Professional Development

Opportunities for California museum workers

Updated September 17, 2019


Hosted by the American Alliance of Museums and other museum service organizations, this calendar lists opportunities for museum professionals.


NEW RESOURCE: THE INCLUSIVE HISTORIAN'S HANDBOOK This reference source supports inclusive and equity-focused historical work in public settings by sharing a knowledge base that invites more people to engage in history projects. This handbook provides concrete examples of how to make history work more relevant. It centers on equity, inclusivity, diversity, and public service while offering accessible windows into the many ways public historians work.


NEW TOOL FOR CHANGEMAKERS NOW AVAILABLE: BAY AREA EQUITY ATLAS The Bay Area Equity Atlas is a comprehensive data support system to track the state of equity across the region and inform solutions for inclusive prosperity as well as policy solutions and stories.


NEW REQUIRED HARASSMENT TRAINING FOR ALL STAFF Last year the California legislature passed SB 1343 expanding the requirement for who has to be trained on sexual (and other) harassment issues, largely in response to the #MeToo movement. Previously, only supervisors had to take the training, and it was only required for organizations with 50 or more staff. Now, it is required for all employees in organizations with 5 or more paid staff. The required training has to be completed by the end of 2019.



This report reveals that women of color encounter systemic obstacles to their advancement over and above the barriers faced by white women and men of color. Education and training are not the solution—women of color with high levels of education are more likely to be in administrative roles and are more likely to report frustrations about inadequate and inequitable salaries.


FREE DOWNLOAD: TRANSGENDER INCLUSION TOOLKIT FROM AAM LGBTQ ALLIANCE TASK FORCE The AAM LGBTQ Alliance’s Task Force for Transgender Inclusion recently released the Gender Transition and Transgender Inclusion in the Museum Workplace: A Toolkit for Trans Individuals, Institutions, and Coworkers. This expansive set of guides approaches trans inclusion from various perspectives in an approachable and easy-to-understand format.   


MUSEUMS 4 INCLUSION JOB FAIR – SEPTEMBER 18 (SF) The California Academy of Sciences is proud to host its annual networking and recruitment event for individuals with disabilities. The museum is seeking employers from all industries to exhibit at the event (free). Contact for more information and to register.


WEBINAR: INTRODUCING THE INCLUSIVE HISTORIAN'S HANDBOOK - SEPTEMBER 19 This webinar introduces The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook, a new digital resource co-sponsored by AASLH and the National Council on Public History launching in August 2019. Participants will be provided with an overview of the Handbook’s contents as well as suggestions for how to incorporate it into their practice.


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: CAM 2020 CREATIVE STATIONS - DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 20 Now, more than ever, museums are engaging their audiences through hands-on projects that highlight their mission or collection. Show the CAM community what your museum is doing by bringing your activity to the conference and presenting a Creative Station.


AAM 2020 CONFERENCE SESSION PROPOSALS – DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 23 Join the American Alliance of Museums in San Francisco May 17–20, 2020 to envision how the world will be better because of the work museums do in coming decades. In this future, museums will ally with other sectors to address intractable social and economic problems–who will we work with, and how? The call for proposals for the 2020 AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo is now open.


WEBINAR: UTILIZING COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUPS – SEPTEMBER 24 From grassroots organizations to large institutions, museum teams are increasingly engaging with community members to bring history to bear on the narratives told and to bring forward the value of local knowledge. This webinar will explore a range of current approaches, case studies, and lessons learned.


CONVERSATION: TAKING ACTION TOGETHER: EXPLORING THE MASS ACTION TOOLKIT – SEPTEMBER 26 (SF) Museums are not neutral. How can we work together within and between our institutions to actualize social justice? Join this conversation hosted at the California Academy of Sciences with two co-contributors to the Museum As Site for Social Action (MASS Action) Toolkit and dig into this collaborative resource. Bring your colleagues, share experiences and ideas, and chart a course for catalyzing change at your institution. Registrants 21+ are invited to stay and enjoy the Academy’s NightLife event.


ONLINE COURSE: INTRODUCTION TO FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – SEPTEMBER 30 Designed for staff and volunteers of all abilities and organizations of all sizes, this four-week course provides an accessible, clear, and even fun introduction to financial concepts. Topics include understanding expenses and income to how to establish an endowment.



The recently revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices. Basics of Archives is an AASLH Continuing Education online course September 30 – October 25, 2019 hosted in the online classroom.



Museums benefit from both the status and the process of accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Different benefits emerge from each step of the review cycle and continue to unfold over the long-term. AAM reviews applications on a rolling basis, with the next deadline approaching on October 1.


WMA 2019 ANNUAL MEETING – OCTOBER 4–7 (BOISE, IDAHO) The Western Museums Association's 2019 Annual Meeting takes place in Boise, Idaho on October 4-7 and is held in partnership with the Idaho Association of Museums. With the theme of ENGAGE, WMA 2019 will focus on the ways museums engage with their communities, staff, and other museums.


CALL FOR POSTER SUBMISSIONS: NATIONAL COUNCIL ON PUBLIC HISTORY 2020 ANNUAL MEETING – DUE OCTOBER 7 The NCPH poster session is a two-hour block of time at the annual meeting where presenters can share their projects with attendees in the form of a poster. It offers an alternative for presenters eager to share their work through one-on-one discussion, can be especially useful for works-in-progress, and may be a particularly appropriate format for presentations where visual or material evidence represents a central component of the project.


WEBINAR: WHAT IS THE HISTORY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE? – OCTOBER 7 The History Leadership Institute is the best professional development opportunity for mid- and advanced-career professionals at history organizations of all types and sizes. Interested applicants are invited to join Max van Balgooy, HLI Director, and John Marks, AASLH Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, for an informational webinar about new updates to the program, application requirements, and scholarship opportunities.


WEBINAR: IS YOUR ORGANIZATION READY FOR STEPS? – OCTOBER 9 StEPs is a self-study assessment program open to any museum, historical society, historic house, site, or related organization. It is intended for small- and mid-sized organizations that do not feel ready for other assessment programs, but larger museums may find it useful for prioritizing and as a refresher checklist or training tool.


WEBINAR: HISTORY CHECK-IN: CIVIL RIGHTS AND PLACE – OCTOBER 10 This webinar focuses on the importance of region to interpreting the Black Freedom Movement of the 1950s-60s. It is part of the History Check-In webinar series, a partnership between the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). Each webinar in this series is designed to provide history professionals from throughout the field with an update on the current state of historiography for a particular subject.


VISITOR EXPERIENCE GROUP'S DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION PROGRAM – DEADLINE OCTOBER 13 Help shape the future of visitor experience! The Visitor Experience Group (VEX) invites immediate applicants to the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Program which offers four Fellows complimentary registration to the VEX annual conference and ALL accompanying events and workshops (a $400 value). VEX’s DEI Fellows help identify and remove barriers to access, and set the tone for the field. For more information or to apply, please email


VISITOR EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE – OCTOBER 13–15 (PHILADELPHIA) Don't miss out on THE leading Visitor Experience Conference for museum and cultural organization professionals! Register now for VEX19 and join hundreds of colleagues in Philadelphia October 13-15, 2019. Keynote by Mar Dixon of #MuseumSelfie, #AskACurator, #MuseumWeek, #LoveTheatreDay fame. For more information and to sign up, please visit: Increasing access, adapting in changing times, tools for engaging staff from Millennials on up, and more!


AAMC FOUNDATION ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR INTERNATIONAL CURATORS – DEADLINE OCTOBER 24 The Association of Art Museum Curators is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Engagement Program for International Curators from both international and US-based curators working on or having worked within exhibitions and projects that explore historical art of the United States (c. 1500-1980). The Program provides a framework for a year-long partnership dedicated to professional development and exchange.


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: DIGITAL INITIATIVES SYMPOSIUM 2020 – DEADLINE NOVEMBER 22 The Digital Initiatives Symposium at the University of San Diego is accepting proposals for its full day conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. This year, they are especially interested in proposals from international applicants and/or proposals with international perspectives.


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: AASLH 2020 – DEADLINE DECEMBER 9 The 2020 AASLH Annual Meeting will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 23-26, with the theme What Kind of Ancestor Will You Be? "What will historians, history professionals, and history lovers say about us? Will they say that our generation was the one to lift the veil of division? Will they say that our generation focused on community interpretation that emphasized bringing proximity to differences as opposed to isolation?"


AASLH HISTORY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE – DEADLINE DECEMBER 15 Beginning June 2020, this AASLH seminar will include two weeks of online learning, followed by a two-week in-person experience. The virtual online component will allow the select group of Associates to engage in both live and asynchronous conversations around major questions and readings. Immediately following, Associates will convene in-person for a two-week residential seminar hosted by the Indiana Historical Society.



Get weekly professional development when you sign up for a JFKU online Museum Fundamentals class. Take one of three classes for Fall Quarter 2019:

  • Fundraising & Marketing with Michelle Powers, MA/MBA
  • Collections Management Basics with Ted Greenberg, MA
  • Museums 101, introductory course with Susan Spero, PhD

All courses offer twelve lessons that involve key concepts and discussions with the online instructor. Each course costs $350 ($300 for CAM members).

For questions about the courses or to receive more information about the program, contact Susan Spero at

CAM members receive 15% off registration - save $262 on the entire series! Each course costs $297.50 for CAM members or $350 for non-members. Contact CAM at to receive your discount.