Conference & Annual Meeting

Guest Speakers

NMA is excited to announce special guests speakers Steve Friesen and Monte Lee Dakin of Friesen/Dakin Museum Consulting of Littleton, CO.

Keynote Address by Steve Friesen:

“Museums: Cornerstones of Communities.” A great idea. You may believe it but does your community? Or is it just something we “museum people” tell ourselves to justify our existence. Steve Friesen will discuss the theme of this year’s conference based on his 40 plus years working in museums. He will include observations of those factors which can make museums critical players in their communities as well as areas where museums fail to rise to the challenges of being cornerstones.
Steve Friesen received his MA in American Folk Culture from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in 1976 and has worked in museums ever since. In 2017 he retired from his position as director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave after 22 years of service. He currently consults for museums with his wife Monta Lee Dakin. He and Dakin recently co-authored a chapter on small historic house museums in Reimagining Historic House Museums, an AASLH publication. Friesen has written other articles about museum topics as well as presented sessions at Mountain-Plains Museums Association, Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums, AASLH and AAM. He is also the author of several award-winning books.

Joint Session with Dakin and Friesen


This session will present the top 7 practices that define a successful small museum and the 7 pitfalls that can kill it.  Get advice from contributors to a new book that offers solutions for the most common challenges facing today’s small museums, historic house museums and historic sites.   Topics will cover such things as customer service, collegiality, signage, return visitation, and use of interactives. Come ready to add your thoughts and get help with specific challenges you are facing in a group discussion following the presentations. Presenters:  Steve Friesen and Monta Lee Dakin, Partners, Friesen/Dakin Museum Consulting, Littleton, CO.

Half-Day Photograph Collection Workshop
Monday, April 12, 9am-12pm

Karen Keehr, Photograph Curator for History Nebraska, will cover the all the basics for the care of photographs and negatives in your collections. Learn how to identify different types of photographs, photograph storage best practices, and how to improve access to your collection. There will be hands on activities and time for lots of questions!

Karen Keehr

Highlights from 2019 NMA Conference Schedule

Check out last year’s list of speakers, workshops, and keynote address.

Resources and Highlights from 2018 NMA Conference (North Platte, NE)
Resources and Highlights from 2017 NMA Conference (Lincoln, NE)