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Call for Proposals

Deadline: August 23

October 17-18, 2024


 The Public Trust: Cultural Institutions in Times of Conflict and Change

As the United States approaches its 250th birthday, Americans are increasingly divided over the present and the past. In our current moment that is so characterized by political conflict, cultural tension, and mistrust of institutions, studies have historically shown that most Americans trust museums. While archives weren’t included in those surveys, many of the perceived characteristics of museums that respondents have cited also apply to archives. How are Missouri cultural heritage institutions preserving, building, and leveraging this public trust as we share our stories and collections with our communities, and how can we continue to do so?

MAMA invites proposals that share successes, failures, and lessons learned as archives and museums navigate the challenges and opportunities that face our museums and archives  in the lead up to America’s semi-quincentennial, including but not limited to the following topics: 

  •  Artificial Intelligence, as a tool in our work and/or a threat to the historical record and evidence-based study
  • Commemorations and anniversary celebrations
  • Censorship and content challenges
  • Presenting, interpreting, and communicating with visitors about politically sensitive subjects
  • Description of and access to controversial archival collections  
  • Changes in collection use, visitation and/or tourism post-pandemic
  • Approaches to internal and external conflicts
  • Museums as sites for well-being and health
  • New technologies
  • Practical concerns and strategies in a time of budgetary challenges
  • Preparing for the USA’s 250th birthday at the local and state levels

We encourage you to partner with other museum/archives professionals to collaborate on a panel or present individually. Individual papers should be 30-45 minutes in length, and panels of two or more presenters 60-90 minutes.

The deadline for submissions is August 23. Please submit proposals electronically to Tara Laver at

Proposals should include:

  • Presenter(s) name, institution/organization/company, address, phone, email
  • Title of proposed session (If proposing multiple presenters, include a title for each presentation)
  • Brief abstract of session.
  • Length of presentation


*Recall that the Board voted to alternate holding annual meetings in person and online, and this year’s will be virtual. We hope that will enable even more of you to participate as speaker and attendees.

Missouri Association for Museums and Archives
P. O. Box 179387, St Louis, Missouri  63117

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