Annual Meeting and Conference

Maine Archives and Museums holds an annual conference each fall with professional development sessions, rousing plenary presentations, networking, and more. The annual meeting of MAM's membership also takes place at this time--this is your chance as a MAM member to vote on new officers or changes in policy, or to address issues that affect the organization and its membership.

The conference offers a mixture of sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and a dynamic keynote address that will leave you feeling recharged, connected, and inspired with new ideas to assist you in the care and management of your collecting institution.

Also check out our other event offerings throughout the state throughout the year!

Or see the list of previous conferences to get an idea of where we've hosted them and who has presented what topics in the last few years.


In the story of Maine at the

2021 Maine Archives and Museums Annual Conference
Thursday, October 7 and Friday, October 8, 2021

Keynote address by Gretchen Sullivan Sorin

Opening plenary address by Catherine Besteman of Maine's Freedom and Captivity: Art and Abolition project

Closing plenary address by Chris Newell, Executive Director and Senior Partner to Wabanaki Nations, Abbe Museum

Gretchen Sullivan Sorin is Director and Distinguished Service Professor at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a training program for museum curators, educators, and directors that is part of the State University of New York College at Oneonta. With over thirty years of experience in the museum profession, she has served as guest curator for many exhibitions and written and lectured on museum practice, diversity and inclusion, and African American history. Her books include Touring Historic Harlem, Four Walks in Northern Manhattan; In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art; Case Studies in Cultural Entrepreneurship: How to Create Relevant and Sustainable Institutions; and Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights. She is also co-writer and senior historian for the documentary film Driving While Black: Race, Space, and Mobility.

Call for Session Proposals
Deadline: May 31, 2021

When it comes down to it, we’re in this business to TELL STORIES.

Whether you’re a collections manager, archivist, curator, education staff, fundraiser, director, volunteer, or one of the many other faces of museums and archives, you are working toward the goal of capturing and sharing the stories of Mainers.

But there are so many stories we haven’t told—and so many voices we haven’t heard. Telling these stories means looking between the lines at what we already have. Sometimes it means reaching outside our institutions to ask questions, get out of our comfort zone, collaborate, and try something new.

To help your colleagues identify and fill the gaps and silences, please consider submitting a session proposal for this year’s conference no later than May 31, 2021 to share your ideas about helping our institutions tell more inclusive stories.

Whether you’re collecting, cataloging, conserving, fundraising, running programs, leading tours, volunteering your time, or running the whole shebang, we ALL have ways of doing better.

We are eager to gather submissions from organizations/institutions of all sizes and capacities, geared toward any level, and invite both interactive workshop submissions as well as the more standard presentation format. As with last year, ALL sessions are limited to 60 minutes.

Here are some questions that might prompt creative sessions:

  • How do we look between the lines of our collections to create better exhibitions? 
  • Who is not yet represented and how can we reach out to them to collaborate? 
  • What is our fundraising lacking and how can we rethink membership? 
  • What kinds of public and educational programming encourage critical thinking? 
  • How can an all-volunteer organization spread out the workload? How can staff and volunteers work better together to serve the mission? 
  • How can technology improve our ability to tell better stories? 
  • How can institutions undertake strategic planning, capital campaigns, decolonizing efforts, or other processes and be sure everyone’s voice is heard? 
This year’s conference will be held online. Session proposals should take the digital platform into consideration.

As a presenter, you’ll only pay the discounted $25 presenter rate if you wish to attend the whole conference. There is no charge for attending only your own session.

Deadline for submitting proposals is May 31, 2021. MAM's Conference Committee will review submissions and notify applicants of the status of their proposal by mid-summer.

Questions? Need to submit via mail? Contact us at or 207.400.6965.

To register for the conference using the MAM member app by Wild Apricot, click one of the buttons below.

Members: log in first to access discounted registration rates. If you have trouble logging in, email

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Maine Archives and Museums

P.O. Box 784, Portland, Maine 04104


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