IA24 Professional Development Sessions

InterActivity 2024 includes six blocks of concurrent professional development sessions. Watch for the Preliminary Program schedule to launch before the holidays.

Note schedule subject to change.

Thursday, May 16, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Fundraising for Operating Expenses
Join this session for a discussion of fundraising for general funds and operating expenses. We all know how to get money to buy things, and capital campaign advice abounds, but what about payroll and toilet paper? We will talk about how to incorporate operating funds into grant requests and budgets, how to have the big and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with repeat donors and sponsors to grow relationships, and how to make the big asks. The combined knowledge of pitching, applying for grants, growing donor relationships, and finding creative ways to fund the “lowest-hanging fruit” will leave you with a toolkit of fund development tricks to return to your museum.

Meredith Maples-Gitter, Fairbanks Children’s Museum
Atiba Edwards, Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Hannah Hausman, Santa Fe Children’s Museum

Engagement Beyond Your Museum Can Flourish on Any Budget
Four diverse museums share how to implement community engagement models in unique and scalable ways. Discussion will center on building partnerships to create a range of programs offsite—from individual experiences to long-term engagements and permanent installations. Learn how to implement afterschool programs in schools, create successful mobile programs, and partner for long-term collaborative success outside the museum walls. Dive into logistics of building successful program models on any budget for any size museum. Gain an understanding of how to secure funding and organizational buy-in to think outside the box (literally!) and discover the reasons why you should.

Hilary Van Alsburg, Children’s Museum Tucson
Sylvia Doyle, Jackson Hole Children’s Museum
Dené Mosier, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
Tiffany Espinosa, Children’s Museum Houston          

Designing Children’s Exhibits to Support Family Engagement       
We have all seen an adult leading their child’s experience through the museum, directing them at each exhibit, then moving on before the child has the chance to explore. But what if the exhibit is designed for the adult to engage on a different aesthetic level, supplementary to the child-directed play? When done successfully, adult exhibit engagement frees the child to explore the space on their own while joyful adults are nearby for support. From artistic flourishes to thoughtful seating arrangements, an engaged adult experience can generate longer dwell times and increased observable behaviors related to play-based learning.

Conrad Meyers, Bay Area Discovery Museum
Rick Roth, Bay Area Discovery Museum
Kelly Hoke, The STEM Research Center at Oregon State University

Fostering Leadership Opportunities: Understanding Retention, Interdepartmental Skill-Building, and Honing Diversity                                                                   

Megan Kemmett, Imagine Children’s MuseumQuinn Schell, Imagine Children’s Museum

How do you create a culture that fosters leadership, cross-departmental growth, and a long-lasting employee base? In an era where employees are seeking out passion over pay, it is important to find ways to cultivate leaders within our organizations regardless of job title or position. Session attendees will discover effective strategies to work collaboratively across departments to support the organizational mission and foster growth among future leaders, while improving company culture and increasing employee retention.

Megan Kemmett, Imagine Children’s Museum
Quinn Schell, Imagine Children’s Museum