The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) will hold its 152nd annual meeting this year on January 24 - 27, 2022. For the second year in a row, the meeting will be held virtually, out of an abundance of caution as the Covid-19 pandemic continues and the challenges of travel and large-scale in-person gatherings remain.
This year’s meeting features a keynote address by Isabel Wilkerson, speaking about issues raised in her recent book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which sought to look beyond some of the traditional distinguishing features of our society such as race and class, to identify the enduring power of a caste system that continues to have an impact on our lives. Among other things, Wilkerson’s book addresses the costs of a caste system, from increased rates of depression to lowered life expectancy particularly for certain segments of our society—elements that in turn have an impact on both the politics and culture in America.
Also featured at the meeting will be two sessions on conflict resolution and negotiation, led by Dr. Joshua N. Weiss, co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project. Over the last two years, organizations across the country—for-profit and not-for-profit alike—have experienced increasing tensions around the handling and direction of many issues, from pay scales and job security, to different approaches to addressing issues of race and racism (both past and present), to fundamental questions about organizational mission. For directors left to navigate between differing perspectives within an organization, understanding how to negotiate pathways forward and bring certain conflicts to a close is an important skill. Weiss, who has spoken and published on leadership, negotiation, mediation, and systemic approaches to dealing with conflict, consults with many different types of organizations, and regularly delivers negotiation and mediation trainings and courses.
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Crosby Kemper will speak about IMLS's work to implement the White House Executive Order of last March, which directed all federal agencies to consider ways to expand citizens' opportunities to register to vote and to obtain information about both voter participation and the electoral process. Director Kemper will discuss how IMLS can be most helpful to museums in undertaking this work.
In addition to AAMD’s regular schedule of committee meetings and affinity group convenings, museum director Lori Fogarty (Oakland Museum of California) will participate in a session with Judy Koke of the Institute for Learning Innovation on Reimagining the Docent Program and the Director’s Role. The session will explore approaches to reimagining docent programs as part of the museum’s responsibility to its community and the role of the director in ensuring a successful transformation. Other anticipated business includes a vote on the slate of AAMD’s incoming officers and trustees, which will be announced following the meeting.
AAMD’s 2022 opening keynote is generously sponsored in part by Hindman Auctions.
The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD has three desired outcomes: engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at www.aamd.org.
PAVE Communications and Consulting