Wire*— To many, Arizona is known as a sunshine getaway with ample opportunities for golf, shopping and outdoor activities, but in early May, Phoenix will become a mecca for museum heads and cultural influencers as it plays host to the 2018 American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo.

The conference, which will take place May 6-9, 2018, at the Phoenix Convention Center, is the largest gathering of its kind. 2018 is the first year the conference will take place in Arizona.

Over 5,000 attendees are expected to flock to Phoenix where in addition to experiencing the many museums in the area, conference attendees will attend sessions and workshops focused on the conference theme, Educate, Engage, Elevate: Museums on the Rise.

American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting local host committee co-chairs.

AAM local host committee co-chairs, Chevy Humphrey, the Hazel A. Hare President and CEO of the Arizona Science Center, and Tina Marie Tentori, executive director of the APS Foundation. Photo courtesy of AAM.

Topics will focus on museum management, such as collections stewardship, curatorial practice, educational experiences, exhibit planning and design, management and administration, media and technology, and marketing and community engagement.

To make this conference a huge success, a local host committee was formed and is comprised of the heads of over 20 Arizona museums including co-chairs Chevy Humphrey, Arizona Science Center Hazel A. Hare President & CEO and Tina Marie Tentori, APS Foundation Executive Director.

“This is a huge deal within our museum community, and as an economic driver for Phoenix,” said Humphrey. “We have the opportunity to really show off our vibrant and thriving community and the wealth of educational resources we offer through our museums and cultural institutions.”

Laura Lott, president and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums, says Phoenix was selected due to the city’s growing and thriving cultural community citing “Valley museums welcome and celebrate the diverse audiences and traditions that make Phoenix special, and they show true leadership in their collaboration with area schools.”

Although Downtown Phoenix will be the hub of activity, off-site evening events and on-site insight sessions will be held across the Valley. From an economic outlook, Visit Phoenix has estimated that the conference could produce over $7.2 million in revenue, a majority of that coming from the 8,938 hotel room nights under contract.

Arizona is home to more than 250 museums and many will have the opportunity to attend the conference on scholarship thanks to financial support from participating museums and organizations including APS, Desert Botanical Garden, Flinn Foundation and Phoenix Zoo.

“Arizona’s rich history and heritage is something to be celebrated and we want museums from all corners of the state to have the opportunity to attend and share thir knowledge with attendees from all over the country,” says Janice Klein, Executive Director, Museum Association of Arizona. “We are thankful for the companies and museums who have stepped up to provide funding to make this a possibility.”

Volunteer opportunities are available and registration for the conference is open. For more information on the conference or to volunteer, visit www.annualmeeting.aam-us.org.

*DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from trusted sources without translation.