The Mutual Concerns of Air and Space Museums conference brings together air and space museum professionals from around the world to discuss best practices in the field of aviation and aerospace. This bi-yearly conference is hosted by the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum and took place in Tucson, Arizona on November 2-6, with help from the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Katie Swaringen, SAM VP of Collections and Education, and Casey Moore, Collections Specialist, at the 2018 Mutual Concerns Conference in Tucson, AZ.
This year, SAM President Stephen Saucier and Collections Specialist Casey Moore attended for the first time, whereas VP of Collections and Education Katie Swaringen has been attending for years. All three SAM members presented on our organization’s collections concerns, organizational growth, and educational program development. In addition to these presentation opportunities, the conference gave SAM staff the chance to discuss best practices in collections stewardship with leading conservators in the field. SAM staff collaborated on ideas for improving education programming with a small staff and minimal budget, and discussed organizational growth and leadership. The SAM delegation also attended sessions on creating immersive exhibits and how to best start and manage an oral history program – an asset of preservation many museums are beginning to pursue.
This conference is a pivotal experience for anyone in the aviation and aerospace museum world, and SAM is thankful for the travel grant we received from the Arts and Science Council, which helped offset some of the cost of attending.