NCMC 2017 Annual Meeting

“Bridging the Gap: Strengthening Relations With Communities”
                     March 26-27, 2017, Wilmington, NC


Sessions Held at Hilton Wilmington Riverside


Career Lab for Students and New Professionals

Sharon Robinson- Museum Manager, Wells Fargo History Museum Charlotte
Kyle Bryner-Registrar and Collections Manager, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley 

Looking for advice on starting your career or to move you to the next level? In this lively and interactive seminar led by seasoned professionals, learn how to improve your job search & interview skills as well as your cover letter and resume. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss on-the-job issues & how these can harm or help you. Plenty of handouts and takeaways to reference as you prepare for that first or hundredth interview. Bring your resume, questions & sense of fun!

Leadership Forum: Making Analytics Work For You

Max van Balgooy

In today's increasingly competitive environment, your museum can benefit from some of the analytic tools used in major businesses. Whether your museum is large or small, you can improve its strategic position through such tools as the Double-Bottom Line Matrix and a Five Forces Analysis. In this workshop, you'll understand the theory and practice applying it to your institution so that you'll know the specific areas that require rethinking and focus when you return to the office.

Max van Balgooy-President, Engaging Places, LLC, Part-Time Faculty, George Washington University Museum Studies Program

Offsite Activities and Special Tours


NC Aquarium


Behind the Scenes Tour at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

11:15am Free for NCMC Conference Attendees.

Battleship NC


Hidden Battleship Tour

1:00pm Free for NCMC Conference Attendees.

Bellamy Mansion

Bellamy Mansion Logo

Restoring the Slave Quarters, 1970s-Today

1:30 and 3:30pm. Limit 35 people.

Additional Option: Take the Guided House Tour at 2:00pm or 4:00pm.Reduced rate for the guided house tour for conference attendees throughout the weekend ($10 adults, $5 students).

Cape Fear Museum

Cape Fear Museum Logo

Behind the Scenes Collections Tour

2:00 pm Behind the Scenes Tour with Curator Barbara Rowe.  Limit 15 people.

1898 Wilmington Race Riots Tour led by LeRae Umfleet

2:00pm 1898 Tour with LeRae Umfleet. Limit 20 people

Burgwin-Wright House

Burgwin Wright Logo

Behind the Scenes Restoration/Archives Tour

11:00am and 1:00pm Free Behind the Scenes Tours. Limit 12 per tour.
House tours at 10am, 12pm, 2pm at a discounted rate of $10 with NCMC Conference Name Badge

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society: Latimer House Museum

Lattimer House Logo

Latimer House Museum Tour

11:00am and 1:00pm Tours of the Latimer House, discounted rate of $10 for conference attendees. Limit 10 per tour.

Additional Option:  2:00pm-3:30 pm Free Guided Walking Tour of the Historic District. Tour begins at the Latimer House, 126 South Third Street. Limit 30 people.

Wilmington RailRoad Museum

Wilmington RR Logo

Tour the Museum

Sunday, 1:00-5:00pm and Monday, March 27, 10:am-4:00pm Free admission with NCMC Conference Name Badge.



Evening Program @ Expo 216

Conference attendees are invited to an opening reception at Expo 216.  Expo 216 is a non-profit, specialty museum incorporating over 5,000 square feet of a newly renovated building in historic downtown Wilmington, N.C.  A “gallerium”, Expo 216 is part museum, part gallery that combines informative panels, commissioned art and gallery pieces (for sale) created by local and national artists around a central theme. View exhibits and enjoy refreshments as you network with colleagues.

 Expo 216


Networking on your own


8:00 – 9:00am


9:00 – 9:30am

Section Meetings

10:00 – 11:00am

Drop-In Mentoring Located in the Vendor Hall

Have a question but you aren't sure who to ask? Getting close to graduation? Need a new job? Love your job but something's gotta give? Just looking for a little advice or guidance about the profession? Good news! Mentors are waiting with answers! No need to call ahead or register for anything, just drop in while perusing the vendor hall. And if you find once you get there what you really need is a hug, we'll find one of those for you, too.

9:45 – 10:30am

Using Journey Mapping to Create a Seamless Visitor Experience

Max van Balgooy- President, Engaging Places, LLC, Part-Time Faculty-George Washington University Museum Studies Program

The visitor's experience at your museum doesn't start in your exhibits, but in their home. Hotels, airlines, and other businesses are using journey maps to understand and improve the customer experience and you'll learn how this technique can be applied at your museum.

Interactive Museum Exhibits Utilizing a Raspberry Pi

Gary Rohrer-Manager of Information Systems at Old Salem Museums & Gardens

This session focuses on the possibilities offered by an affordable Raspberry Pi computer as a hub for an interactive exhibit in a museum. Old Salem's renovations of the Doctor House prompted a reassessment of exhibits and interpretation. This process determined that there should be three exhibits with an interactive component to engage visitors along with traditional exhibit artifacts and panels. The first exhibit would feature the music of Salem. A second exhibit would focus on the medicinal gardens of Salem and the final interactive exhibit would include the stories about the night watchman in Salem.

Utilizing the affordable and flexible Raspberry Pi computer along with a BrightSign digital signage device Old Salem was able to meet the challenges of the 3 exhibits and provide an exciting experience for the museum guests. The session showcases the technology & construction utilized in the exhibit and demonstrates the flexibility and affordability of the devices.

About Gary:Gary Rohrer has been with Old Salem Museums and Gardens for over 15 years as Manager of Information Systems. His duties normally include upkeep of all the computer workstations, retail POS terminals, servers and networking hardware, and enterprise applications which run behind the scenes to support the museum and its staff. Gary has always been a builder & tinkerer and the Doctors House exhibits have allowed him to bring his multidisciplinary skills together. From design ideas to fabrication of exhibit components, to electronic assembly to computer programming and final installation these exhibits have involved extensive research and planning.

Museums and New Media: A Love-Hate Relationship

Kaytee Smith-Digital Marketing Specialist, NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources

From websites and blogs to social networking, millions of visitors experience the museum on-screen in addition to, or instead of, in person. Digital interaction has become increasingly integral to a Museum’s educational activities and interaction with its visitors. Unfortunately, many museums do not have a digital strategy in place or are unsure how to implement an existing one. This session will explore trends in new media, how museums can embrace them, and the challenges of doing so.

About Kaytee:I am the Digital Marketing Specialist for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and I have been in the museum field for over ten years. I serve as the departmental social media manager, and play a key role in maximizing the effectiveness of the department's website and other digital marketing initiatives. I have a special interest in using new media for storytelling and public engagement.

Always More to be Done! How One Arts and Science Museum Reached an Underserved Community

Alicyn Wiedrich, Arts Curator at City of Rocky Mount
Sheila Long, Supervisor for Programming, Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences

Raising visitation rates and engagement in an under served community is a challenge. How did one Art and Science Museum bring in audiences over and over again? And how can other museums learn from one institution's success? This session will focus on how an art and science museum increased visitation, awareness, and engagement with families, schools, and the black community in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. We hope that you'll take away an understanding that reaching your unique community is an ongoing and ever changing process.

About Alicyn: Alicyn Wiedrich has been the Arts Curator for the Maria V. Howard Arts Center at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences in Rocky Mount, North Carolina for over two years. She is also Art Section Chair of the North Carolina Museum Council and the President of Preservation Rocky Mount. Wiedrich found success early on in Rocky Mount by making connections to the black community and combining the city-wide enthusiasm for history with the arts.

10:45– 11:30am

Coffee Break and Networking in the Vendor Hall

11:30 – 12:15pm

Women's Forum: A Discussion of Issues Affecting Women in Museums

Dale Pennington- Executive Director, Korner’s Folly Foundation 
Jennifer Farley- West Region Supervisor, NC State Historic Sites, Dept. of Natural & Cultural Resource
Edith Brady- Executive Director, High Point Museum
Janine Bryant- Community Engagement Specialist Formerly of the Levine Museum of the New South

It’s no secret that the museum field is largely dominated by women. Yet, there are inequities and distinct issues we face. From the wage gap, to the glass ceiling, to work-family balance, there issues that uniquely effect women. Join us for a discussion about these and other real-world issues where women have tried to bridge the gap professionally and personally.

From None to 22—Creating a Student Docent Program From Scratch

David Serxner - Volunteer Coordinator for Programming and Education at Historic Hope Foundation

In 2015 Historic Hope Plantation, a private house museum in Windsor, NC, began a partnership with the Bertie Early College High School to train a group of high school juniors and seniors to work with Hope’s revived and revised Living History Day Programs offered to the Bertie County Schools. Twenty two students learned the different aspects of creating, implementing, and managing a successful series of Living History Day Programs and have helped Bertie County students learn about the rich history of northeastern North Carolina. The staff at Hope also learned how to work with the students and the school administration. Using this program as a starting point, Hope has continued to work with the Bertie County School system to create more student-focused learning opportunities.

About David: David Serxner is the Volunteer Coordinator for Programming and Education at Historic Hope Plantation, in Windsor, North Carolina. He joined the team at Hope in 2010. David’s programs vary from harvest festivals and ghost stories to fine arts lectures and book readings. He designed and coordinates Hope’s annual Living History Day programs.David is also responsible for managing the artifact collections owned by the Historic Hope Foundation. David earned his BA in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds an MA in Public History/Museum Studies from North Carolina State University. He is active in ALFAM, the Slave Dwelling Project, AAM, and AASLH.

(Re-)Establishing Community Connections & Relevance:  Recent Initiatives in North Carolina

Jon Zachman - Curator of Collections, Greensboro History Museum
Nancy Pennington - Associate Curator, NC Museum of History

Fact: Museums must engage emerging and estranged communities. Innovative programs and other types of community collaboration nurture positive relationships, and dispel questions about relevance with feelings of connectedness, belonging, and even a sense of pride among the community.

This session highlights recent efforts at the Greensboro History Museum and the North Carolina Museum of History that respond to these questions: How can museums (re-)establish relationships with communities that do not feel a sense of connection? And how do museums cultivate new relationships with communities that question your relevance?

A temporary exhibition at the Greensboro History Museum, Warnersville: Our Home, Our Neighborhood, Our Stories focused on a local African American neighborhood that began after the Civil War and was all but destroyed a century later by urban renewal. Confronting the emotionally-charged and largely undocumented history of this neighborhood required novel approaches, especially in thinking of this exhibit as for, not just about this particular community. This collaboration required risk taking, rethinking of traditional curatorial roles, and thoughtful consideration of "authority," and "exhibit voice". In the end, the most important outcomes were new relationships and meaningful connections with local African Americans, not the actual exhibition.

Engaging the Latino/a American population also demands creative and original approaches to programs both within and beyond the walls of the North Carolina Museum of History (NCMOH). Spearheaded by the Education Section staff, the North Carolina Latino/a Outreach Initiative cultivates relationships with the state's growing Latino American community. With funds from a ALA/Humanities Council grant, educators and other NCMOH staff built on existing relationships by developing new program types, introducing experimental collaborations, and expanding outreach to new audiences and experts at new venues. This project culminated with a temporary exhibit about a local soccer team’s challenges, growth, and state victory.

Attendees will gain insight into potential pitfalls and learn strategies for bridging gaps between their institution and a specific community. Demonstrated benefits of these and similar collaborations include positive institutional perceptions, increased cultural awareness & sensitivity, and meaningful community relationships based on trust, mutual respect and understanding.

About Jon: I am employed at the Greensboro History Museum, where since 2000 I've worked on numerous exhibitions and other projects including several recognized by NCMC, SEMC and AALSH. I held an adjunct appointment in History Department at UNC-G, where until recently I taught a graduate level course on Curation & Collections Management for Public History students. Prior to 2000, I worked at the Richmond History Museum in Virginia, and before that the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
About Nancy: I have taught groups at all age levels, created museum theatre programs, designed and presented craft programs for children and families, trained volunteers, run summer camps, written and compiled evaluations, and cleaned up after it all. Some of the best (and most invigorating) work I have done has been in collaboration with others-especially to increase access to the museum and to widen the range of voices heard there. I have an MA in US History from UNC-Chapel Hill, and 22 years of experience in the museum field.

How to Listen

Christopher Graham - Guest Curator, American Civil War Museum
Andrew W. Mellon - Guest Curator, American Civil War Museum
Angela Thorpe – Historic Interpreter II, James K. Polk Birthplace State Historic Site

To pursue deeper relationships with the communities in which we reside, members of Listening NC/VA have employed “listening sessions,” a tool created by Janine Bryant and the Levine Museum of the New South. Listening to our audiences assumes that museums should be essential to a community’s sense of self and responsive to a variety of needs. Relationship based responsiveness are key to sustainability. This panel will offer three case studies of listening sessions, from the American Civil War Museum, Reed Gold Mine, and Polk Birthplace, discuss our process and results, and offer best practices guidelines based on our experiences.

12:15 – 1:30pm

Lunch and Business Meeting

1:30 – 2:30pm

NCMC Advocacy Session With Local Representatives

Michael Scott – Curator of Education, High Point Museum

Learn the who, what, where, when, and how to communicate with your representatives on the state and federal level by sitting down and meeting with representatives invited from local legislative offices around the state. Learn what kind of help they can offer you and what you can do for them to make sure that your museum can stay part of the conversation. Remember, “If you don't have a seat at the table, you might be on the menu” isn’t always true, but it’s still best to have that seat.

NCMC Board Listening Session

NCMC Board Members

Come meet with the NCMC board to hear about their vision for the future of NCMC, ask questions, and find out how to become active with the organization.

Recruiting and Sustaining a Strong Board

William Hinman, CFRE, MBA – President at William Hinman Consulting

Over the past two decades, the number of non-profits in America has more than tripled, from 400,000 to more than 1.3 million. That's a lot of competition for funding, publicity, visitation, volunteers, space - and board members! Learn how you can identify, recruit, and retain community leaders who can help you propel your museum to the top of the pack. The presenter, a veteran museum director, board member, and non-profit consultant (and former president of NCMC), will share practical tips, techniques, and insights based on 40 years' experience and expertise. Much of the session will be devoted to addressing attendees' particular concerns or challenges, developing a lively case study approach toward making your board exactly what you need it to be to fulfill your institution's vision.

About William:  39 years of non-profit & consulting experience
Master of Business Administration & Master of Arts degrees
CFRE (Certified Fund-Raising Executive, since 1993)
2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for Professional Fundraising by the NC Triad Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals
Former president of: North Carolina Museums Council
Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies
Wachovia Historical Society
North Carolina Triad Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals
Reynolda Rotary Club
Associated Visitor Attractions of Forsyth CountyFormer museum director (Historic Bethabara Park) and assistant director of education and interpretation (Old Salem).

Local History to Global Community: Connecting Museums to the World

Ernest Dollar - Executive Director, Raleigh Museum

Local museums often look no farther than their own backyards to when community connections. But in a world that is getting smaller through globalization and the far reach of the internet, museums now have the ability to forge international relationships that can ultimately strengthen local outreach. Sharing success stories from the City of Raleigh Museum, Director Ernest Dollar will offer suggestions to help North Carolina museums connect with the wider world as well as those in their own communities.

About Ernest:  Ernest Dollar began working in historic sites in 1993 after completing his B.A. in History and B.F.A. in Design from U.N.C. Greensboro. Ernest has worked in several historic parks in both North and South Carolina. In 2006, he completed his M.A. in Public History from N.C. State and has served as the Executive Director of the Orange County Historical Museum, Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, and is currently with the City of Raleigh Museum since 2012.

2:30 – 3:30pm

Drop-In Mentoring Located in the Vendor Hall

Have a question but you aren't sure who to ask? Getting close to graduation? Need a new job? Love your job but something's gotta give? Just looking for a little advice or guidance about the profession? Good news! Mentors are waiting with answers! No need to call ahead or register for anything, just drop in while perusing the vendor hall. And if you find once you get there what you really need is a hug, we'll find one of those for you, too.