Pre-Conference Dinners

7:00PM- 9:00PM


Directors Dinner

The Museum as Phoenix: Stories from the Santa Rosa Fires
Last October was a deadly and devastating month for Northern California communities and, as recently as December, Southern California.   Multiple wildfires fueled by strong winds prompted mass evacuations, burned more than 245,000 acres and 8,900 structures, and was responsible for 43 deaths. Along with their communities, museum personnel experienced crippling fear and loss. Join us at the Director's Dinner to hear two stories from the front lines of the most destructive series of wildfires in California's history, what they would have done differently, and how museums are helping these communities heal and rebuild. Speakers: Nikki Lim, Executive Director, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center; Linda Keaton, Executive Director, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art; Celeste DeWald, Executive Director, California Association of Museums

CAM Board President Michaeleen Gallagher will present the CAMMY Award.  This annual award  recognizes extraordinary museum supporters, professionals, and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to California Museums. 

Offering three locations, Palm Springs Art Museum creates transformative experiences that expand our understanding of ourselves and the world. Our collections, exhibitions, and programs connect people to the art and culture of our community and time. We inspire reflection and renewal for local, national, and global audiences.  Palm Springs Art Museum features an engaging, world-class collection of art and design at the main location and at the Architecture and Design Center (both buildings designed by E. Stewart Williams) located in downtown Palm Springs. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert features unique exhibitions and a celebrated sculpture garden. 

The Directors Dinner is open to museum professionals at the Director level or above.

Cost: $60
Location: Palms Springs Art Museum, 101 N. Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262


Salad- Simple Greens Salad- Hand selected baby lettuces, fresh herbs, lemon vinaigrette, and rose petals (V/GF)

Maple and Sage Roasted Root Vegetables (Vegan)- Butternut squash, celery root, sweet potato, Spanish onion, fig and caramelized onion in a crisp phyllo, coconut maple and sage
Apricot Chicken (Gluten Free) - Apricot Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar, fresh herbs, thyme served with brown rice and vegetable tower

Coachella Lime Pie


Dialogue Dinners

Open to all and a great way to meet new people, Dialogue Dinners are social dinners focused around “hot” museum topics. Each dinner has no more than 10 people so they provide an intimate background to build your network, meet new people and explore relevant issues facing the museum field.

Cost: $45, pre-registration required 
Location: Lulu California Bistro, 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Salad: Mixed Field Greens Salad (GF/V)
Cherry tomatoes, oranges, and chickpeas/garbanzo
beans topped with won-tons, with orange vinaigrette
Entree Choice of: 
Grilled Filet of Fresh Wild Salmon (GF) 
Served with champagne Dijon beurre blanc, rice pilaf and fresh seasonal vegetables
Chicken Florentine (GF)
Chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach in a mushroom sauce, served with mashed red skin potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables 
Pasta Primavera (GF/Vegan)
Gluten-free penne pasta with fresh seasonal vegetables tossed with garlic & extra virgin olive oil

Dessert: Triple Chocolate Cake (GF)

Always Learning - Successful Volunteer Engagement
Museum Operations (Human Resources, Accounting, Guest Operations)
Facilitator: Deirdre Araujo, Manager Volunteer Engagement, Exploratorium
Have you been asked to add volunteer supervision to your regular duties? Are you a career veteran looking for community? Join attendees who work with volunteers in a variety of settings to identify potential barriers and opportunities for successful engagement on any level. Deirdre Araujo is a national board member of the American Association for Volunteers in Museums with 25 years experience in the field.

Engaging your Unique Tour Audience
Public Programs (Education, Outreach, Research, Evaluation)
Facilitator: Alexandra Kowalski, Membership and Tour Coordinator, Sacramento History Museum
Every guided tour group is comprised of individuals with different experiences, interests, and reasons for being there. How do you engage each unique audience in an interactive way? This discussion seeks to create a “bag of tricks” that tour guides can draw from and customize for each tour group to create a memorable and immersive tour.

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot!: Engagement Tips Inspired by Hamilton
Facilitator: Michelle Powers, Independent Consultant, Independent Consultant
Since opening on the Broadway stage in August 2015, Hamilton has been an unprecedented success with music, choreography, and outreach that extend beyond the walls of the theatre. How can museums take lessons learned from the Hamilton phenomenon and apply them to our field? This Dialogue Dinner will discuss strategies for engagement and activation from the hit musical.

Collections Conundrums
Facilitator: Joy Tahan Ruddell, Museum Collections and Registration Specialist, JTR Collections Management
Need to talk a confusing cataloging project through? Want advice on a sticky ethical or legal collections issue? Find something in your collection you don't know how to store? Join your fellow collections and registration colleagues to talk about issues we are all facing in our jobs today. Together we can help you solve your current collections conundrum (or at least commiserate about it!).

Engaging Our Youngest Audience: Partnering for Success

Public Programs (Education, Outreach, Research, Evaluation)
Facilitator: Lauren Kaye, Chief Officer of Learning Environments, Kidspace Children's Museum
Interested in growing your early childhood audience and creating more meaningful experiences for them?  Come exchange ideas about different ways to partner with Early Childhood professionals and organizations and hear about one museum’s growing partnership which has benefited both institutions and helped them achieve a stronger foothold in the community.

Trends in Marketing
External Affairs (Development, Membership, Marketing and Public Relations)
Facilitator: Mara Naiditch, Director of Marketing, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Want to learn more about influencer marketing?  Join Mara Naiditch of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for a discussion over dinner to learn the power of influencer marketing and hear how NHMLA has used this approach to successfully increase audience attendance and social media engagement, while helping its visitors connect more personally and authentically with the NHM Family of Museums.

Trends in Membership
External Affairs (Development, Membership, Marketing and Public Relations)
Facilitator: Kimberly Roberson Kirkhart, Director of Membership, Santa Barbara Zoo
Join Kimberly Roberson Kirkhart of the Santa Barbara Zoo for a discussion over dinner about the latest membership trends at museums, zoos, and botanical gardens.