2021 Virtual Conference

Monday, April 12th

Photograph Preservation Workshop

Workshop Presenter: Karen Keehr, Photograph Curator for History Nebraska

Workshop Description: Keehr 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 lots of time for lots of questions!

Bio: As Photograph Curator, Karen preserves, collects and catalogs all types of photographic material from the earliest daguerreotypes to today’s digital images. Karen has been the Curator of the Photograph Collection at History Nebraska since June 2009. Originally from Minnesota, Karen has enjoyed studying and preserving Nebraska history for over 20 years. Before joining History Nebraska, Karen was the Curator of Research at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, NE for nine years where she worked on two books of photographs, Grand Island and Hall County and Grand Island: the Julius Leschinsky Photographs.  She has proudly served on the Nebraska Museums Association board since 2000. Karen has also curated several photograph exhibits at History Nebraska including Doing Hard Time: Historic Nebraska Mug Shots and Start Your Engines!

5-Minute Phase Boxes

National Park Service’s Cold Storage

National Park Service Conserv O Grams:

Ford Conservation Center Conservation Resources

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts Disaster Recovery for Salvaging Photograph Collections


Session Presenter: Dr. Nathan Tye, Assistant Professor of History, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Description of Session: In this session, you will be introduced to free web-based digital history programs, including Omeka, Scalar, and Clio. These programs can be used to build digital exhibits of photos, artifacts, and other materials, books based around collection materials, as well as tours of historic sites and points of interest. Anyone hoping to expand the digital research of their institution should attend.
Bio: Dr. Nathan Tye is the Assistant Professor of Nebraska and American West history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He is a historian of transient workers, better known as hobos, and their place within the history of the Great Plains. He teaches courses in digital and public history. Dr. Tye also serves on the G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture Advisory Board.


Session Presenters: Katie Karr, Education Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, Hastings Museum; Amber Kirkendall, Park Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator, Homestead National Historical Park
Description of Session: All our museums house significant stories and artifacts that have the potential to engage the public in unique ways. This session will explore purposeful programming, both in person and virtually. Katie Karr will talk about fieldtrip strategies and Amber Kirkendall will discuss the process of creating interpretive events for the public.
Bios: Katie Karr is a Hastings, Nebraska native. She attended Hastings College and received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science Secondary Education with endorsements in History and Political Science. She has worked at the Hastings Museum for six years and loves getting all generations excited about various science and history topics. Katie can also be found in the planetarium exploring the galaxy or going around town recruiting volunteers. In her free time, she enjoys ‘nerding’ out at other museums, conducting experiments with her son, and going on trails.

Amber Kirkendall is the Park Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator at Homestead National Historical Park. In 2009 she received a B.S. degree in History from Peru State College, followed in 2015, with her M.A. in Historical Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Amber coordinates several of the Park’s Interpretive/educational events.

Museum Resources

Session Presenters: Mary Yager, Associate Director, Humanities Nebraska; Rachel Morgan, Program Specialist, Nebraska Arts Council; Mike Smith, Director/CEO (retired), History Nebraska; Rebecca Cashman, Objects Conservator, Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center
Description of Session: Need money? Need advice? There are resources available to you and we’re here to tell you about them. Learn about grants, peer-to-peer assistance, program resources, and more. Join us for this informative and interactive session.
Bios: Mary Yager joined Humanities Nebraska in 2005, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience in developing, managing and evaluating programs for the National Arbor Day Foundation. Mary has a Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned designation as a Certified Public Manager from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s School of Public Administration in 2017. At Humanities Nebraska, Mary works with grant applicants and recipients, manages its speakers bureau and Museum on Main Street program, which brings Smithsonian traveling exhibits to small Nebraska museums, and oversees finances for the organization.
Rachel Morgan works with Nebraska organizations to provide meaningful arts opportunities across the state. She oversees such grant categories as Basic Support Grants, Annual Series and Event Grants, Project Grants, and Touring Artist Roster. She serves on the Opera Omaha Engagement Panel, teaches classes at the Blair Family YMCA, and has been a panelist for the Arkansas Arts Council and the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Previously, Rachel was Foundation & Public Relations Director, Holdrege Memorial Homes, and Executive Director, Holdrege’s Tassel Performing Arts Center. She received her B.S. degree in music education from Peru State College and currently resides in Blair, Nebraska.
Over four decades in the field of museum/historical organization leadership, Mike Smith served as Director of the Michigan Historical Museum, Iowa’s Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science, Museum of Science (Buffalo), and American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachusetts). His service to the profession included two years of leadership on the Board of the American Association for State and Local History, and two years as President of the Mountain-Plains Museum Association. Smith is a MAP surveyor and frequent accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums. Smith retired in 2016 following 10 years as Director/CEO of History Nebraska. He is a trustee of the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation and lives in Overland Park, Kansas.
Rebecca Cashman has worked at the Ford Conservation Center for 13 years. She has also worked at the Autry Museum of the American West, Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Field Museum, Smithsonian’s Cultural Resources Center, Maryland Archeological Conservation Lab, and Williamstown Art Conservation Center. She carried out her graduate studies in Conservation at the SUNY Buffalo State College Art Conservation Program, and her undergraduate studies at the Massachusetts College of Art. She lives in Omaha with her son where she enjoys outdoor activities, learning primitive skills, and working on mosaics.

Tuesday, April 13th

Keynote: “Museums Get Ready: Here Come the Roaring Twenties!”

Keynote Presenter: Steve Friesen, retired Museum Director; Partner, Friesen-Dakin Museum Consulting
Description of Keynote: The Spanish Flu epidemic ended in 1919 and was followed by The Roaring Twenties. It was a decade characterized by technological change, economic growth, social change, and an explosion of culture. As the world emerges from the Great Pandemic of 2020, there is every reason to believe that we will see the same developments as occurred 100 years ago. Our communities will be laying new foundations for the future as they recover from the economic, social, and cultural impacts of 2020. Museums must be ready to provide the cornerstones for those foundations.
Bio: Steve Friesen has worked in the museum field for over 40 years. During his career he served as director of the 1719 Hans Herr House, the Molly Brown House, and the City of Greeley Museums. He retired in 2017 after 22 years as director of the Buffalo Bill Museum. He is the author of a chapter on small museums in The Small Museum Toolkit and collaborated with his wife Monta Lee Dakin on a chapter about museum success factors in AASLH’s Reimagining Historic House Museums. Friesen and Dakin currently provide planning and other consulting services to small to medium-sized museums.

Staying True to You: The Event and Fundraising!

Session Presenter: Broc Anderson, Community Engagement Director, Buffalo County Historical Society/Trails & Rails Museum
Description of Session: Often times, fundraising and hosting an event go hand in hand and it’s easy to get lost in the process. In this session, Broc will specifically discuss how he fundraised for Alliance’s Knight Museum and Sandhills Center Powwow in 2016 and 2017. From start to finish, there was a delicate balance between fundraising and how the Powwow was carried out with those funds. In addition, the Don’t Come Event at the Trails & Rails Museum in Kearney is also an important and creative annual fundraiser for the museum. Not only does the Don’t Come Event generate revenue, but also helps raise awareness about local history.
Bio: Broc Anderson is originally from Alliance, Nebraska, and found a niche for Nebraska history early on. In 2017, he graduated from Chadron State College with his Bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education and taught at Gordon-Rushville High School for one year. Broc then continued his education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and is now near the end of his Master’s thesis that focuses on a borderland history of the Nebraska Panhandle to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Since August 2019, Broc has been at the Buffalo County Historical Society/Trails & Rails Museum as the Community Engagement Director, organizing events, fundraisers, and many other museum related duties.


Session Presenter: Reagan Moore, Senior Museum Program Officer, Office of Museum Services (OMS), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Description: This session will provide participants with an overview of museum funding opportunities offered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). As the nation’s primary source of federal funding for museums, IMLS administers six grant opportunities and two assessment programs that are available to Nebraska museums through the agency’s Office of Museum Services. Reagan will share detailed information about each program and tips for preparing a more competitive application for the next museum grant application deadline on November 15, 2021.
Bio: Reagan Moore is with the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). She is the program officer for the Inspire! Grants for Small Museums program and works most directly with the Lifelong Learning portfolio across all OMS programs, providing support to both applicants and grantees in early learning and K-12 in- and out-of-school time. Prior to joining IMLS in 2004, she worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an archaeologist. Ms. Moore received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from James Madison University and her master’s degree in Museum Studies from George Washington University.


Exhibit Design

Session Presenters: Don Traub and Susan Traub, Principals, Traub Design Associates, Inc.
Description: When the next generation asks “What was it like here during the Pandemic?,” will we be prepared to tell our stories? Traub Design Associates has been helping small to mid-size museums tell their stories for over 25 years using a process called Visioning. Though none of us have perspective now, we are going to help you be prepared for a future exhibit about today’s turbulent times. What to collect? What stories? Who to interview?
Bio: Before starting their own museum consulting business, both Don and Susan had several years as employees or trustees of small to mid-size museums, filling roles such as staff archaeologist, exhibit designer, education director, and executive director. Both have post graduate degrees in Education and the Social Sciences and are first and foremost museum professionals rather than exhibit producers. Their exhibit work is featured in nine states both in the Mid-Atlantic and the Mountain Plains regions. They live and work from Spring Hill, Kansas.

Small Museums

Presenter: Monte Lee Dakin, Partner Friesen/Dakin Museum Consulting, Littleton, Colorado; Past Director, Mountain-Plains Museums Association

Description: Museums were put through the wringer this past year with traditional models of operation upended or now in question. How did the “successful” small museums profiled in the recently published book, Reimagining Historic House Museums: New Approaches and Proven Solutions, survive the pandemic and can they still be called successful? We’ll take a look at how they are doing and if their success during normal times has been sustainable during Covid. And we’ll talk about where small museums go from here.
Bio: Monta Lee Dakin has worked in a variety of museums for over 40 years. She was executive director of the Mountain-Plains Museums Association and of Colorado Preservation, Inc., a statewide historic preservation organization where she established Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List. Her museum jobs include working at the Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon, Strawbery Banke Museum (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (Alexandria, Virginia). At all these museums, she worked with collections, event planning, and museum management including long-range planning. She now provides planning, object identification, and other consulting services to small to medium-sized museums.

The Times, They Are Always A-Changin’: Tips for Thriving Through Transitions

Session Presenters: Lynne Ireland, retired Deputy Director, History Nebraska; Audrey Kauders, retired Director, Museum of Nebraska Art
Description of Session: The only thing museums can depend on? Change. Two professionals with nearly a century of combined change experience offer insights into how to respond to transitions including leadership (board and director), staff departures, evolving roles, and retirement . Planning, timing, implementation strategies and even deep breathing can help you thrive through transition!
Bios: Lynne Ireland currently serves on the National Museum and Library Services Board. She worked for 40+ years at History Nebraska (Nebraska State Historical Society) where she served in six different roles and worked for five different directors. She retired as deputy director at the end of 2019. Ten years in teaching in the UNL Museum Studies program resulted in a museum administration textbook, co-authored with Hugh Genoways. She has her B.A. degree in French and American Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and her M.A. in American Folk Culture & History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She is a graduate of the Museum Management Institute and served for 10 years on the Council of the American Association for State and Local History, ending as Chair.
Audrey Kauders started her museum career at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama, followed by 21 years at Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum, and concluded with 17 years as Director at Kearney’s Museum of Nebraska Art and Supervising Administrator of the G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, she studied at Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, earned her B.A. degree from Huntingdon College, Montgomery and her Executive M.B.A from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a graduate of the Museum Management Institute and has served on numerous local, state, and national panels, been active with professional museum organizations, and has received several awards including the Chancellor’s Commendation Medal from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.