The Texas Association of Museums held their Annual Meeting in Houston, April 18 - 21, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Houston First Corporation was one of the many sponsors of this conference that brought approximately 500 museum professionals from all over the state for three days of networking, workshops, talks and presentations on a variety of current topics related to the museum field, as well as to non-profit management, tourism promotion and audience development. The meeting had not been held in Houston in over ten years. It was a wonderful opportunity for the cultural community to show off our city to those who work everyday to improve cultural attractions across Texas.
Because the conference took place in the home of the world's largest medical center, the theme this year was Taking the Pulse of Museums and focused on not only organizational health, but also personal health and taking care of those who take care of these important institutions. The Houston Health Museum organized a health fair one afternoon with cholesterol screenings, blood pressure checks, chair massages and even a room filled with therapy dogs, to remind attendees how important reducing stress and maintaining good health is for everyone.
Attendees visited ten museums at evening events and during pre/post conference tours, including The Museum of African American Culture, Asia Society, Jung Center, as well as larger institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The keynote speakers for the conference included authors Joan Baldwin and Anne W. Ackerson, discussing their recently published book – “Women in Museums: Lessons from the Workplace,” as well as Catherine Roberts and Danielle Wilson presenting on the preservation of Houston’s Historic Freedman’s Town. Roberts and Wilson discussed successes and challenges associated with preserving a historic site in an urban environment along with their recent efforts to register Freedman’s Town as a UNESCO Slave Route Project site.
Houston First employees attended the conference and were on site to help attendees explore our great city during their visit.