This blog is the place to exchange ideas, news, issues and thoughts about diversity and multiculturalism in museums. The Multicultural Initiatives Committee is a Texas Association of Museums Affinity Group.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Be Sure to Attend the Following Sessions while at the TAM meeting in Galveston!

Wednesday 8:45 – 10:00 am
Marketing to Spanish Speaking Audiences
This is a topic that will affect every museum in Texas. In less than ten years the Texas Commerce Department predicts more than 50% of Texans will speak Spanish as their primary language. At the same time Texas is blessed with increasing tourism from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. This program will address cultural misconceptions and stereotypes, as well as the issues, challenges and opportunities for Texas museums and what they can do to attract and provide meaningful exhibitions and programs for these expanding audiences.

Wednesday 10:30 – 11:45 am
Making Your Message Clear: Multilingual Signage
In our culturally diverse world, it is important to reach every person who comes through our museums' doors. This person may be a tourist from the other side of the world, or a local resident who speaks another language. In order to reach this audience, museum signage and interpretation may need to be in a language other than English. When is it necessary to translate signage? What should be translated? How do you create attractive and effective multilingual signage? How do you ensure that the translation is correct? This session will address these questions and any others you may have about making your museum truly multicultural!

Wednesday 3:45 – 5:00
Inventive Programs to Reach At-Risk Youth
Is your museum interested in using its resources to help at-risk youth make positive lifestyle choices and develop into productive citizens? Join us as we share methods and strategies that enable youth to communicate feelings, share life stories, explore creativity, express imagination, and discover latent talent within, using art, photography, writing, history and drama. Walk away with fresh new ideas to help you develop programs to reach out to this underserved yet critically important population of youth.

Wednesday 3:45 – 5:00
The National Scene: A Conversation with the Directors of IMLS and AAM
Following their general session talks, the heads of IMLS and AMM will sit down and discuss the major issues and challenges facing the U.S. museum field. Moderated by AAM Board member Howard Taylor, this informal discussion will give insight into the national initiatives and trends that affect our museums. It is also your opportunity to let our national leaders know what is happening in your community and the issues that are important to you. Come prepared to engage in this unique conversation with two important museum leaders who are both attending the TAM meeting for the first time.

Thursday 8:45 – 10:00
Does Your Board Reflect the Community You Serve? – Sadly, cancelled.

Thursday 3:00 – 4:15
Crossing Borders; Telling Lives: Fresh Ways to Create Dialog about Immigration in a Museum Context
In the 19th century, Galveston was known as "The Ellis Island of the West." Today, Texas cities still rank in the top ten for immigrant gateways into our nation. Throughout the state, museums and cultural institutions are searching for creative ways to engage their audiences around important issues of immigration--both in the past and present day—by providing a safe place for dialog, discussion, debate and sharing stories. Panelists will describe innovative projects at the Institute of Oral History in El Paso, the Galveston Historical Foundation, and the Texas State History Museum, then ask audience members to share concerns and approaches from their own museums.

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