Museum Hosts Annual Washington Museum Association Conference

By Colton Redtfeldt & Christina Claassen

The Whatcom Museum has earned the honor of hosting the Washington Museum Association’s (WaMA) annual meeting June 20-22, 2018 on the Museum’s campus. It is the first time that the event has been held in Bellingham.

Museum professionals from across Washington State will come to Bellingham to participate in workshops, networking events, and the Association’s annual membership meeting. The theme for this year’s conference is “Transcending Boundaries.” In line with this theme, attendees will talk about ways to engage communities in conversations that bridge cross-cultural boundaries, according to WaMA.

Inspired by the theme, the Whatcom Museum plans on inviting museum professionals from British Columbia as well, inviting museum professionals across the border to collaborate and share their experiences.

“The Whatcom Museum is honored to have been chosen as the location for this year’s conference,” Patricia Leach, the Museum’s executive director said. “It is a wonderful opportunity to show off both our museum and our amazing community. We look forward to welcoming our museum colleagues.”

Part of the Museum’s responsibilities as conference host include offering space for the meeting and workshop sessions, organizing meals, arranging conference blocks at local hotels, and coordinating special events for the attendees.

Conference attendees will participate in an “Arts Crawl” on opening night, visiting other museums and cultural organizations in downtown Bellingham’s Arts District. On the second evening, attendees will take part in the Whatcom Museum’s annual History Sunset Cruise, learning the history of Bellingham from local historian Brian Griffin while enjoying a crab dinner provided by San Juan Cruises.

WaMA chooses a new location for its annual meeting each year, rotating every other year between museums on the east and west sides of the Cascades. The conference is not only a chance for museum professionals to network and learn from each other, but also an opportunity for the recently re-accredited Whatcom Museum to showcase the contributions it makes to the museum industry.

For more information about the conference visit


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