New Jersey Association of Museums

  • Home
  • 2022 New Jersey Association of Museums Annual Meeting

2022 New Jersey Association of Museums Annual Meeting

  • May 25, 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St, Princeton, NJ 08540
  • 43


  • For graduate and undergraduate College Students.
  • NJAM Individual and Institutional Members- Fee covers $20 for coffee and lunch and $25 for speakers and site staff
  • Fee covers $20 for coffee and lunch and $30 for speakers and site staff
  • Join as an Individual Member ($30) and attend the Annual Meeting ($45) Combo Option.
  • Members & Non-Members. 100% of fee goes to IT support and keynote speaker


NJAM Annual Meeting Wednesday May 25, 2022 10am - 3pm
Join us in person at Morven Museum and Garden, Princeton NJ (free on-site parking)- or for the Keynote Presentation and Networking Lunch/Awards via Zoom

We hope you can join us - in person - at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton for NJAM's Annual Meeting. We're creating a program with opportunities to network and see each other in person after a few years of virtual learning at a space that includes (weather permitting) beautiful outdoor spaces. Our keynote speaker is Susie Wilkening of Wilkening Consulting, who will be Zooming in to share some data from a nationwide study on visitors exploring museums' role in society. The rest of the day will include breakout sessions, a chance to network over lunch, and an optional tour of Morven. If you can't make it in person, you can Zoom in to hear the keynote session and the Dana Award presentation, and network at lunch through Zoom!


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

10:00 am - 3:00 pm 

Location: Morven Museum & Garden 55 Stockton St, Princeton, NJ 08540


Schedule of Events:

10:00am – 10:30am  Registration and Welcome

10:30am – 11:30am Keynote Speaker Susie Wilkening, Wilkening Consulting presents Museum-Goers: 2022 (virtual option)

We all have a lot of observations and ideas around who does and doesn't visit museums. We also tend to have assumptions about what the public thinks about museums. But what is the truth?

In this fast-paced research presentation, Susie Wilkening will share what the public actually says about museums, their leisure time, and their attitudes towards learning. And to round things out, at the end we'll play "stump the expert" and answer your questions about museum-goers.

Susie Wilkening (she/her) has over 20 years of experience in museums, including 15 years leading custom projects for museums as well as fielding groundbreaking national research on the role of museums in American society.

Susie enjoys sharing her findings at various annual meetings, including the American Alliance of Museums, American Association of State and Local History, Association of Science-Technology Centers, Association of Children’s Museums, and state and regional museum meetings.

Susie is a go-to expert on museums for the media, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalFast Company, NPR, and others.  Additionally, she is the author of Audiences and Inclusion: A Primer for Cultivating More Inclusive Attitudes Among the Public and is the primary author of Life Stages of the Museum Visitor. 

​Susie earned a BS in History, Technology, and Society from Georgia Tech and an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware. She resides in Seattle, and her husband and curious children often accompany her as she travels to various museums and historic sites.

11:30am – 11:45am Transition

11:45am – 12:30pm Breakouts

Choice 1: What’s Your Museum’s Brand?

Marketers think about their “brand” daily, but museum professionals don’t. We’re caught up in collections management, programming, and day-to-day operations. Yet even before COVID-19, museums were rethinking the stories they tell, how they tell them, and who they tell them to. These changes, sometimes seismic, alter your museum's “brand” and may lead to a “rebrand.”

In this program, we will discuss branding in a broad context, explore common reasons for rebranding a museum, and briefly discuss the process that can be adjusted based on the size and budget of your organization. Eliasof draws on her own experiences as well as those of the twelve other organizations she features in her book Rebranding: A Guide for Historic Houses, Museums, Sites, and Organizations (2022). Although her book focuses on history museums, the lessons learned are applicable to museums of all kinds.

Jane Mitchell Eliasof is the Executive Director of the Montclair History Center, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving local history and sharing the stories of the people who shaped the community. During her tenure, she led the Montclair Historical Society’s interpretation and programming to appeal to a younger, wider, more diverse audience. The changes were driven in part by an initiative she led that expanded the interpretation of a 1796 home to include its history as a segregated YWCA for Black women and girls. The permanent reinterpretation expanded the stories the site tells to reflect the rich diversity of and be relevant to the community.

In 2017, Jane Eliasof led the Montclair Historical Society through a rebranding to become the Montclair History Center. She parlayed that experience into a recently published book Rebranding: A Guide for Historic Houses, Museums, Sites, and Organizations that follows thirteen history institutions through the rebranding process.

Jane has presented on a variety of topics and authored numerous articles on local history. Prior to her work in the history field, she spent more than 25 years designing and writing marketing, educational, and training programs for the healthcare industry.

Choice 2: Broadening Museum Audiences: Recruiting Young People as Museum Stakeholders

Developing diverse programming to appeal to a modern audience is a challenge understood by all museums. Using her experience with museum youth groups, Kate Nolan will share her passion for encouraging the sustainability of small museums through the cultivation of young people as simultaneously members of the museum audience and museum volunteers.

Kate Nolan has managed the Wicoff House Museum in Plainsboro since its re-opening in 2019, after more than a decade of working in small history museums in New Jersey. She received an M.A. in Historic Preservation from Goucher College. Her thesis was an analysis of the efficacy of New Jersey historical societies, which led her to examine the sustainability of small museums and the common thread of a lack of youth engagement. Using this research, she established the Wicoff House Museum’s Youth Advisory Council, which is made up of local teens who assist with the development and execution of museum events, programs, and exhibits. In the past three years, the YAC has seen over a hundred teen volunteers who have done thousands of hours of volunteer work. Its success led to the creation of the National Coalition of Museum Youth Advisory Councils, a new tool that she is currently developing to help other museums establish successful youth groups.

12:30 pm – 2:00pm Lunch, Networking Luncheon and Association Business Meeting; Presentation of John Cotton Dana Award (Virtual option) 

2:00pm– 3:00pm Optional Tour

Other Important Event Information:
Currently, masks are required regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces at Morven. Read more about Morven’s health and safety guidelines here.

If you have any programming or Annual Meeting questions, contact Claudia B. Ocello,

If you have questions or need assistance regarding your membership or registration, please contact Kellie Haines,

New Jersey Association of Museums, 555 Grand Ave., PO Box 77316, Ewing, NJ 08628

Contact NJAM

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software