloom vegetable garden and farmer’s market hosted on the museum’s grounds. Crown Heights was (and remains) a critically underserved neighborhood in Brooklyn, lacking enough grocery stores to provide enough fresh and nutritious produce and vegetables for residents. Pamela Green says that the Weeksville garden and farmer’s market illustrated what nonprofits and, more specifically, “what historic house museums can do for communities.”
Prior to joining the Weeksville Heritage Center, Ms. Green served as Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships for Sesame Workshop where she created and managed corporate public service initiatives that extended the reach and impact of all Sesame Workshop properties, nationally and internationally. Ms. Green also served the City of New York as Deputy Commissioner of the Agency for Child Development, during which she administered $360 million to childcare agencies, expanded Head Start, and established the first Interagency Task Force on Food and Hunger Policy. Ms. Green holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Mathematics from Fisk University. She is currently an independent consultant to nonprofit arts/cultural organizations and small businesses.
Each year, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums selects a leader in the museum field who embodies the ideals reflected in Katherine Coffey’s 43-year-long tenure at the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey. Coffey’s passion for public service was reflected in her various roles as manager of exhibitions, education programs, apprenticeship programs, and later as director of the museum.
To this year’s Katherine Coffey Honoree Reception, Ms. Green brought her unique and varied strengths in finance, business, mathematics, history, and nonprofit administration. Museums across the Mid-Atlantic region are lucky to have such a visionary as Ms. Green as a member of the community.