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I’m on a plane, flying to Baltimore for the 2013 American Alliance of Museums conference. It’s the largest meeting of museum professionals in the United States; it will draw 5,000 of us from around the country and internationally. This year’s conference is jam-packed with interesting sessions and events. Here are a few on my personal schedule that you might want to know about:

  • Is it Real? Who cares? I’m honored to be joining the superstar team of Judy Gradwohl, Darcie Fohrman, Steve Lubar, and Roy Campbell to explore the nature of artifacts and authenticity, with a ton of audience participation. (Sunday 3:30-4:45)
  • Museums & Creative Practice Meet-up Linda Norris and I have planned this informal event to talk about creativity in museums. We’re bringing our art supplies for a fun activity while we talk. (Monday, details TBD after we scope out the logistics of the Baltimore Convention Center—contact me at raineytisdale@gmail.com or @raineytisdale for more info. 10:15-noon, at the seating by the Starbucks near convention registration)
  • Tragedies as Educational Platforms for Museums Stemming from my work with the Boston Marathon bombings, I’m looking forward to a chance to attend this timely session organized by colleagues from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Project Rebirth, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum about museum responses to tragedy. (Tuesday 10:15-11:30)
  • City History Museums: Canaries in a Coal Mine? Lynn McRainey (Chicago History Museum), Cynthia Robinson (Journal of Museum Education) and I will be talking about new museum models that innovative city museums in Europe and North America are developing to better serve their urban audiences. It’s based on the “City Museums and Urban Learning” themed issue of the Journal of Museum Education that I guest-edited earlier this year. Because this session addresses emerging trends in the museum field, the Center for the Future of Museums has highlighted it as part of the “Guide to the Future at the Annual Meeting” digital badging project. (Tuesday 3:15-4:30)

At these sessions and more, I’m looking forward to meaningful conversations with my colleagues about making museums better.

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