Conference Update
At this writing, NEMA is knee-deep in last-minute preparations for the 98th Annual NEMA Conference, November 9-11 in Mystic, CT. More than 800 people have already registered. This year we have more off-site sessions than ever with several of them sold out. On-site we will have over 65 sessions throughout the three days including the Demonstration Station in the Exhibit Hall. Check out the Twitter feed (#nema2016) and NEMA’s Facebook page for the latest information on conference, including several informal meet-ups that are taking shape.

We would like to thank Gowrie Group, New England's premier insurance agency, for their continued support as presenting sponsor of the NEMA Conference. 

Show Your Support for Homeless Veterans
Friday, November 11, is Veteran’s Day, so let’s honor our country’s brave heroes by making a contribution toward eliminating veteran homelessness. This year’s NEMA conference charity is Homes for the Brave, a service organization based in Bridgeport, Connecticut, devoted to providing shelter and services to male and female homeless veterans. You can still contribute online or during the conference. Thank you to everybody that has already donated to this worthy cause.

Veteran's Day Museums Program
Military veterans are so important to our communities, inspiring young and old with their service and sacrifice. To honor these heroes, NEMA has established the Veteran's Day Museums program, a way for your institution to honor them too with free or reduced admission and special programming during Veteran's Day commemorations.

The new “Veteran’s Day Museum Program” features more than 30 institutions from each of the six New England states including art, history, science, children’s, maritime, and military museums. All museums in the program are free to veterans, and many are free to veterans’ families also, during Veteran’s Day holiday commemorations on or around November 11, 2016.

2016 Excellence Awards

Congratulations to the winners of NEMA’s Excellence Awards Competition!

  • Joseph Cox, President, EcoTarium
  • David Dempsey, Associate Director of Museum Services, Smith College Museum of Art
  • Margaret Middleton, Independent Exhibit Designer and Museum Activist
  • Marjory O’Toole, Managing Director, Little Compton Historical Society
  • Loren Spears, Executive Director, Tomaquag Museum

You can read more about this year’s winners here.

Winners will be honored at the NEMA Annual Meeting on November 11. We received an impressively competitive set of nominations for acts of excellence large and small. This is a sign of an extraordinarily talented and empathetic museum community here in New England. Even though we could not award prizes to each nominee, we are proud to acknowledge each and every one of them as the best of NEMA’s membership. Their work makes us better as a community of museum professionals and as a field.

NEMA Stats: A Monthly Museum Attendance Report
We invite you to participate in NEMA Stats: A Monthly Museum Attendance Report, a new program in which museums share visitor data confidentially with one another. When you participate in NEMA Stats, you agree to share your museum’s visitor data with other program participants. NEMA collects the data and issues a monthly report, with which you can compare your statistics against those of your colleagues from around the region. Enrollment for 2017 ends February 27, 2017. Click here for complete details of the program.

National Salary Survey
NEMA has, once again, teamed up with the American Alliance of Museums, the regional museum associations and several state associations to conduct a national museum salary survey. The survey will open on November 14th with a completion deadline of December 19, 2016. Contact Heather A. Riggs at for complete details and to be included in the emails.

Lunch with NEMA
In 2017, we will continue our popular Lunch with NEMA series, a FREE monthly conversation from noon - 1 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month. Each month will highlight a different discussion topic. If you have a topic or would like to present in 2017 at a Lunch with NEMA please contact BJ Larson at

Ideas Wanted for Spring Workshop Series
The NEMA staff and our Professional Affinity Group chairs are always looking for good ideas for workshop topics. Do you have something you want to learn more about or suggestions for a great speaker? Please contact BJ Larson at 781-641-0013 or You don't need to be an expert, we can explore the possibilities together starting with a good idea.

Call for Articles
Have a great idea for an article for New England Museums NowMuseums Now is the professional journal for the voices of museum professionals across the geography, genres, and job descriptions present in our field, and we want your voice to be represented! Submissions for articles are accepted on a rolling basis. Though Museums Now issues each focus on a particular theme relevant to our field, we welcome articles on all museum topics. Your submission is not required to fit a theme for an upcoming issue. For complete details about submitting an article, click here.

NEMA Board Slate

The Nominating Committee of the NEMA Board of Directors has submitted the following slate for new officers and members of the NEMA board. The committee included in their deliberations names that had been submitted by the NEMA membership, considering attributes that included prior service to the association and the experience that the candidates would add to the current NEMA board.

There will be two board seats opening up this year. Susan Funk and Ron Potvin are ending their board terms. Judith Tolnick Champa, Janie Cohen, Kate McBride, and Wyona Lynch-McWhite are up for re-election.

The committee reported that it will nominate Marieke Van Damme, Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Society, and Rebekah Beaulieu, Associate Director of Bowdoin College Museum of Art to the NEMA board.

You can vote on the slate at the Awards Luncheon and Annual Meeting, which will take place at 1:00 pm on November 11, 2016 at the Mystic Marriot Hotel and Spa in Mystic, CT.

Many thanks to the members of this year's nominating committee: Janie Cohen, Director, Fleming Museum of Art, University of Vermont; Mark Gold, Partner, Smith Green & Gold, LLP; Ron Potvin, Assistant Director of Professional Programs, John Nicholas Brown Center; and Susan Funk, Executive Vice President and COO, Mystic Seaport Museum


On October 26, Brad Larson Media and NEMA hosted special virtual guest Nina Simon for the first ever Museumhive! What’s Museumhive? It’s an informal gathering of people connected with museums to socialize, play with museum field issues, and create community content via Google Hangouts and post-hangout social media. IRL meetup + virtual followup = fun & effective thought leadership.

The theme of the first Museumhive meetup was “The Distributed Museum,” museums not bound by their physical locations and integrated throughout their communities. Advisors Ed Rodley, Paul Orselli, the NEMA staff, and Brad Larson hosted national thought leader Nina Simon in a Google Hangout on the topic of the distributed museum and relevance to community. You can view the recording here.

Museumhive is funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant. The Museumhive project will support six in-person meetups featuring presentations by national thought leaders talking about their work via live Google Hangouts. After each meetup, staff and volunteers will index and archive the Hangout video, summarize the event on a WordPress site, invite additional contributions via email and Twitter, and then prepare a short e-publication summary designed to help staff connect the topic to their own experiences at their museums. This experimental format for hive-created content will be shared with other museum associations for national replication.