The 2017 CAM Conference explored the responsibility individuals and museums take as leaders within their shared communities. Museums have a positive influence by taking actions that make a difference today and for the future. Communities look to museums as leaders to help set agendas that support their needs. Together we all serve as leaders to create stronger museums for a stronger California. Thank you to everyone who participated and was able to join us in Sacramento.  


2017 Conference Schedule

Influence & Action: Soft Power 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Soft Power and California Museums – Where to Find It and How to Use It 
8:00 AM- 9:30 AM, California Railroad Museum, Roundhouse, 125 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Presenters: Gail Dexter Lord, Co-president Lord Cultural Resources, and Ngaire Blankenberg, Principal Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources 

Soft power is defined as the ability to influence behavior through persuasion, attraction or agenda setting. How can museums and communities in California effectively partner to articulate, leverage and maximize their social, educational and civic soft power opportunities together? Join your colleagues for a lively day of thought-provoking and outcome-directed discussion kicked off with a Town Hall to whet your appetite for four themed session to follow. Lead and facilitated by Gail Lord and Ngaire Blankenberg, co-authors of the AAM bestseller “Cities, Museum and Soft Power,” the Town Hall will introduce the concept of soft power, explain how and why museums have it and provide motivation and inspiration for museums to embrace their potential role as positive catalysts for change.

Purchase Cities, Museums, & SoftPower HERE .


About the Speakers: 

Gail Dexter Lord is Co-President of Lord Cultural Resources, the world’s foremost largest cultural planning consultancy with offices in New York, Toronto, London, Mumbai and Beijing. The firm has undertaken more than 2200 assignments in 57 countries and 450 cities on 6 continents. Gail has collaborated with museums and communities all over the globe to create new kinds of institutions -- such as The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, the Lowry Center in the UK and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco – that promote synergies and partnerships to catalyze and engage a community’s soft power.

Ngaire Blankenberg is internationally recognized for her work planning innovative cultural spaces. As European Director and Principal Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources, Ngaire advises the private sector, governments and museums throughout the world on ways to develop their cultural assets for public benefit. Her clients include Parlamentarium of the European Parliament, National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Bihar Museum (India), and Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand. Adept at all aspects of cultural master planning, Ngaire is exceptionally talented in concept development, interpretive planning and learning programs, multimedia programs, and engaging communities in their development.

Following the Opening Town Ha
ll CAM will continue the discussion of soft power through a special conference track at the Crocker Art Museum.  Each of the sessions that follow – Museums, Communities and Safe Spaces; Balancing Culture & Economic Development; Museums as Catalysts for Social Change and Museums Pushing Educational Reform – expand upon the concepts introduced and explore in more detail different aspects of museums’ and communities’ soft power and its exercise. Featuring case studies and in-depth facilitated discussion on how communities and museums are amplifying civic discourse, accelerating cultural change and contributing to the livability of their communities, these sessions will offer practical strategies to activate soft power and build thriving and sustainable communities together.

Museums as Catalysts for Social Change
10:30 AM- 11:45 AM

Crocker Art Museum, Setzer Foundation Auditorium, 216 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Communities of all sizes around the globe grapple with social issues, such as racism, gender identity and discrimination, sexual orientation, religious expression and immigration. Museums can inspire us, and at times, even heal us, but when are they intentional agents of social change? Join us as we explore how museums have been requested to lead powerful positive change in their communities and inspire social justice.

Speakers: Betty Avila, Associate Director, Self Help Graphics & Art; Clint Curle, Senior Advisor to the President, Stakeholder Relations, Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Marianna Pegno, Associate Curator of Education, Tucson Museum of Art

We live in a divided nation and issues like racism, sanctuary cities, and immigration are further polarizing communities. Utilizing soft power, the Tucson Museum of Art has become a catalyst for social change through programming with refugee communities and looking beyond traditional audiences. Moving across the border, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights dealt with racism head-on when Winnipeg was branded as the most racist city in Canada. Explore how a museum can respond and engage their community in a discussion about social change.

Superintendent's Award Luncheon & Museums Pushing Educational Reform
12:00 PM- 1:30 PM

Embassy Suites Sacramento Terrace
Registration required, $50

Museums are foremost educational institutions and their commitment to lifelong learning is vast. Students of all ages and backgrounds learn about the past, the natural and cultural world and human creativity though unique museum experiences. The reach of a museum extends far beyond a field trip experience, however. Join us as the recipients of the sixth annual Superintendent's Award for Excellent in Museum Education, chosen for outstanding achievement in museum programs that serve K-12 students or educators, will be presented with their awards.  The competition is a joint project of CAM and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  The 2017 winners will receive their awards at this luncheon.  

Moderator: State Superintendent Tom Torlakson 

Panelists: Joely Proudfit, Director, California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center / Department Chair and Professor, American Indian Studies; Scott Ward, Executive Director, Armory Center for the Arts; Ryan Smith, Executive Director, The Education Trust-West

Explore how museums and community partners are training tomorrow’s leaders and creating resources to counteract historical bias, cultural appropriation and widespread stereotyping to improve education access across California. From working with incarcerated youth to providing a safe and welcoming place for students of color, we’ll discuss what holds education progress back and what pushes it forward. This interactive panel discussion will explore the multifaceted opportunities that exist to break down barriers and expand a bright future for California's youth.

Balancing Culture & Economic Development
1:45 PM- 3:00 PM

Crocker Art Museum, Setzer Foundation Auditorium, 216 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

How do communities balance economic growth with the desire to preserve the unique culture of a geographic region? What role can cities and museums play in maintaining and enhancing their communities’ cultural experiences? Join us as we explore case studies of cities, museums and community agencies working collaboratively to maintain the cultural vibrancy of their neighborhoods in the face economic development. 

Moderator: Craig Watson, Director, California Arts Council
Panelists: Anyka Barber, Fellow, San Francisco Foundation and Curator, Betti Ono Gallery; John Escheveste, CEO, La Plaza de Culturas y Artes; Gina Evans, Director of External Affairs, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

This session highlights the ways communities provide the social, cultural, spiritual and economic networks that support and sustain us. The San Francisco Foundation is increasing the capacity of arts and culture organizations to amplify the voices of the people, preserve the region’s rich cultural heritage, and build connections and understanding between diverse racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. Travel across the country to hear about how the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh has transformed their neighborhood park into an award-winning green space, how they empower others while balancing growth, and their work revitalizing an historic library to launch the Museum Lab, a collaborative-rich learning lab to test innovative approaches to improve education.

Museums, Communities and Safe Spaces
3:15 PM- 4:30 PM

Crocker Art Museum, Setzer Foundation Auditorium, 216 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Communities are constantly evolving and the gathering places on which people depend have dramatically changed over the past several decades. Many are looking for spaces in their community to serve a wide range of needs. How can museums and municipalities collaborate to create safe, accessible gathering spaces that are welcoming to diverse evolving communities?

Speakers: Lori Fogarty, Director & CEO, Oakland Museum of California; Rosie Lee Hooks, Director, Watts Tower Arts Center, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Historian, Chicago History Museum

Join us to explore how museums provide safe spaces for programming while expanding the audience within their communities. Each of these museums have diversified their audiences by providing new paths to engagement. Watts Tower in Los Angeles has provided over five decades of arts education and enrichment programs to several generations on their campus in the “Heart of Watts.” Travel across the country to the Chicago History Museum and discover how they're telling the story of the LGBTQ community with community partners and opening the doors to a previously overlooked audience. Providing a new kind of town square, the Oakland Museum of California has helped make community connections through programming and exhibits that push the envelope. 

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