Small Museum Association

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Small Museum Association 2021 Webinars

Museums Respond to Crisis

Our 2020/2021 Webinars have ended.  Recordings and handouts are available on the members-only page.  To become a member this year, you may make a donation of any amount. Click here to donate.

Please consider making a donation of any amount, to help SMA continue to fulfill our mission and provide much-needed support to those in our field! Click here to make a donation.  Your donation will include a year-long SMA membership.


Past Webinars

Virtual Programs: Tips and Tricks on the Cheap!

Friday, March 5, 2021 

Many organizations have had to adapt to creating virtual programs and content with little to no professional equipment and little to no video editing experience. While I claim to be no videographer, I am happy to share tips and tricks I've learned in creating virtual programs for my site as well as helpful add-ons to the virtual program.

About the Presenter

Alli Schell

Alli Schell is the Director of Public Programs at the Marshall Steam Museum in Yorklyn, Delaware. She currently serves on the SMA’s Board of Directors and has been involved with the organization for over 7 years. In her spare time she serves as Chair of another museum, Greenbank Mills and Philips Farm in Wilmington, Delaware.


 Raising Funds During the Pandemic

Friday, February 5, 2021

Fund Raising is a needed component of all non-profits. This Webinar will discuss strategies on how to fundraise during the Pandemic. Participants will also see how the Brunswick Heritage Museum raised over $40,000 for capital projects during the pandemic. 

About the Presenter

        James R. Castle

James R. Castle was born and raised in the Brunswick/Knoxville area of Frederick County, Maryland. Instead of television or radio, James entertained and educated himself by listening to the stories of his family members and of the elders of his community. Weekends would find James looking for arrow points or digging for bottles from old abandoned dump sites. James played baseball as a child and began coaching in Brunswick Little League at age 14. He later served as President of the league. After graduating from Brunswick High School in 1995, James opened up a business in Brunswick. He began volunteering at the Brunswick Museum which he now serves as President. Mr. Castle began volunteering with the City of Brunswick as an Economic Development Commissioner, a parade volunteer, the City’s Recreation Commission, and the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Castle was elected to the Brunswick City Council in 2000 and again in 2004. After leaving the Council in 2005, Castle was self employed in the grants management field and then took a position as the Town Clerk of Williamsport, MD. He then returned to Brunswick in the Planning & Zoning Department. James later served as a Project Manager for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. He now works for the Federal Government. James currently resides in Brunswick, MD with his wife, Monica and their four cats. He also metal detects, researches, writes, and investigates the paranormal. Known as a source on Brunswick area history, James conducts much research on families and properties in the area.

     SMA Social Justice Coffee Hour

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Meet with other SMA members for an informal, facilitated discussion of a current social justice-themed news article.  Vote for your favorite article on SurveyMonkey; the top-rated piece will be the focus of our event. 

About the Presenter

        Sarah Rauscher

Sarah Rauscher has been in small museum and non-profit administration for over ten years. She started at a small maritime and naval museum as an educator and was promoted to the Education Department Coordinator after several years. She feels this move gave her the experience to back up advocating for the needs of the front-line staff with administration and facilities. After her museum closed and laid off staff indefinitely due to COVID-19, she was able to pivot to non-profit administration at the regional zoo. She feels the variety of experience gained at a small museum led directly to being able to maintain support for numerous departments in her new role as a Business Administrator. She is a board member of the Small Museum Association.

Kailin Thomas

Kalin Thomas is an award-winning, multimedia storyteller who gets geeked about cultural heritage tourism, traditions and preservation. Her passion is telling the stories of African American and multicultural heritage sites, museums and cultural centers through her skills in writing, museum programming and tour planning. The former program director for The Wren's Nest helped tell the story of Georgia’s oldest house museum and its preservation of African and African American folktales. Kalin is also a former producer and on-air correspondent for CNN, where her tourism storytelling took her to six continents, including Antarctica, which is why she agrees with the Mark Twain quote: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. She is a member of the Baltimore Association of Black Journalists and a board member of the Small Museum Association and the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center.

Time to Think Big: Inspire! Grants for Small Museums

Friday, November 6, 2020 

Have you heard the big news for small museums? Get inspired during this session from IMLS as senior program officer, Reagan Moore, shares information about a funding opportunity for small museums, Inspire! Grants for Small Museums, which is designed to encourage small museums to apply for and implement projects that address priorities identified in their strategic plans. Project activities can include planning, professional development, collections care and digitization, exhibition design and fabrication, community programming and much more. Though there will be an emphasis on Inspire!, Ms. Moore will also share details about other IMLS funding opportunities and initiatives.


About the Presenter

Reagan Moore, Senior Program Officer, IMLS

Reagan Moore is a Senior Program Officer in the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). She is the program officer for the Inspire! Grants for Small Museums program and works most directly with the Lifelong Learning portfolio across all OMS programs, providing support to both applicants and grantees in early learning and K-12 in- and out-of-school time. Prior to joining IMLS in 2004, she worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an archaeologist. Ms. Moore received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from James Madison University and her master’s degree in Museum Studies from George Washington University.


Budgeting in Times of Crises and Uncertainty 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

How do you predict your budget when everything is unpredictable? We will walk through the process of designing the best case, worst case, and most likely budget to help you make financial decisions in challenging times. 


About the Presenter

Cindy Bergvall of Bee, Bergvall & Co

Cindy provides strategic consulting, audit, and accounting services to businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities. She enjoys employing financial modeling and business planning to help her clients achieve their strategic goals.


Digital Camps: A Learning Experience for Both Campers & Staff

Friday, September 18, 2020

Learn how The Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio turned their traditional 8 week summer day camp into a 6 week "Camp in a Box" adventure, with an online component utilizing both zoom and google classroom. Hear what worked and what really, really didn't during this unprecedented time. The session will conclude with an open ended discussion on reaching children from under-served backgrounds for virtual programming in light of technological accessibility concerns.


About the Presenter

Abbie Wilson, Director of Education, The Dawes Arboretum

For over 10 years, Abbie Wilson has worked in museums, parks, and historic sites. She has previously coordinated programs and developed educational experiences at The Mount; Edith Wharton's Home, The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, and The First State Heritage Park; Delaware State Parks. She is a 2013 graduate of The Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. Currently, she serves as Director of Education at The Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio, where she oversees programming for visitors of all ages, including k-12 field trips, lectures, workshops, tours, hikes, and drop-in experiences.


How to Participate

SMA Members can access webinar materials by logging in here: SMA 2021 Webinars

Our 2021 webinars will be hosted via Zoom. When you register on Eventbrite, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link and passcode for the session.

Please consider making a donation of any amount, to help SMA continue to fulfill our mission and provide much-needed support to those in our field!

A note from SMA President, Derek Finn: As we approach the first of our virtual conference webinars, we wanted to provide an update to how our membership will function this year.  In years past, a conference attendee received a complimentary membership.  As we will not have an in person conference in 2021, we’ve decided to extend the membership of our 2020 conference attendees by one year.  And while we have decided to provide free registration to our webinars this year, those who choose to donate will also receive a complimentary membership.  Members will have access to our members-only portions of the SMA website, which include video-recordings of a selection of conference sessions, as well as any resources our conference presenters share from their sessions, including Power Points, sample documents, and more.  

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